The Van Buren School District plans to have full-time school resources officers for each of the district’s 11 schools by the end of 2018 or early 2019.
Superintendent Dr. Harold Jeffcoat told the school board Tuesday night the district is working with the Van Buren Police Department to provide six additional school resource officers.
Police Chief Jamie Hammond met with the board at a study session prior to the monthly board meeting.
Currently, the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department provides a full-time SRO, Robin Kuykendall, for Tate Elementary School, which is outside the Van Buren city limits.
The 10 schools within the city limits share four officers, Frank Petray, Dewayne Richesin, George Edelen and Christopher Ho.
“This is a priority for the district,” Jeffcoat said. “We are working with the Van Buren Police Department to make it a reality to add six more school resource officers.”
Board president Candice Settle-Beshears said, “This will be a great step in protecting our students.”
Jeffcoat said the school district and police department will share the cost of hiring and equipping the six officers who will be added to the VBPD.
He said officers will be able to apply for the SRO positions.
“We will look at those who apply to determine who will be the best fit for our schools,” he said. “We look forward to having more officers with experience protecting our students.”
Also, Jeffcoat announced that all Van Buren School District students will be eligible for free breakfast beginning with the 2018-19 school year.
He told the board the district believes the extra revenue from the district’s newly purchased food truck will generate the $50,000 to $60,000 needed to provide the free breakfasts.
Jeffcoat pointed out that dollars generated by the food truck must remain in the child nutrition budget, which was used to purchase the food truck.
The board also approved:
• Contracts for Karen Allen, assistant superintendent; Robert Childers, Tate Elementary School principal; Drew Cone, activities administrator; Summer Cox, Central Elementary School assistant principal; Steve Davis, director of alternative education; Karen Endel, Butterfield Trail Middle School principal; Debbie Faubus-Kendrick, Crawford County Continuing Adult Education director; Jennifer Feeny, River Valley Virtual School coordinator; Myron Heckman, Van Buren High School assistant principal; Renee Henson, Parkview Elementary School assistant principal; Alice Humphrey, Rena Elementary School assistant principal; Randy Loyd, athletics/student services director; Susan Loyd, King Elementary School assistant principal; Paula Mannis, special education assistant supervisor; Kriss Marshell, ALE principal grades 1-8; Aimee McCabe, City Heights Elementary School assistant principal; Mary McCutchen, City Heights principal; Tim McCutchen, VBHS assistant principal; Lisa Miller, Freshman Academy principal; Lonnie Mitchell, Northridge Middle School principal; Jason Moore, Freshman Academy assistant principal; Renee Risley, King principal; Nancy Robbins, K-12 curriculum director; Joyce Sanders, Rena principal; Cami Saxton, special education director; Michele Shipman, Tate assistant principal; Norman Smith, VBHS assistant principal; Brian Summerhill, deputy superintendent; Eddie Tipton, VBHS principal; Johnny Williams, Butterfield assistant principal; and Staci Wood, Parkview assistant principal.
• Employment of Emily Kibler as a speech therapist at Northridge Middle School; Sydnie Wilkins as a speech therapist at Butterfield Trail Middle School; and Carissa DeBerry as night custodian at Butterfield.
• Leave of absence for Debra Smith, cook at Tate Elementary School.
• Resignation of Rhonda Brasuell as head nurse at Van Buren High School; Channa Miller as cook at City Heights Elementary School; Janie Nichols as nurse at Butterfield; Janie Watkins as nurse at Freshman Academy; Leanna Garrett as counselor at Freshman Academy; Kelly Robinson as special education teacher at Parkview Elementary School; Paul Barnhardt as literacy specialist at Izard Center for Learning; Anna Booth as special education teacher at Freshman Academy; Gail Boyle as teacher at Butterfield; Gary Boyle as teacher at VBHS; Kristi Bray as teacher at Tate Elementary School; Jennifer Cahoon as teacher at King Elementary School; Tommie Campbell as senior Army instructor at VBHS; Joyce Cross as teacher at City Heights; Justin Goins as teacher at VBHS; Katie Good as teacher at Freshman Academy; Fran Hall as counselor at VBHS; Kathy Hoover as choral director at VBHS; Sheila Hooper as speech language pathologist at Butterfield; Vaniter Keeter as teacher at King; Martha Smith as teacher at VBHS; James Stem as teacher at City Heights; and Paula Testerman as psychological examiner at Central Elementary School.