Pine Bluff School Board honors district teachers

The Pine Bluff School District Board of Directors joined with district superintendent Linda Watson on Tuesday night to honor the instructors chosen by their peers as teachers of the year.

Board president Piccola Washington announced the names of the winner from each school in the district as well as Jenny Tucker, a teacher at Thirty-Fourth Elementary School who was selected as the district teacher of the year.

Watson presented the winners at the school level with checks for $100 each while the district winner received a check for $1,0000 and the first runner-up received a check for $250.

The winners included Pine Bluff High School building principal Carl Lott Jr., who is retiring this year after 37 years with the district; Southeast Middle School teacher LaTonya Rawls; Jack Robey Junior High teacher Billie Dorn; Tucker; Southwood Elementary teacher Nicole Anderson; Broadmoor Elementary teacher Elizabeth Taylor; W.T. Cheney teacher Susan Townsend; Oak Park Elementary teacher Marwa Crater; Belair Middle School teacher Tammy Russell; and Forrest Park pre-school teacher LaJoyce Banks.

Salary Inequities

In other business the board approved a recommendation to give Watson the authority to resolve existing salary inequities for certified and classified staff.

“The current salary scale has so many inequities,” Watson said. “I want to have the authority to resolve the salary inequity in the current salary scale before moving to another salary schedule. We have had grievances filed and lawsuits filed because of these inequities.

“Over the past two to three years several grievances have been filed with the district regarding the salary inequities because employees are doing similar jobs but paid at different rates,” Watson said. “Some of the individuals may have more experience but are still being paid at lower rates or with smaller stipends.”

Bid approval

The board approved a bid submitted by Contract Paper Group for 840 cases of copy paper at a price of $19,816; and bids for various custodial supplies from five vendors at a total price of $102,410.


The board approved a recommendation from Watson to restructure Greenville Elementary School into a pre-K center for the 2013-2014 school year.

“We will move the pre-K program from Forrest Park to Greenville,” Watson said. “We will also look at possibly adding the HIPPY program or a 3-year old program as well.”


The board approved the resignations of classified personnel Glenda Bradley as a bus attendant effective April 25; and Marynell Cardin as an APSCN Elementary registrar effective May 17.

The board approved the resignations of certified personnel Laura DeJarnette as a first-grade teacher at Oak Park Elementary effective May 31; Monica England as an AP world history/history teacher at Pine Bluff High School effective May 31; Annette Esquibel as an English teacher at PBHS effective May 31; Tiffany Gathen as an English teacher at PBHS effective May 31; Harold Gordon as an art teacher at Southwood Elementary effective May 31; Betty Gray as an English teacher at First Ward Learning Center effective May 31; Melissa Hammond as a PE teacher/coach at Belair Middle School effective May 31; Rachel Maslakov as a kindergarten teacher at Oak Park Elementary effective May 31; Kaitlin Parker as a sixth- and seventh-grade English teacher at Southeast Middle School effective June 1; LaShundra Parks as a kindergarten teacher at Oak Park Elementary effective May 31; and Beverly Ruthven as Assistant Superintendent of Learning Services effective June 30.

The board approved the retirements of classified personnel Charlie Jackson as a dispatcher/driver effective April 26; Harlan D. Jackson as maintenance supervisor effective June 30; and Lillie Mae Scarver as a food service assistant effective May 31.

The board approved the retirement of Sharon Blankenship as a guidance counselor at W. T. Cheney Elementary effective May 31.