Cook steps down from Armorel School Board

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Monday evening the Armorel School Board accepted the resignation of board member/Mississippi County Sheriff Dale Cook and appointed new board officers. It was also announced that the gym lobby renovation will be completed within the next two weeks.

Cook said that it was time to step down and that the district is in good hands. Some reasons for stepping down at this time include a new state law that forbids a candidate from being on the same ballot for more than one elected position in the same election cycle (especially in light of the fact that 2018 is an election year for the position of sheriff) and his strong desire to spend more time with his family.

“I was coming up on three years of being on the board…Not to mention, I want to spend time with my family while I have them… we got over the hump with some of the major key decisions and the ball dropped and straightened out for the next five years: the building projects going on and finishing up in the gym, the superintendent decision and so forth. But the school board there is highly competent. It’s there and the next major task in front of them will be upgrading and replacing one of the elementary buildings in the next three to five years. So, I feel like it is in good hands and they got two new school board members and two of the others came on about the time that I did so it’s a fairly young school board,” Cook said. “The superintendent again, we had a great one that left (Sally Bennett), and a great one coming in (Barbaree) and I fell confident of this school to prosper and grow in the future. It’s just time has come for me to move on and just due to the other responsibilities and things I didn’t think I could devote as much time out there as I needed too…but I think good things are in store for them out there and for them to grow.”

Upon the board accepting Cook’s resignation, his position was declared vacant and Board member Jeff Hollingsead made the motion to appoint Eldon Carter to the position. The motion was seconded by board member Jeff Hopper and the board voted unanimously to appoint Carter.

Speaking of Cook, Armorel School Superintendent Jennifer Barbaree said, “Well, I was very fortunate enough to work with him for just a couple of months…but he has been very supportive and I know he is really supportive of our students and the school… The board appointed Mr. Eldon Carter. He has three daughters, two that has graduated from Armorel and one that is a current student at Armorel. So they have been in the district for 22 years. Very supportive, I was able to speak with him after the board meeting and just congratulated him on his appointment.”

After former Board President Susan Hughes resigned from the board, the board appointed new officers, including Scott Jowers (Board President and Board Disbursing Officer), Jeff Hollingsead (Vice President), Angela Finley (Secretary) and Jeff Hopper (Legislative Liaison/ ASBA Voting Delegate).

Keith Chunn, of Tate Construction, told the board that the final detail clean up for the gym lobby should be completed by the end of next week.

Friday, Barbaree said the gym will hopefully be done by October 26, but some minor things will still be worked out in the upcoming weeks.

“Our first home game is October 26, and I look to be absolutely ready to be able to enter in through the lobby and have our ticket booth right there,” says Barbaree. “It’s going to be gorgeous and we are excited about that. The two pieces that will not be completely finished are the concrete benches, which we ordered for the outside. Then trophy cases that will go in the new gym, they have not been ordered yet.”

Barbaree said the trophy cases will hose trophies from all sports, perhaps by decades and she would like to put the pictures of the state championship teams from baseball (2006, 2011, 2015 and 2016) and softball (2010). The board also approved the purchase for a new bus for $95,910.00 and the Act 1120 Resolution and the Minority Teacher and Administrative Recruitment plan, as well as the Statement of Assurances for Cycle Two and Driver’s Education.