The late Maxine Nelson, who served on the Watson Chapel School Board for nearly 25 years before her Nov. 21 death at the age of 70, was remembered and praised at the panel’s regular monthly meeting on Monday night.
A vase containing a flower was placed on the podium in front of Nelson’s empty chair.
Director Danny Holcomb utilized a board comment period to express his sorrow with Nelson’s death and his appreciation for her.
He said Nelson was a steady, positive influence on the district and was “always about what was right and wrong.”
Other officials also noted Nelson’s absence and recognized her service to the district.
Meanwhile, Superintendent Danny Hazelwood advised that former Director J.J. Jones was selected by the board to fill Nelson’s unexpired term. Jones served on the panel for several years in the 1990s.
Hazelwood also introduced Shade Culclager Jr., appointed by the Jefferson County Quorum Court earlier Monday night to fill the seat of former Director Keith Waddle, who resigned last month.
During the meeting’s business session, Hazelwood presented the district’s facility improvement plans. The only enhancements currently budgeted are construction of a new Edgewood Elementary School and addition of a new heating and cooling system at Coleman Intermediate School. Hazelwood said possible future improvements include more air conditioning at several locations and an expansion of Watson Chapel High School’s Media Center.
Board President Donnie Hartsfield announced that the district’s Christmas lunch for parents will be served Friday. Hartsfield said, too, that three directors would be attending the Arkansas School Board Association’s state conference Wednesday through Friday in Little Rock.
Hazelwood told the board he had accepted the recent resignation of Special Education Aide Deborah Johnson.
Hazelwood also recognized the West Side Loop Neighborhood Watch Group for its support of the district. He said the organization has adopted Coleman Intermediate and has engaged in several projects that have made the Coleman area safer and more attractive.
The superintendent also praised the group for a coat drive that will benefit a number of students.
The group presented certificates of appreciation to board member Sandra Boone and her husband, Walter Boone, for having attended its meetings. The group also thanked the district for allowing the neighborhood watch organization to use school facilities for meetings.