Major personnel decisions for the coming school year were made by the Pierce City R-6 Board of Education at its March meeting.
Greg "Mac" Whitehead was hired as a new middle school math teacher and given the extra duty contract to serve as head high school football coach. Whitehead is a graduate of Seneca High School and Missouri Southern State College and has a master's degree from Southwest Baptist University. He has coached football, track and wrestling at Branson and Seneca. Most recently, Whitehead has been teaching at Northeast Oklahoma A&M University.
Darrin Henderson, who currently teaches science at Pierce City High School, was tapped to be the athletic director for next year. A baseball and softball coach, Henderson will teach three physical education classes next year and be the A+ coordinator.
Resignations were accepted from: Jenny Hoover, kindergarten teacher; Jordan Merritt, high school English and drama teacher plus assistant track coach; Larry Stuart, middle school science teacher; and Marty Rinehart, technology coordinator, yearbook advisor, varsity girls basketball coach and assistant baseball coach.
Emily Young submitted her retirement after 20 years as elementary librarian. Tony Witt, a non-teacher who worked as assistant middle school boys basketball coach, resigned his post as assistant middle school boys basketball coach. Matt Street stepped down from his duties as assistant football coach and picked up duties as assistant baseball coach. Street will continue as boys varsity basketball coach.
All of the probationary teachers who did not resign were rehired for the coming year. Joining the ranks of tenured teachers were April Brown, Tami Gripka and Jenny Watkins at the elementary school, Amber Holman at the middle school, and Jessica Rinehart at the high school.
All other extra duty assignments were approved in one motion. Richard Kutz and Fred Slagle voted against the motion. In favor were James Barchak, Randall Staponski David Jones. Kent Boursheski and Mike Zebert.
Due to an increase in the population of students who have English as a second language, Superintendent Russ Moreland reported the district will need to hire a full-time person as an English limited language (ELL) teacher for the coming school year.
Building project update
Architect Richard Werner reported on progress adding the art and music rooms onto the south end of the high school gym. Board members decided to have the east-west sidewalk in front of the building repoured when new walks are built on the east and west sides of the building. An additional roof repair was approved as were cosmetic corrections in bricking around new windows on the west side of the superintendent's office.
School calendar approved
The calendar for the 2010-11 school year was adopted. Teachers will return to duty on Aug. 16 and classes will start on Aug. 19. School will be out for two full weeks for the Christmas-New Year break and half the snow days are planned for the end of May. Graduation is scheduled for May 15, 2011.
As part of next year's routine, Moreland has scheduled early dismissal every Wednesday for Professional Learning Community activities. Classes will dismiss at 2 p.m. so that faculty can concentrate on professional development activities.
Looking ahead to next month, the board set the reorganizational meeting after the April 6 election for 6:30 p.m. on April 15. The regular monthly meeting will be on April 22.
A year-end luncheon for teachers to announce service awards and recognize faculty who have finished degrees was slated for May 20, the day after students are dismissed.
The Career Ladder program was formally approved for the 2010-11 school year. Moreland expressed reservations about whether state funding would be available but preferred to have the program in place in case a scaled back version could be arranged.
A full maintenance agreement was approved with the Missouri School Boards Association (MSBA) at a cost of $2,563. According to Board Secretary Debbie Hogan, the arrangement will decrease paperwork by district staff by having the MSBA post and update all board policies on-line.
The board adopted recommended changes in policies proposed by MSBA with one exception. Board members decided to place purchases for $5,000 or more up for bid. The MSBA recommended a $10,000 minimum for bids, but board members felt the move would eliminate bidding on too many purchases. All bids on projects of $25,000 or more will continue to be done by sealed bid.
Sally Heidlage from St. Mary's Catholic School expressed appreciation for the district entering into a cooperative agreement on sports for middle school students this year. Two boys would like to play seventh grade football and basketball next year. A formal request about next year will be submitted for the April meeting, she said.
Moreland said it is likely state funding will not be available for summer school this year, in which case he would recommend canceling the program.
Elementary Principal Teresa Abramovitz reported the third, fourth and fifth graders raised more than $1,500 in their Hoops for the Heart activity.
Middle School Principal Gayla DeGraffenreid said 12 students qualified for All-District Junior High Choir. The Student Senate planned an all-school dance with "Hollywood" as a theme.
High School Principal Steve Garner reported 12 students are currently participating in the alternative school.