School board reorganizes; Bell new president

By Joel Phelps
The Arkadelphian

A school board meeting Tuesday marked the first for two new faces as the Arkadelphia Board of Education convened to re-organize its leadership.

Three in-house positions were up for nomination for the 2022-2023 school year: president, vice-president and secretary. The new school board officers for the upcoming school year are Blake Bell as president, Gina White as vice-president, and Ida Tramble as secretary.

Blake Bell was selected Tuesday as president of the Arkadelphia Board of Education. | The Arkadelphian/Joel Phelps

The nominations will be confirmed at the next school board meeting.

Former president Casey Motl was ousted in a razor-thin runoff election secured by his challenger, Matt Johnson. Bell, who had been vice-president, nominated Gina White as president because of her seniority on the board, but the nomination was withdrawn when White declined the position, citing a heavy workload. Tramble kept her position as secretary.

Matt Johnson asks a question at Tuesday’s school board meeting. Johnson is the newest member on the board after defeating incumbent Casey Motl in a runoff election by five votes. | The Arkadelphian/Joel Phelps

In other business the school board authorized business manager Tammy Barger to make changes to district bank cards in order to issue the superintendent and other new administrators new cards. Bell, White and Superintendent Nikki Thomas were also approved as officers authorized to sign district checks.

Following an executive session that lasted 50 minutes, the board reconvened in public to approve the following personnel recommendations:

Leon Ellis, teacher/coach at Goza

Deana Miller, 3rd grade teacher, Peake
Aubrey Morris, 4th grade teacher, Peake

Leah Clark, from 4th grade teacher at Peake to instructional facilitator at Peake

The next school board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 19, at 6 p.m.

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