New administrators to district honored at reception Monday

Benton School District officials welcomed three new administrators to the district on Monday night.

Honored at a reception preceding a school board meeting were Randy McFarlin, Michael Armstrong and Mark McDougal.

McFarlin is the district's new athletic director, succeeding Steve Quinn, who recently resigned from to become principal of Benton Middle School in the coming school term.

Michael Armstrong is the district's new chief financial officer, succeeding Tammy Barger, interim financial officer. Barger stepped into the CFO role after Robyn Keene, who had held the position for some time, left for a post with the state Department of Education.

Mark McDougal is assistant superintendent for Career and Technical Education, a newly created position in the district.

McDougal comes to the district from the Bryant School District, where he served as technology administrator.

McFarlin comes to the district from Tyler, Texas, with an extensive coaching background, including 15 years as a football head coach and athletic director.

Armstrong has 13 years' experience in a variety of business, financial and management situations. He comes to the Benton district from the White County Central School District in Judsonia, where he managed financial and accounting functions for the district.

The three new administrators also were recognized during the board meeting.

As part of the action during that session, the board approved the district's proposed budget of expenditures for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2015.

The projected budget lists $19,373,230 in salary fund expenditures; $7,189,808 for instructional expense; $4,163,520 for maintenance and operation expense; $1,259.701 for pupil transportation expense; $4,063,620 for other operating expense; $5,036,143 in bonded debt payment; and $1 million in building fund expense.

The projected expenditures budget is a requirement of the state Department of Education and is subject to change.

In other matters, the board approved the administration's recommendation to suspend a 15-year-old student in the Alternative Learning Center for the remainder of the year.

The student violated a drug policy of the district, according to Assistant Superintendent Mary Morgan.
Even though the suspension occurred toward the close of the school term, the student loses all credit for the semester, Morgan said.