During the summer the Booneville School Board approved the purchase of a state-of-the-art surveillance system.

Even before the installation had been completed the system had already paid dividends, junior high school principal Josh Walker told the board during its monthly meeting last week.

“There have been numerous times the cameras have been beneficial,” Walker said. “There were several cars broken into Homecoming night and (student resource) officer (Norman) Wilder was able to make an arrest that night.

“There have also been two bullying issues I’ve been able to solve. Before I would had to have taken kids’ words for what had happened.”

Barrette Smithson echoed the sentiment about the system.

In addition to recording to a dedicated server, the $180,000 system, which features 150 cameras across the district, is available for Wilder and other authorized personnel to access feeds via electronic devices including computers, smart phones and tablets through a log-in system.

In other matters last Tuesday the board elected officers for the year and approved a bonus for all school employees.

The bonus was for $350 per employee — Superintendent of Schools John Parrish first suggested a $250 bonus — is about a $77,000 expenditure.

During the financial report earlier in the meeting, Parrish said the district is about $700,000 better off than it was a year ago.

Parrish asked if the board felt a bonus should be across the board or differentiated from by employment level.

Board member Andy Napier said he felt since the school is considered a family it should be uniform. Board member Todd Tatum agreed and the pair moved and seconded a motion to approve the bonuses.

Officers for the current election cycle, which could be shortened since the board moved school elections to the May primary dates, are the same as they were for this cycle with Janie Woolley as president, Eric Jones as vice president and Napier as secretary. Tatum was reappointed as the board’s legislative liaison as well.