The Sheridan School Board voted unanimously to terminate the employment of Superintendent Jerrod Williams after spending nearly two hours in executive session following a regularly scheduled school board meeting Monday night.
Williams had been suspended with pay since December 13, 2021. A special called meeting on Monday, Feb. 7 was called after a petition garnered enough signatures from supporters of Williams to require a meeting was turned into the board. The board voted to adjourn immediately following the last speaker’s statements with no action being taken following that meeting.
No reason was given for the vote to terminate the employment of Williams by the board. However, it was shared that a letter will be mailed to Williams notifying him of his termination and the reason for the termination. He will then have the option to request a hearing before the board to appeal his termination if he chooses to do so.
In other news Interim Superintendent Dr. Jerry Guess was officially introduced to the school board by board President Jody Spann. Guess stated he is thankful to be able to fill his current role.
“Let me just say how excited I am to be here in this role,” said Guess. “With its exceptional teachers and high achieving students, this is an excellent school district and I am thankful to get the opportunity to be a part of it.”
Guess informed the board that the district will soon begin to accept bids to replace the turf on the football field. He stated that they are hoping to get the highest quality with the best bang for their buck.
Guess stated that the district has plans to add eight class rooms to East End Middle School. The new rooms will be added to the west side of the building. The state will pay for the bulk of this project. Estimated completion of this project is 2023.
Additionally, the Winston Clinic, which currently operates the School Based Health Center, was recently bought out by Mainline Health Services. Mainline will continue to operate the center under Winston’s contract.
Guess also stated that the district has reserved the UALR Jack Stephens Center for graduation on May 27, 2022. At this time there will be no limits on seating or number of guests.
In other news, the district approved a calendar for the 2022-2023 school year. The personnel committee has drafted up two proposals and sent to district staff for input. Over 75% chose Option A, which will allow a full week off for Thanksgiving. Despite rumors to the contrary, a four-day school week was not considered by the Sheridan School District.
School board Secretary Jeff Lisenbey stated that the Arkansas State School Board Association, along with several other State boards, broke away from National School Board Association after recent controversy. Those states will form a new organization, according to Lisenbey.
The board also voted to raise the pay rate for substitute teachers. Previously, substitutes in the district were making a flat rate of $80 per day. The board voted to increase this to $90 per day, while substitutes with a bachelor’s degree will get $100 per day.