The Van-Far R-I School Board had a busy meeting last Thursday as it approved several resignations and filled several staff positions.
Among the resignations accepted was one from longtime Family and Consumer Sciences Educator Teresa Klott. Klott had been with the district for 32 years before announcing her planned retirement this past week.
“This decision was very difficult for me to make as you know I have always given my best to my students,” she said in her resignation letter. “In return, they gave their best to me as is evident in the department and organizations that I have sponsored.”
Klott was also the district’s FCCLA and SADD Advisor.
Other resignations came from Melissa Kurz (P.A.T. Educator, with district for 11 years), Janet Oden (Special Education Aide, with district for 10 years), Mary Hamlett (Cafeteria), Garry Pirch (JH track coach), and Esther Robinson (JH cheerleading).
In the Executive Session. those hired included Bobbi Craven, Missy Gooch (also Academic Extra Duty), Charlie Stroker, Shannon Moore (AEL Director), Vicki Gulley (AEL Lead Instructor), Lisa Newland (AEL Bookkeeper), Debbie Wood (AEL Payroll Clerk), Mindy Nasir (Academic Extra Duty), and Brennon Cashman (Elementary Teacher).
Also hired were the remaining classified employees and those employees on the athletic and academic extra duty list.
Board Member Larry Wheeler voted “No” on the athletic list.
Bus drivers Harley Bagley, Ashley Graham, and Crystal Waters were hired.
Dan Bybee and Floyd Stuart were hired for grounds maintenance.
The board was also reorganized after Pete Nasir and Dr. Greg Frost took the Oath of Office after they won unopposed elections on April 7.
The positions on the board filled by board members includes Christy Nelson (President), Jim Hopke (Vice-President), Kevin Motley (Secretary), Larry Wheeler (Treasurer), Pete Nasir (MSBA Delegate), and Dr. Greg Frost (MSBA Delegate Alternate).
The 2015-16 Certified Salary Schedule had $250 added to the base to give teacher’s their step on the salary schedule. This raises the base from $29,500 to $29,750.
Superintendent Dr. Hunter recommended a 2.8% raise for classified personnel. It passed with one “No” vote from Wheeler.
A 2.8% salary increase for administrators, principals, and the superintendent was also passed with one “No” vote from Wheeler.
A 2.8% raise was unanimously approved for the AEL personnel.
Extra duty salaries were passed for 2015-16 with them being tied to the base salary on the teachers’ salary schedule.
In regards to insurance, the health insurance plans and rates for 2015-16 were improved (HSA, PPO, and HMO). Two plans lowered in premium cost and one raised minimally.
Life Insurance rates remained the same at $3.85 for $35,000 of coverage.
According to the drafted meeting minutes, Superintendent Dr. Hunter reported that current enrollment is 620, with 381 at the Elementary and 239 at the Jr./Sr. High School.
Dr. Hunter reported that the district received DESE’s affirmation letter following the review with no concerns noted.
Two busses failed the inspection due to tire damage caused by embedded rocks. The tires were fixed and back in service the same day.
The Region 17 meeting was held April 15 at Van-Far. Superintendent Dr. Hunter said there was a good attendance and the topic was Safety and Security. Superintendent Dr. Hunter will be attending a safety workshop in May.
He gave an update on the facilities. It noted that the gym floor has settled back down. The recommendations are to discontinue wet finishing and use a dry screen process to prevent future moisture issues and damage. Information will be gathered regarding the purchase of equipment or hiring professionals to complete the recoat and finish, as well as bids and price quotes. Dr. Hunter also recommended the purchase of a dehumidifier to keep the floor in good shape during humid conditions.
Superintendent Dr. Hunter met with the architects on April 14 and they will be back on April 22. The architects took measurements for a formal plan and drawings.
The ECSE Capital Cost Grant will need to be approved before ground is broken. Superintendent Dr. Hunter requested a meeting with two board members and Mrs. Deimeke to go over figures. Mrs. Nation and Dr. Frost volunteered to attend this meeting.
Superintendent Dr. Hunter mentioned the Bond Timeline and items will be approved at the May meeting.
Van-Far Elementary Principal Brian Hummel reported that the play was a great success and involved several elementary students. PTO will provide snacks for testing.
Fourth Quarter midterm ended April 17 and reports will be sent home on April 24.
Coach Orf will host a “Fitness Night” on April 23 and will have a variety of exercises for elementary students to participate in.
On April 24, 27 and 28, each 2nd grade class will be reciting the pledge on KOMU and it will be aired in the mornings, a little before 7 a.m.
Van-Far Jr./Sr. High School Principal Cindy Pirch also reported on the success of the play and the band dinner show. Prom will be held April 25 at Steinman Hall in Mexico. The public is invited to attend the Promenade at 6:30. Project Prom will be held at the YMCA in Mexico.
A baseball “Strike Out Autism Night” will be held May 7 and a Rock-a-thon for Autism will be held on May 21. April 30 is the FFA Banquet and May 1 is the FCCLA Banquet.
Teacher Appreciation Week is May 4-8.
Van-Far Alumni will be purchasing 10 more tables and Dana Hayden recently constructed a glass-enclosed History Case at the High School for a rotation of displays.
Success For All
Mrs. Straube presented a PowerPoint on SFA. There are 24 teacher/classrooms participating in the elementary reading program and assessments as well as periodic professional development meetings. Mr. Rost reported on the 7th and 8th grade program.
The preliminary budget for 2015-16 was passed and adjustments will be made as information is provided from Jefferson City in regards to changes with state funding.
The Proposition A Ballot results were certified.
A first reading was given for MSBA 2015A Policy Updates.
A third reading was given for MSBA Policy INC-Speakers at District Events.
Motley read a “Thank You” note from the Spires/Leota Johnson family for a memorial.
Nation expressed her appreciation for the hard work and success of the play and band concerts.
Mrs. Bunge reported that the VFTA Carnival and the school play were very successful.