Officers elected at first Pine Bluff School Board meeting in four years

Officers were selected from the limited authority board Thursday night in the Pine Bluff School District’s first school board meeting in four years at the Jordan-Chanay Administration Building.

Dr. Sedrick Rice was elected as President of the Board, Ricky Whitmore, Jr. was elected as Vice President of the Board), Lori Guelache was elected as Legislative Liaison for the Board, and Lozana Calhoun was elected as Secretary of the Board. Dr. Charles Colen, Jr., Dr. Stephen Broughton, and Jomeka Edwards will serve as the remaining members of the board.

This is the first school board for the district since September 2018 when the State of Arkansas took over the district due to fiscal distress, leading to all decisions being made by then Secretary of Education Johnny Key.

The new limited authority school board was selected following an interview process by the State Board of Education. Each member has attended training before Thursday night’s meeting could take place. Each member was sworn in by District 11-West Circuit Judge Jackie Harris Thursday night at the meeting.

In some of the board’s first actions the voted to approve¬†purchases for PowerSchool software, CDW-G Malware protection and purchases for new CDW-G Desktops, in addition to voting to approve advertising for an architect of the new Pine Bluff High School by Superintendent Jennifer Barbaree.

One big issue the board will have to address as they move forward is the new high school project, and the decision to either build a new school at a different location from the current high school, or to build new buildings where the current high school is located.

The new limited authority board will continue to participate in monthly training as the state begins the transition to return the district to full local control.