[Monett Times] Overcast ~ 64°F  
High: 73°F ~ Low: 47°F
Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Monett R-1 Board handles staffing issues

Friday, February 5, 2010

Monett High School viewed from the north. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
Changes in personnel and steps forward on the elementary school construction project were taken by the Monett R-1 Board of Education at its January meeting.

The board accepted four letters of retirement, effective at the end of the school year. They included: Alan Spencer, athletic director, varsity football coach, girls track coach and in-school suspension teacher at the high school; Patty Bounous, intermediate school and middle school physical education teacher and middle school track and volleyball coach; Candy Laney, counselor at Central Park Elementary; and Marion Peterson, auto collision instructor at the Southwest Area Career Center. Peterson's resignation is effective immediately, and Superintendent Dr. John Jungmann said efforts began quickly to find a replacement.

With the retirement of Spencer as athletic director for the district, the board named Daryl Bradley to that position. Bradley currently serves as athletic director at the middle school, and he was one of two people interviewed for the position.

Bradley will give up his duties as coach for the middle school wrestling program, said Jungmann, but will continue as the varsity wrestling coach. Bradley will move to the high school in the fall.

The board kept Jungmann on a three-year contract by extending the time on his present contract by one year.

Cassville High School Principal Brad Hanson was also hired as director of the Career Center, beginning next year. He succeeds Tyler Laney, who did the job this year as an interim.

"Mr. Laney has done a tremendous job." Jungmann added.

A resignation was also accepted from Gayle Brown, a high school math teacher, effective immediately. Joni Dixon, a recent Evangel University graduate who had been working in Branson as a middle school paraprofessional, had been hired at mid-year and moved into the high school math position.

Rachel Jackson, who had been working in special education at Central Park Elementary, was given a full-time contract for one semester.

Elementary construction

Board members accepted a bid from Olsson and Associates to do civil engineering for the proposed new construction at Monett Elementary School. Soil tests and measuring elevation will be done.

Jungmann anticipated no problems in trying to build on the site, based on previous studies. However, the location of water and sewer mains, especially between buildings, could necessitate rerouting some of the utilities. Significant earthmoving would be involved in establishing the new building footprint, he said.

Having decided to place a no-tax-increase bond issue on the April 6 ballot for consolidating the elementary campus, board members discussed details of the building plan with Pam Haldiman, lead architect on the project for Sapp Design Associates.

Haldiman said work on the design development phase was about half done. She inquired at length about how "green" the board wanted the new building to be. Many environmentally friendly features, including building materials and lighting, are available.

Jungmann said if voters approve the plan, the elementary construction will be the first school building in the district constructed with a major emphasis on green features. Jungmann said the elementary school would have a building management system but still retain individual heating and cooling units. Jungmann was pleased with the scope of the discussion on options for the new construction and expected the conversation to continue at the next monthly session at 6 p.m. on Feb. 18 in the administrative office.

State policies

Jungmann updated board members on the ramifications of Governor Jay Nixon's State of the State speech. While the governor had spoken positively about supporting education funding, particularly in sustaining state money for the Career Ladder program, Jungmann felt a great many questions remained unanswered.

"The governor said he will do all he can to not touch K-12 funding this year," Jungmann said. "We'll be watching. The state still has significant budget shortfalls for this year. It will be difficult to not impact schools."

A number of bills impacting education were filed as the General Assembly's session got underway. Jungmann said the most significant was the open enrollment movement, which would allow children to enroll in any school district regardless of residency. Such a change could have major implications for facility funding.

"We need more ways to fairly distribute money for children in an open enrollment arrangement," Jungmann said. "We could have difficulty in facility management and classroom planning. A lot of states do it successfully. They would have a lot of details to iron out if they were going to do it in Missouri."

Assistant Superintendent Julie Germann updated the board on the new federal Race to the Top program. The first round of federal grants are due in April. With Missouri's application submitted and backed by the required number of districts willing to participate, funding should be released to the state. It will then be up to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to distribute grant funding to individual districts.

Plans were still taking shape for how the grant process will work, Germann said.

Germann submitted a written report on the district's plan for dealing with the homeless. While Monett does not have a homeless population per se, some children fall under the classification due to having been relocated from Hurricane Katrina or displaced due to a divorce or lack support from a specific guardian. District policy outlines a number of strategies used for handling such situations.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration:

© 2016 Monett Times, a division of Rust Publishing MOARCASS, L.L.C. All rights reserved.