Retiring principal honored

Published 8:43 am Monday, May 11, 2015

Veteran educator Pauline Bankston was recognized during Thursday’s Washington Parish School Board meeting.

Bankston received an Above and Beyond Recognition plaque for her willingness to return to education after retiring last May after 12 years as Franklinton Junior High principal. She returned to work as principal at Mount Hermon High School. She has 42 years overall in education.

District 1 Board member Dan Slocum, whose district includes Mount Hermon, presented the plaque to Bankston.

“We’ve had a lot of good principals at Mount Hermon. This lady came in at Mount Hermon at a turbulent time. She was our rescuer,” Slocum said. “She’s the best as I’ve ever seen. Ms. Bankston, you’re No. 1 at Mount Hermon High School. In my 18 years on the board I have not received one complaint about you. I have received a lot of compliments about you in helping us get back on track. She will always be loved and respected at Mount Hermon.”

Bankston said she was grateful for the recognition.

“It’s been fun. The kids were good and the faculty was great,” Bankston said. “I’ve enjoyed it. Education is my passion.”

Jeremy Gueldner was appointed new principal at Mount Hermon. For the last 12 years, Gueldner was at Franklinton High School, including the last six years as assistant principal. He starts his new position on June 1.

“I’m excited. It was a tough decision to leave Franklinton High School,” Gueldner said.

In other business matters, the Board authorized withdrawal privileges for Gueldner on all Mount Hermon School bank accounts and ended Bankston’s withdrawal privileges effective June 1.

The Board approved bids for the purchase of bakery products for the 2015-16 School Lunch Program. Board members went with Flowers Baking Co. of McComb, Miss. Bids included $1.84 for a 20-ounce whole wheat loaf of bread, $1.93 for an 8-pack of hot dogs, 8-count hamburger buns at $1.93, and $3.92 for 30-count hamburgers.

Brown’s Velvet Dairy won the bid to supply milk products for the 2015-16 School Lunch Program. Prices included $2 for half-gallon buttermilk, and $7.25 for a 5-pound carton of sour cream. Bids of 32.5 cents were approved for a half-pint bottle of skim milk, fat-free chocolate and fat-free strawberry.

Board members approved a $362,525 allocation to district schools for the 2015-16 school year. Each school receives a part of the allocation based on student population.

The Board authorized advertisement on Aug. 19 for a public hearing on district budgets. The hearing will be on Sept. 10 at 6 p.m.

District schools’ millage rates for 2015-16 were approved. Mount Hermon School’s was set at 11 mills, while Varnado was set at 8 mills. Franklinton, Enon, Pine and Thomas were set at 16 mills.

The Board approved a quote of $52,237 for the Excess Workers’ Compensation premium. The quote was from New York Marine and starts July 1 for one year. Safety National bid $59,210.

Also, the Board authorized advertising for bids for school supplies for the coming school year.

The body also authorized advertising for bids for the purchase of a modular building for Franklinton High School JROTC. Superintendent Darrell Fairburn said the building will be a classroom for JROTC.

Board members approved a quote of $46,000 from Jones Plumbing of Franklinton for bathroom renovations. Jones Plumbing was the lowest bidder.

Board members approved a list of disciplinary hearing officers in accordance to new state statutes. The law concerns the Teacher Tenure Disciplinary Statute when they are terminated.

Fairburn read a list of 19 Young Author winners. They included Franklinton Primary’s Jordan Zachary, Griffin McCormick, Elektris Solis, Raquan Magee, and Bryce Eyer, Thomas Elementary’s Alexus Hickman, John Robert Durham and Jake Brooks. Franklinton Elementary’s Darrin Holmes, Shance King and Jakayla Dillon, Mount Hermon School’s Ansley Knight, Varnado High School’s James Molton Franklinton High School’s Anna Papiska, Kaitlyn Seal, Lauren Welch and Crockett McElveen and Pine School’s Hope Magee and Chance Knight.