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Poteau School Board hires new staff — including new boys basketball coach | News

The Poteau Public Schools Board of Education approved the hiring of new certified staff — including former Poteau baseball coach Ronnie Sockey as the Pirates’ new basketball coach, replacing Brandon Wood — during Monday night’s meeting at the Bert Corr Administrative Building.

Not only was Sockey hired after about a 26-minute executive session, but so, too, was Donald Patchin and Angela Rosa in adult education-Practical Applications in Language and Computers, Shannon Stubbs for math at the Seventh-Eighth Grade Academic Center, former Poteau softball player Katie Pierce-Stubbs as English, languages ​​and art teacher at the Seventh-Eighth Grade Center, former Heavener Lady Wolves basketball player Azure (Watkins) Hill and Misty Crandell as elementary school teachers, Shelby Johnson as a speech language pathology assistant and Tina Parsons in adult education.

The board also approved Shelley Gafford as custodian at Pansy Kidd Middle School and Liz Collins as School Evaluation Committee secretary as well as approved the resignations Poteau teacher/football assistant coach Jamie Armstrong, teachers Abigail Hill and Macae Pipkins and PHS secretary Janette Baxter.

One other topic Poteau School Board President Ranada Adams said was discussed in the executive session was about purchasing real estate, in which neither a vote or action was taken in the executive session nor in the open meeting once it was summarized.

The board approved a resolution to have a meeting at 4 pm June 21 to offer the $1,800,000 general obligation building bond for sale.

The board approved the deregulation request to provide flexibility in instructional scheduling at PHS, namely for the librarian to have the opportunity to teach English classes.

The board also approved a medical exemption review process to be added to the board policy in which someone with chronic absences due to medical reasons such as sickness or illness such as cancer, etc… can be reported to the state as such.

However, the board tabled making comments concerning items not on an agenda for the board policy. Adams and board members Matt McBee, Ron Hall and Phil McGehee all shared their concerns. Adams mentioned that it would turn something “objective” into something “subjective.” As it currently stands, any public comments can be made at the Poteau School Board meeting but only if it is about an item on the agenda.

The board approved a $300 stipend for site Teachers of the Year, and a $400 stipend for the district’s Teacher of the Year.

The board also approved the e-rate resolution for e-rate program funding from the Universal Administrative Company, Schools and Libraries Division. Each application to go towards things like maintaining telephone lines and optics was approved for a grand total of $25,855.73.

However, Poteau Superintendent Dr. Don Sjoberg alerted the board that with the soon-to-be lack of the free breakfast and lunches as they currently are now would affect the e-rate program funding. He said that it would appear as of now that in the very near future it will cost students $3.40 for lunches due to the Community Eligibility Plan (CEP) running its course, but he is hopeful that the cafeteria fund will help absorb a lot of the lunches’ expenses.

Another item Sjoberg mentioned in his superintendent’s report was that the Class of 2022 Commencement Ceremony will be at 8 pm May 20 at Costner Stadium, with the event moving to the Donald W. Reynolds Community Center in case of inclement weather.

The board also approved continuing its contract agreements with Precision Drug for drug screening for students, the Oklahoma State School Boards Association Employment Services to help with issues like worker’s compensation, Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center for both tele-medicine and as a business associate and Dr. Tiffany Ballard and Affiliates for professional learning communities (PLC) training, which will be July 5-7.

The board approved two fundraising activities—one by the PHS Silver Steppers and the other by the seventh-eighth grade cheerleaders—to help purchase new uniforms and other supplies.

In her financial reports, Poteau Public Schools Chief Financial Officer Vallerie Martin told the board the ending balances as of April 30 in the general fund were $3,606,686, $877,736 in the building fund, $841,581 in the child nutrition fund, $511,692 in the bond fund, $815,406 in the sinking fund, $270,685 in the insurance fund and $641,704 in the activity fund.

Martin reported the encumbrances to be $336,411 in the general fund, $263,201 in the building fund which came or will come from two projects — resurfacing the track at Costner Stadium and putting a new floor down at Sherman Floyd Fieldhouse — and $103,399 in the cafeteria fund.


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