White Hall hires teachers; finishes year in good financial standing


The White Hall School Board hired 10 employees and accepted the resignations of two employees by a unanimous vote on Tuesday night.

The new employees will begin work pending the successful result of a criminal records check, child maltreatment central registry check, presentations of a valid Arkansas teaching license, transcripts and work experience. The new employees include Karen Haney as a library media director, Crystal Capps as a teacher, Francis Frazier as a teacher, Cindy Roberts as a music teacher, Dawn Sullivan as a teacher, Judy Law as a bus driver, Richard Saucier as a bus driver in the afternoon, Veronica James as a secretary and cafeteria aide, Amy Durmon as a physical education/lunch aide and Terry Cross as a special education aide.

The retiring employees are Pam Smith as a fourth-grade teacher and Charles Lowery as a maintenance employee.

Superintendent Larry Smith said the district employs about 370 people.

“We are fully staffed except for one maintenance position,” Smith said.

In other business, the district will begin recording the hours of its employees to comply with the Affordable Care Act, Smith said. The fine for failure to offer insurance for an employee is about $540,000 for a district of 300 employees, he said.

In practical terms, the act mandates that the district offer health insurance to employees who work at least 30 hours per week, Smith said.

“Our district is looking at paying an additional $35,000 for teachers’ insurance,” Smith said, referencing the Arkansas Legislature’s special session. “… Someone is going to have to enter a whole lot of data. … I do not see how we can track the employees’ hours without hiring at least one person.

“We cannot withstand a $600,000 fine; that would break us,” Smith said. “Beware: it is coming like a freight train.”

In financial business, White Hall is finishing the fiscal year ending June 30 within its budget. Assistant Superintendent Heath Bennett presented a written financial report showing actual revenue totaling $26,215,166.54 and expenditures totaling $26,188,350.19.

The revenue figure does not yet include a projected $179,000 in federal money and $69,000 in Arkansas food service money, Smith said. Any leftover money will be transferred back into the new fiscal year’s budget, he said.

In business related to contracts for services, the board approved Highland Dairy of Little Rock for the milk contract, Hamilton Bread for the bread contract, Curry’s Termite and Pest Control of Pine Bluff for extermination and Natural Fence Co. to install 239 feet of fencing at White Hall High School between the cafeteria plaza and the softball field.