A veteran Arkansas State Police trooper will become the new school resource officer for Tate Elementary School.

Members of the Van Buren School District Board of Education voted 6-0 Tuesday night to hire Robin Kuykendall, effective July 3, for the 2017-18 school year.

Kuykendall will replace Mike Allen, who will become director of transportation and custodian services for the VBSD.

“I am looking forward to my retirement job and working with the children in the Van Buren School District,” Kuykendall said.

Kuykendall’s wife is a library media specialist with Alma Primary School and his daughter is a teacher at Butterfield Trail Middle School.

“My daughter is excited that I will be part of their professional family,” he said.

Kuykendall of Alma officially retires from the ASP on June 30 after 32 years, three months and 12 days. He went to work for the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department after his graduation from Alma High School in 1977. He also working for the Alma Police Department before joining the state police.

Assistant Superintendent Brian Summerhill also was transferred to deputy superintendent, effective July 1.

Other hires by the board were:


Karla Barker as teacher at Van Buren High School, Karen Anderson as teacher at Tate, Aaron Chastain as teacher at Izard Center for Learing, Allison Frazier as speech language pathologist, Paula Mannis as assistant special education supervisor, Lauren Milton as teacher at Central Elementary, Bridgett Ortiz as teacher at King Elementary, John Petree as teacher and assistant football coach at Butterfield and head wrestling coach at VBHS, Robert Poole as teacher and assistant football coach and head track coach at VBHS and Freshman Academy, Hannah Schluterman as teacher at Parkview Elementary, Jay Werner as teacher and assistant football coach at Butterfield and Bryan Westmoreland as special education teacher at Northridge Middle School.


Kim Cristee as teacher’s aide at Izard, Amber Hayes as Project Lead the Way paraprofessional at Tate, Heather Riley as Project Lead the Way paraprofessional at Rena, Albert Rogers as bus driver, Scott Whitwam as teacher’s aide at Izard and Kenva Woosley as administrative assistant at Freshman Academy.

Hired for the summer custodian crew were William Allison, Betty Beckham, Anna Brown, Cheryl Brown, Jill Chamberlain, Kim Cockrell, Tonya Cristee, Ron Davis, Alonso Espinosa, Michael Fisher, Teresa Greenfield, Tasha Lee, Teresa Leonard, Maria Macall, Paul Mason, Yvonna McCartney, Billy Milam, Victor Pinkerson, Ava Pitchford, David Sexton, Gavin Steward, Justin Waldrop, Scott Whitwam and Laurie Whitworth.

Andrea Turner was hired as a cook for the summer feeding program.

Resignations accepted were:


Seth Burgess as teacher, assistant football coach and head track coach at Butterfield, Shelly Faught as teacher at Parkview, Penelope Harris as teacher at Izard, Darren Rogers as teacher at VBHS, Jenna Russell as teacher at King and Kary Shankle as teacher at Tate.


John Casey as bus driver, Susan Day as cook, Mike Kneeland as bus aide and Robert Reinschmiedt as bus driver.

The board also:

• Set a meeting for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 27, to consider the hiring of additional employees for the 2017-18 school year.

• Approved the transfer of two Alma students to the Van Buren School District, the transfer of one Van Buren student to the Fort Smith School District and the transfer of a Van Buren student to the Cedarville School District.