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Purdy R-2 board hires staff members at recent meeting

Monday, April 5, 2010

Staff hiring and program reports provided the major focus for the Purdy R-2 Board of Education during its March meeting.

Board members rehired all of the probationary teachers and support staff, including counselor Nancy Doubrava and librarian Dianna Laswell. Jeannette Johnson was hired to work three days a week for the 2010-11 school year. Action on high school science teacher and baseball coach Josh Hughes was delayed until Hughes' certification had been completed.

Chris Kennedy's extra duty contract to serve as high school basketball coach was not renewed, leaving that job open for next year.

Stacey Williams was rehired as board secretary and payroll accounting clerk for the coming year. Marsha Williams was rehired as the superintendent's secretary and district treasurer.

Superintendent Jerry Lingo presented a battery of policy changes from the Missouri State School Boards Association, which board members approved. Lingo characterized the changes as more "cut and dried" than many proposals.

In administrative reports, Elementary Principal Jeff Swadley reported enough private funds had come forward to allow 16 children to be picked for a new weekend food program similar to "Food For Thought" in Monett. Swadley said 62 families asked to be considered for the weekend program, which sends backpacks of food home with children to maintain nutrition for learning.

"It's a humbling experience to read the stories," Swadley said. "Most involved lost jobs."

St. John's Lutheran Church at Stones Prairie is spearheading the program. Food began going home with children on March 5.

Swadley and Middle School Principal Janet Boys discussed motivational assemblies planned in advance of testing for the Missouri Achievement Program (MAP) tests, which will be held in April.

Enrollment changed only slightly from February. The middle school gained a few and lost one student while the high school gained two. The high school is still down 15 students from a year ago, said Principal Bob Vice. Vice reported on a wide range of student activities in the next month, including the prom, which will be held at the Hill Creek Lodge on April 10. End of course exams will be taken on April 27 and 29. All the tests will be taken on-line, using the high school business lab and elementary computer labs.

Principals reported on their use of in-school suspension (ISS) for the year. Boys said she had four occasions to use the disciplinary procedure during the semester.

Vice reported 14 high school students had used a total of 43 full days of ISS for major issues and many more times for minor matters, such as skipping after-school detention. The separate room used for ISS is also used as a less distracting environment for students to get caught up on their classwork. ISS duties are shared by four staff members.

Myra McGee, the family and consumer science teacher, reviewed the courses she teaches. In highlights, McGee pointed out the foods and nutrition/clothing semester class is one of the few still using sewing machines. She considered sewing "an old skill" young people still need to know and spoke about the pride students show in the items they create.

McGee also reviewed activities of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) program, which she sponsors. The Purdy chapter currently has 53 members. Nicole Terry is serving as state FCCLA president, the fifth state president to come from Purdy, which is the most from any school.

Eleven students advanced to state competition in Columbia. One of the students, Alyssa Gwin, presented her competition piece about her grandmother's four-year battle with cancer for board members.



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