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New R-1 school leaders introduced at Kiwanis meeting

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

(Photo)
New administrators who joined the Monett R-1 School District this year are pictured above. From left, are: Jerry Swadley, technology director; Elaine O'Neal, special education director; Tyler Laney, interim director at the Southwest Area Career Center; and Annette Cozort, principal at Central Park Elementary. These administrators were the featured speakers at a recent Kiwanis meeting. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
New administrators for the Monett R-1 School District were speakers at last week's meeting of the Monett Kiwanis Club.

Dr. John Jungmann, superintendent of schools, served as the program chairman. He introduced the speakers, along with Julie Germann, assistant superintendent, who was a guest.

Elaine O'Neal, the new director of special services, said she had come from the state of California, graduating from California State University at Northridge with a master's degree in communications. O'Neal came to Missouri 12 years ago. Her family is from the Springfield area.

O'Neal worked in Ozark, Nixa and Reeds Spring while working on a specialist degree from William Woods University. She served as director of special services for the Eldon School District.

"I'm very impressed with the Monett schools," O'Neal said. "All children, no matter what their age, need individualized treatment and care."

O'Neal wants to bring in intensive reading programs, which benefit all learning skills. She would also like to focus on boosting math skills.

Tyler Laney, the interim director at the Southwest Area Career Center (SWACC), joins his wife, Candy, in coming to Monett. Candy has been a counselor at Central Park Elementary for several years.

Laney was born and raised in the Billings and Marionville area and still lives in the vicinity. He went to Crowder College and earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Southwest Missouri State University, now Missouri State University.

In the teaching profession for 31 years, Laney worked at the Humansville, Billings and Crane districts. Laney noted that when he was superintendent at Crane northern Stone County had a severe drop-out rate. When the district began partnering with Monett to get vocational and technical training at the Southwest Area Career Center, things changed.

Laney said he has always heard good things from Crane students about teachers at the Career Center. He hopes to continue refining skills and requirements at SWACC.

"I'm very impressed with the Monett school system for all the great things they do," Laney said.

Annette Cozort, the new principal at Central Park Elementary, said she was born in Monett and raised on a rural Cassville farm. She comes to Monett after serving as principal in Republic for four years, where she was responsible for 400 first and second graders. In Monett, she expects to have around 350 third and fourth graders at Central Park.

Cozort said she wants to be active in molding a model of teachers and students working together, both in academics and on a social level. Cozort hopes to build collaborations between teachers in reaching individual students and in preparing students for the real world.

Randy Henderson, president-elect for the Kiwanis Club, presided at the meeting.

The Monett Kiwanis Club meets weekly at noon for lunch and a program on Tuesdays at Happy House restaurant.



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