Weiner H.S. supporters ready case ahead of state board meeting M - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Weiner H.S. supporters ready case ahead of state board meeting Monday

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WEINER, AR (KAIT) – The Weiner Lady Cardinals basketball team plays for the state championship Saturday but may not have a school after Monday.

The Arkansas Board of Education will consider a petition Monday morning from the Harrisburg School District to close the Weiner High School campus.

Before making their decision, board members will hear not only from Harrisburg school officials but also from supporters of Weiner High School.

Both sides are preparing their remarks for the hearing, where Harrisburg school administrators will claim that closing the high school will make their district operate more efficiently.

Michelle Cadle and Greta Greeno, two of Weiner High School's most ardent supporters, will argue otherwise.

"We are prepared for whatever outcome," Cadle said, "but this won't be the end of it."

"We hope that there is at least five board members on the state board of education that will vote to allow Weiner to remain doing what we do best," Greeno added, "which is educating our students and giving them opportunities to go out and be successful citizens."

The Harrisburg school board recently voted to close Weiner High School and move the seventh through twelfth grade students to its campuses. School officials have said that would ultimately save money and provide students with more academic opportunities, which Cadle plans to refute.

"We're ready to state our case, and we're ready to show them the facts," she said. "Numbers don't lie."

Cadle plans to highlight several areas that she says prove how successful the school has been in recent years. Those include higher than average test scores and graduation rates as well as more offerings in advanced courses and gifted-and-talented programs that she says the Harrisburg School District does not have.

"We have 100 percent that are career ready whether that is to enroll into the military or that they are college-bound," Cadle said about the most recent class of Weiner graduates. "Most schools can't say, but we can."

Cadle and Greeno will have 15 minutes Monday to make these points to the board and hope that it's enough to stop the high school from closing.

"Our school is the heart of the town," Cadle said. "When you close the school, your town dies, and this is too good of a town for that to happen to. That's why we refuse to stop."

Danny Sample, the Harrisburg superintendent, was unavailable for comment Tuesday but did say over the phone that he is unsure what the board will decide. That's why he too is preparing his testimony ahead of the meeting.

Region 8 News will continue to track this story and provide the latest updates as soon as they become available.

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