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Moss Named to Hope School Board

HOPE – A retired Hope Public Schools educator was appointed to the Hope Public Schools Board here Monday night by a unanimous vote.

Former Yerger Middle School Librarian Margaret Moss was appointed to the Zone 3 position in place of retired HPS Board President Willie Buck Jr. Buck had served for some 10 years, and chose not to seek re-election in the March 3 school elections.

Moss is a member of the Yerger High School Alumni Association and the Yerger Reunion Committee, and she has also served on the board of the Southwest Arkansas Arts Council.

Her term of appointment is until the next regular election in May, 2021. Moss was appointed to the board from applications taken from qualified residents of Zone 3.

Also, Monday the board re-organized itself on the heels of the election, with Zone 5 Representative Linda Haynes unanimously elected as board president; Zone 2 Representative David “Bubba” Powers as vice president; Zone 6 Representative Kathryn Dickinson as secretary; and Zone 1 Representative Viney Johnson as financial designee.

Johnson returned to board service after winning re-election March 3.

The board also learned Monday that, despite recent volatility in the stock market and bond market, the HPS likely has an opportunity to effect some savings through a refinancing of its existing 2015 bonds.

Jason Holsclaw, bond representative from Stephens, Inc., in Little Rock was cautiously optimistic.

“If rates were to hold going forward, as of last week, we projected you could save $530,000 just by lowering your interest rate by one percentage point,” Holsclaw said. “There is so much volatility in the bond market now, however, that investors are sitting on the sidelines.”

Still, Holsclaw said the district might save as much as $300,000 in a poor bond market. He said most of the savings would likely be realized in the early years of the refinanced bond issue.

However, the savings will not be realized in any case until the new bond issue is sold, if the board decides to wait until later in the year.

Holsclaw recommended the board commit only to filing an application with the Arkansas Department of Education giving notice of its intent to refinance the 2015 bond issue at some point this year. The board voted unanimously to issue a resolution giving notice.

In other matters Monday, the board:

–Adopted a “memorandum of understanding” to contract with the Arch Ford Cooperative for the operation of the Creative Action Team School campus as a “hub” model alternative learning program.

–Initiated a first reading of Arkansas School Board Association model policies.

–Adopted extended school year days for special services students.

–Rejected a request for use of Hammons Stadium at Hope High School for semi-professional football.

–Adopted a personnel recommendation by Superintendent Dr. Bobby Hart.

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