FAIRLAND – Fairland Ag instructor Cody Jenkins has sent in his letter of resignation to the Fairland School Board.

His resignation was discussed and approved by the board during its monthly meeting on Nov. 14.

Jenkins has accepted a teaching position in Arkansas and will officially resign at the end of the semester. He graduated from the University of Arkansas and replaced former Fairland Ag Instructor, Mark Stunkard. Jenkins has been teaching agriculture for Fairland Public Schools for approximately two years.

Superintendent Mark Alexander said the board is currently searching for new candidates and will have a new instructor by the second semester.

“He is going to be closer to family, and not to mention that Arkansas is a state with a higher pay scale than Oklahoma,” Alexander said. “We have some good candidates for the position that we are talking to.”

Kathy Brock, Fairland 4-H Club Leader, said Jenkins was wonderful to work with and introduced new things to her 4-H students.

“Cody followed an amazing Ag teacher, but he brought his own way of doing things and a great personality to the job,” Brock said. “He was wonderful with my 4-H kids, their animals and also exposed them to shooting sports.”

In superintendent reports, Alexander stated that the damages from the September lightning storm have been assessed and claimed on the district's insurance. He said the district received $4,600 from its insurance claim of over $9,000 worth of damages from the storm, which damaged the school’s cameras, intercom system and one projector.

Next, Alexander mentioned he had attended a meeting for the Organization of Rural Oklahoma Schools and did not receive positive news regarding the state cuts to education.

He brought up State Question 779, which was designed to increase the state sales tax by 1 percent to generate revenue for education funding but was struck down by voters.

“(There is) no good news on the budget situation,” Alexander said. “Collections are still coming below projections and have since July. Everyone is saying to expect revenue failures beginning in February. Obviously, the sales tax issue (on the ballot) did not pass, and (we are) looking to the legislature to find a way to fund teacher pay raises.”

In other news, the Fairland Public School Enrichment Foundation recently awarded 16 teachers more than $7,000 in grants. Participating teachers filled out an application to the foundation explaining what items they needed most to help impact their students.

The Fairland Public School Enrichment Foundation is a broadly based, non-profit community organization whose purpose is exclusively education.

"We gave out approximately $7,800 in grants this year,” said Serena Wilson, president of the Fairland Public Schools Enrichment Foundation. “The money was raised at our fundraiser, ‘Denim & Diamonds,’ which will be held next year on April 8 at the Coleman Theatre. A lot of these grants were to replace reading books and old materials. We try to help any way we can.”

Awarded teachers include Jana Bartley, Tammy Powell, Nancy Goforth, Misty Moncada, Alisha Brodrick, Jennifer Johnson, Jackie Brown, Andrea Heilig, Donna Ridgley, Shandy Bowers, Carla Shaw, Mary Caudill, Josh Schertz, Jana Jenkins, Kathy Brock and Chali Looper.

Lastly, Alexander reported the district’s average enrollment number of 627 students during the first quarter this year, with an average daily attendance (ADA) of 601 students. Last year’s enrollment numbers were 637 and an ADA of 612 students.

The board also approved the financial audit of the Fairland School District for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016.

The board also approved a $200 stipend for support personnel to be paid at the December pay period. The board also approved paying Brett Weaver $1,000 as lay coach for the 2016-2017 school year.

In sports news, the board approved Fairland City League basketball being allowed to use school facilities for games and practices. Members also approved entering into a contract with Midwest Sports for athletic uniforms and equipment.

In other news, the board:

• approved authorizing Mark Alexander to sign on the vehicle lease/purchase with Grand Savings Bank.

• approved a revised school calendar for the 2016-2017 school year.

• approved a concussion and head injuries policy.