A pair of teacher resignations were accepted by the Van-Far R-I School Board during their monthly meeting last week.
Gary Fowler, who has served in education for 37 years and has taught at Van-Far for 31 years, officially announced his retirement effective June 30.
“It has been an honor and pleasure to have served for so many years,” Fowler said in his resignation letter. “I will miss the students and my fellow staff members with who I have worked for so long. I will always remember my time here as a student, teacher, and a sponsor of various student activities.”
Vocational Agriculture Instructor and FFA Advisor Taryn Dameron also tendered her resignation.
“I would like to thank you for the opportunity to begin my career in education here and hope to see the program continue in the path of success in the coming years.”
In Executive Session, the board voted to extend Dr. Stephen Hunter another year on his contract under current terms with compensation to be determined at a later date.
The board also voted to hire principals Cindy Pirch and Amber Crane.
The remaining information comes from the official school board minutes.
Ruth Miller, DAR representative, was present to announce winners for the DAR Essay Contests.
Christopher Columbus Essay
1st place – Nathan Kraft
2nd place – Brooke James
3rd place – Abbegail E. Robinson
American History Essay
1st Place – Jacob Garner
2nd Place – Taryn Adam
3rd place – Maddie Dunn
American History Essay
1st Place – Mackena D. Hays
2nd Place – Alyse Jensen
Ciara Craven, daughter of Jason and Bobbi Craven, was named DAR Good Citizen for 2014.
Dr. Hunter reported enrollment at 617, with 242 at the Jr./Sr. High School and 375 at the Elementary School.
Dr. Hunter reported the district has received the work permit to install the flashers. As soon as the weather permits, they will be set in place. He said MoDot has been great to work with and very receptive to our needs.
Dr. Hunter reported hand dryers have been ordered for two restrooms in each building. He is going to monitor the cost savings, before purchasing more dryers. Ryan Morris added the dryers will also lessen the clean-up with the paper towels, especially at the elementary. There is a frozen sewer line at the elementary leading into the pre-K trailers. Staff and students have been temporarily moved. Dr. Hunter thanked the principals and staff for their efforts to work with the situation. Hopefully, warmer weather will allow for thawing within the next few days. Dr. Hunter thanked the maintenance and transportation departments for their help and diligence on the inclement weather days. The marquee at the high school was recently damaged by wind. The frame was damaged and can be saved, but the brick pillars that it fastens to have decayed beyond repair.
Dr. Hunter reminded the board that Van-Far is hosting the MSBA spring regional meeting on April 16.
Principal Crane reported Trevor Winders won the elementary spelling bee on January 24. He will advance to the next level of competition in Columbia. She reported her staff has been working on their writing curriculum. PTO will be hosting donuts with dads the week of Feb. 25. Breakfast is served at 7 a.m.
Principal Pirch reported students were attending the EMO conference band and art show at Montgomery County. Van-Far will host a scholar bowl competition on February 25.
Monday, March 3 is a Pizza Hut fund raiser for the National Honor Society and the NHS induction will be held on Tuesday, March 4th at the high school. She reminded board members to attend the FFA BBQ on Saturday.
Board policy “DIE” requires the district accept bids from a competitive bid process every three years. The board authorized the seeking of audit bids.
The board accepted the Jr. high football co-op agreement.
Approve 2014-2015 Calendar
Dr. Hunter reported he began with three versions of a calendar for next year. The calendar committee narrowed the selection to version 3.2 with a start date of August 13 and an end date of May 15. The calendar allows for a full two-week break at Christmas, nine early-out PLC days, and graduation on May 17. Discussion was heard regarding the early start date interfering with the Missouri State Fair, whether the Wednesday before Thanksgiving should be a full day off, and if two full weeks at Christmas is necessary.
Dr. Hunter said he will post the calendar on the webpage and ask for further input from the community and staff. The calendar will be adopted at the March board meeting.
Reports of Members
Board member Pete Nasir attended the Legislative Forum on Tuesday and reported several tax-cut bills, consideration for charter schools, a mandated school calendar for public schools, and a five tier accreditation plan for school districts were all discussed.
Board member Jim Hopke read a thank you note from the project prom committee for the board members, as individuals sponsoring a basket for basket lucky.