Two long time Salem School teachers announced their intention to retire at the March 24 Salem School Board Meeting.
Salem School Superintendent Ken Rich read aloud two prepared letters of resignation from teacher Jim Bicker and Larry Langston.
"I would like to take this opportunity to announce my retirement from the teaching profession at the end of the current school year. I have genuinely enjoyed the experience that has been provided by the school board these many years and sincerely thank everyone," Bicker's letter said.
Rich addressed the board and spoke highly of Bicker's 23 years of service to the school.
"Mr. Bicker has done an outstanding job in our social studies program for a number of years. He has done a great job and we will certainly miss him in that role," Rich said.
Along with Bicker, Langston also submitted a letter.
"I would sincerely like to thank the Salem School District for allowing me to teach vocational agriculture for the last 34 years," Langston said.
Rich also had kind words for Langston who has been with the district for over three decades.
"I can't say enough about Mr. Langston. He has done an outstanding job for our school district as a vocational agriculture teacher, both in the classroom and in the contests. I would say that he is one of the most respected agriculture teachers in the state of Arkansas," Rich said.
Bicker and Langston will both be with the district until the end of the school year.
In other business, the school board approved a bid for an 84 passenger rear engine bus. The bus will be purchased for $88,475 and will be delivered in the fall from Diamond State International of Arkansas. The only other bid was from Central State International for $95,210.
The board unanimously agreed to approve the contracts of the district's current certified faculty for the 2008-09 school year.
Salem High School Principal Wayne Guiltner presented the board with a list of awards and events that students have qualified to compete in recently.
"Future Business Leaders of America members were scheduled to compete in the district competition in February at Harrison, but due to a snow cancellation, they were allowed to take the test on our campus," Guiltner said.
The following students will be competing at the state competition in Little Rock on March 28: Courtney Falco, 6th place, business math; Shelby York, 3rd place, impromptu speaking, Carson York, 5th place, computer concepts, Sarah Cochran, 3rd place, public speaking-II, Keith Smith and Clay Rucker will be competing in business ethics.
At the ASU Beebe practice FFA CDEs (Career Development Events), on Feb. 27, seven of nine teams placed in the top 10.
Farm Business management placed fourth. Team members are Roy Massey seventh individual, Maegan Wright, Hunter Hardin and Kayla Wood.
Electricity team of Matt Cochran, Evan Palumbo, Jon Goodson and Dillon Raines placed seventh.
Livestock team of Jesse Turner, Jeremy Lance, Shane McNeace and Dustin Ray placed eighth.
Floriculture team of Taylor Millsap, Chelsea Bassham and Jarmey Sallee, placed ninth.
Poultry team of Nick Turnbough, Clint Ray, Cory Tyler and Autumn Coffman placed 10th.
Dairy cattle team of Austin Williams, Layke Ellison, Jesse Romine and Jesse Ables placed 10th.
At the District FFA CDEs at ASU on March 12 eight of the 11 teams placed in the top 10 percent and will advance to state in April and May.
The Farm Business Management team placed second. Team members are Roy Massey-fourth out of 58 contestants, Meagan Wright 11th, Hunter Hardin and Kayla Wood.
The Ag. Mechanics team placed third. The team includes Gray Windham who was second out of 124 contestants, Casey Anderson, Bobby Davis and Matt Twilley.
The Electricity team placed third. Evan Palumbo-first out of 96 contestants, Matt Cochran-8th, Jon Goodson 16th and Dillon Raines-22nd.
The Forestry team placed fifth. Blake Hurst-12th out of 99 contestants, Vaughn Richard-13th, Forest Rose 20th, and J.W. Blevins.
The Livestock team placed fifth. Carson York-seventh out of 180 students, Amber Taylor 22nd, Sarah Cochran and Laci Long.
The Agronomy team placed sixth. Jesse Turner-12th out of 78 contestants, Jeremy Lance- 16th, Shane McNeace-22nd and Dustin Ray.
The Poultry team placed eighth. Nick Turnbough-16th out of 127 contestants, Clint Ray, Cory Tyler and Autumn Coffman.
The Dairy Foods team placed ninth. Team members are Jonathan Vick, Isaiah Townsend, William Langle and Ronnie Scott.
In the Floriculture CDE, Chelsea Bassham was 13th out of 97 contestants.
In the Land CDE, Cory Barnett was 21st out of 111 contestants.
On Feb. 28 students took the ACT exam. Twenty-one scored 19 or above and six scored 24 or above. The average composite score was 20.93 which is above the state average, according to Guiltner.
The Salem School Color Guard was commended by Guilter for their excellence in a competition.
"Mrs. Himschoot took the Color Guard to their first competition on Feb 16. The competition was in Nixa, Mo. The Color Guard set high expectations for the future with a second place finish," Guiltner said.
Color Guard members are Shelby York, Stephanie McCullough, Stephanie Williams, Amber Vanbueler, Amber Cassidy, Ashley Cassidy, Amber Passmore, Brittany Richard and Brianne Johnson.
Guiltner also congratulated the Salem Senior Concert Band for their performance at the Region 8 Concert Assessment Festival. The festival was held March 14 at Jonesboro High School.
The band performed the third most difficult program and received First Division (Superior) ratings from all judges on their prepared program.
The band also received a First Division rating on their sight-reading performance. The band will perform next at the Missouri State University Pride Classic at the Juanita K. Hammons Center for the Performing Arts in Springfield, Mo., on Tuesday, April 29.
The board then approved the transfer of new students to the Salem School District.