The Ardmore Board of Education made moves Thursday to get the school district one step closer to being ready for the coming school year by hiring 13 people, including two administrators.
Since March, the school board has witness 41 staff resignations that were received and approved by Superintendent Sonny Bates. Of those 41 resignations, five were noted on Thursday’s agenda.
Board members Linda Schroder, Lori Capshaw and vice president Lucinda Hull voted to approve the hiring of Chris Dvorak as assistant principal at the middle school and Johncy Martin as principal at Will Rogers Elementary School. Board President Willie Tiller and Scott Carpenter were absent from the meeting.
Other approved hires included Elaine Bennett, second grade teacher at Charles Evans Elementary School; Regina Benson, teacher at Second Chance Academy; Geno Castagnoli, science teacher at the high school; Jennifer Hopkins-Hewitt, math teacher at the high school; Patricia Lawley, special education teacher at Charles Evans; Eddie Middleton, social studies teacher at the high school; Tonya Smitey, first grade teacher at Charles Evans; Jessica Soso, math teacher; Mark Wilson, part-time coach at AHS; Donnie Means, a custodian for Jefferson, and Natalie Fisher-Stainkamp, teacher assistant at the middle school.
The two administrators hired by the board both step into their new roles with much knowledge of Ardmore City Schools.
Dvorak is a graduate of the Ardmore High School class of 1995 and comes to the district from Lone Grove Public Schools, where he was a middle school math teacher.
“I am excited to be back at my alma mater,” Dvorak said following the meeting. “This is my first chance in administration and I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity.”
Martin, who earned his 10-year-service award from the district in April, comes to Will Rogers Elementary School from the district’s Second Chance Academy. At the academy, he served as the assistant director and math teacher for middle school and high school students. During his decade with the district, Martin has also taught at the high school and served as a principal for the secondary grades during summer school.
Both principal roles became vacant following the resignations of Jeremy Atwood, former assistant principal at the middle school, and Amy Benson, principal at Will Rogers.
With the hire of Dvorak and Martin, along with the June hire of Jake Falvey as principal of the high school and the hire of Lacy Mitchell as assistant principal of Charles Evans Elementary School at the July 15 board meeting, the district has administrators in place at all sites.
At the meeting, board members tabled a call for hiring a special education teacher. That’s not the only position that remains opens. The district has made no hire on the vacant band director position, which became available following Chauvin Aaron’s acceptance of a music teaching position in Texas.
Resignations announced at the meeting include a counselor position at the high school, cook at Charles Evans, an English teacher at the high school, second grade teacher at Charles Evans and secretary position at the high school.
Since the March board meeting, the board has approved the hire of 35 people for various positions within the school district. The first day of academic classes is Aug. 20.