Gentry School Board Honors Past Members, Ends Trustee Contract

GENTRY — The School Board honored two past board members at its Oct. 24 meeting at the Pioneer Activities Center.

Honored with plaques are Randall Bolinger for his service on the board from 2011 to 2022 and John Skaggs for his service on the board from 2020 to 2022.

Members of the junior cheer squad also demonstrated a routine for the board.

The board approved the hiring of Maria Carmen Cedillo and Alexa Marin as English for Speakers of Other Languages ​​pre-professionals, Chero Young and Terri Knox as custodians, and Luther “Luke” Warren as a bus driver.

Also approved was the hiring of Mandi Taylor as a fourth grade middle school teacher.

Wendy Jackson’s resignation as bus driver was accepted. She will continue to serve as a substitute driver. Also approved was the retirement of Regina Morris from special education in December.

The board approved the termination of Leah Queen’s contract as a high school physical education teacher.

It was announced that custodians had now been hired to replace them with SG360, a commercial custodial service hired at the March 28 meeting to clean a school since the district was short of four custodians at the time.

The district is now ending its contract with SG360 and returning to using its own custodial staff, according to Terrie DePaola, the district’s superintendent.

The board gave its approval to allow the baseball team to purchase black jerseys with maroon stripes and lettering for away games with money raised by the team. The baseball team will also continue to use white uniforms.

DePaola reported that the district had approximately $1.3 million in operating funds but was awaiting tax payments.

DePaola spoke about the misinformation circulating on social media sites regarding the location and construction of a new high school. She said the district was consulting with academic facilities planner Aliza Jones about plans to build a new high school in the future, but that no specific site had been chosen and no plans had been approved yet. She said the square footage at the current high school is being reviewed in connection with qualifying for state aid to build a new facility.

She also reported to the board that discussion was beginning regarding the renovation of Pioneer Stadium. She said eight lanes were required for the school to host track events — the current track, which needs repair, only has seven lanes. She also mentioned the need for a new press box, adding that the district is currently only looking at options.

While no action was taken, DePaola reported that progress had been made on a vaping policy for the district. She said the district’s personnel policy committee was currently studying the policies of other school districts.

Jason Barrett, the school district’s director of transportation and facilities, said Flintco was hired as the construction manager for the HVAC project at the middle and high school. He said Flintco was looking at the fastest way to speed up the project. He said reaching the district in the best time and best prices were the goals.

A transfer of pre-kindergarten students out of the district has been approved.

The next regular board meeting will be held on November 14 at 6:30 p.m.


The Gentry Junior High cheerleaders perform a routine for the School Board on Oct. 24 at the Pioneer Activities Center. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Randy Moll)

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