DIERKS – A veteran police officer has been hired by the Dierks School District as its school resource officer.
Benny Simmons, a current part-time officer with the Dierks Police Department, was unanimously hired by the Dierks School Board on Monday, Aug. 20. Pending approval from the Dierks City Council, Simmons will have a contracted services agreement as the SRO for the 2018-2019 school year.
Simmons began his law enforcement career as a Sevier County reserve deputy in 1991. “I got bit by the bug,” Simmons said in reference to his law enforcement career. “I like helping others.”
Simmons said that he is excited to begin this new phase in his career. He added that he wants his job at the school district to serve as a deterrent for crime and to build positive relationships with students and the community.
He was first elected as the sheriff of Sevier County in 2013 and served two terms. Simmons, a Newhope native, graduated from Langley High School in 1965 and moved to Sevier County in 1976.
Simmons is the father of two children; Scott Simmons (De Queen Police Chief), and Shelly Carver.
His was married to Melanie Shock for 48 years until her death. He is now married to the former Rita Crow.
In other business, the Dierks School Board approved:
The financial reports;
Math curriculum for seventh and eighth grade;
The 2016-2017 legislative audit report;
The legal transfer of the following students: Jessica Conatser, Alyssa Myers, Dylan Myers, and Zoey Taylor from the De Queen School District.
After a 36-minute executive session to discuss personnel, the board unanimously accepted the substitute applications of Laurie Coleman, Dedi Golden, Jessica Key, Suzanne Kight, Phyllis Minchew, and Samantha Sands.
The board also voted unanimously to hire Veronica Milton on contract for filing Medicaid.
Board members were told that more than 180 were in attendance at the elementary school’s open house. The picture day for the elementary school is today, Wednesday, Aug. 29..
The high school’s literacy department is currently working on an Outlaw Reader Leader incentive to engage students in writing and reading.