The Hope Public School Board named long time local educator Michael Spraggins as principal at Hope High School here Monday night.

The Hope Public School Board named long time local educator Michael Spraggins as principal at Hope High School here Monday night.

Spraggins, who currently serves as a vice principal at HHS, begins his new duties effective July 1.

Spraggins began his career in the Hope School District as a music and band teacher at Yerger Middle School. He went on from there to become the assistant principal at Hope High School. He is an officer in the Arkansas Army National Guard and has been deployed to Iraq while employed by the school district. He and his wife have two children.

Harry Smith, of Strategeos, International, spoke to the board about what the company does and what the company would do for the Hope School District.

“We began the company as a law enforcement and military tactical training company,” Smith said. “We teach security teams in churches and active shooter scenarios in school systems.

“The company has worked for such districts as Texarkana, Ark., Prescott, and Lake Hamilton,” he said.

Mark Warren, co-owner of the company and former police officer, also stressed the importance of planning before a tragedy happens.

“We don't talk about gun or no gun,” he said. “This program is unique because we focus on the time between lockdown failure and arrival of authorities. What will the school staff do? There is never a plan for failure.

“We've trained 17,500 personnel in 15 states,” Warren said. “We teach a very basic approach, one we call the 'three out' approach. The three outs are lock out, get out, and take out.

“Fourteen children at Sandy Hook were killed in one classroom, because the substitute teacher did not have a key,” he said. “We teach barricades, secondary exit points and 'take out' methods, which include improvised weapons in the classroom. What staff do will have an impact on the outcome.

“There are four types of bullying that we recognize now,” Warren said. “High schools nowadays are not the same schools we went to.

“We also have an online training course that lasts four hours, which is part of the lectures and scenarios,” he said.

No decision was made on whether to engage the company for district training.

The board heard an update on the construction at Hope High School from Assistant Superintendent Steve Bradshaw.

“Foam insulation is being sprayed, the air conditioning folks are working on air conditioning lines and heaters, the fire alarm company is pulling wires, and the drywall folks are putting sheetrock up at the present time,” Bradshaw said. “The carpenters have finished risers in the choir room and tile has been installed in the men's restroom. They will finish the ladies' restroom in a short period of time.

“In one area, a wall has been determined to be crooked, and has to be redone,” he said. “The original installer refused to redo it, so the district is talking to a local person who will be hired to redo the wall.”

The board approved a change order for concrete and railing work. Dayco Construction bid the job at $7,368, but the board approved paying $3,007 for the railing and $1,800 for the concrete work from Torres Construction.

Eighth Judicial District-North Circuit Judge Randy Wright spoke about the state mock trial competition that the Hope High School participated in recently.

“This is sponsored by the Arkansas Bar Association,” Wright said. “The kids are given facts both on the prosecuting and defense sides. The scenario was that a kid was getting bullied in school and he retaliated, bringing him a charge of aggravated assault.

“The first round was in Jacksonville and it was the best performance I've seen since I've been doing it,” he said. “The students won the first two rounds which were played in Jonesboro.”

The students won eighth place out of 30 teams in the state.

“Little Rock Parkview Magnet School took first and second places,” Wright said.

“These kids were top notch and their integrity and character were beyond reproach,” he said. “We practiced two or three times a week beginning in November and the competition was in February.”

In other matters, an athletic trainer position was approved and the description of the position was discussed.

“The athletic trainer will teach classes and students would be able to take a course to be a helper,” Superintendent Bobby Hart said. “The trainer will work with male and female students and the trainer will be on a 280-day contract. I have applied for a grant to hire the new trainer.”

The board accepted the proposal and it was sent back to the Personnel Policy Committee.

Weight room bids were brought up, after being tabled in the February meeting.

“We received a bid for $62,500 from Pro Industries and the funds would come from bond refinancing,” Hart said.

The board rejected the bid.

District Policy Updates were also discussed. Most of them were necessary due to recently enacted state laws.

Telecommunications Director Jeff Madlock asked for and got board approval to apply for the 'e-rate' program through the federal government. The district's broadband capability would increase and the district's cost would be $36,000 out of a total of $286,000.

The board also approved a resolution exempting the district from School Choice.

Hart noted that six bids on custodial outsourcing had been received, but he recommended the district stay with using district personnel; and, instead, look at some cost-cutting measures.

Personnel matters closed out the meeting, including the acceptance of the resignations of EAST Facilitator Eddie Daniel, P. E. Instructor Johnny Turner at Beryl Henry Elementary, Math Teacher Terri Turner, at Beryl Henry, and long-time agriculture instructor Doss Walker.