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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

New teachers hired to join Monett faculty

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Monett High School at sunset. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
The Monett R-1 Board of Education has hired staff to fill the last two positions open for the 2011-12 school year and looked at program changes during the June board meeting.

Joshua Carter was hired as a teacher for Central Park Elementary. A Missouri Southern State University graduate, Carter comes from Granby and will be taking on his first full-time teaching position.

Todd Borgmann was hired as the new assistant band director. A Missouri State University graduate, Borgmann had worked as a graduate assistant at MSU.

One of the bigger changes coming in the fall will be

Drury University moving from the Southwest Area Career Center. Superintendent Dr. John Jungmann said Drury offerings had outgrown the space available. Drury is looking for another full-time location and has in the interim relocated to the education wing at the former location of the First United Methodist Church on Fourth Street.

Missouri Southern and Crowder College will continue to use the Career Center campus, Jungmann said.

SWACC grant awarded

The Career Center has been awarded a major grant through the Technology Centers That Work program. The grant will be worth $15,000 a year for the next five years. The money will be used for school improvement and technology upgrades.

Jungmann credited Brad Hanson, the outgoing Career Center director, for getting the grant started. Incoming director Russ Moreland has begun meetings to determine the best way to use the funds.

Schedules for new teacher orientation have been finalized. New teachers will begin their year on Aug. 1 through Aug. 3. The traditional luncheon for new faculty will be hosted by the Monett Chamber of Commerce on Aug. 2. Back to school workshops will begin on Thursday, Aug. 11. Among those will be a three-hour seminar on cultural diversity led by Jennifer Shackles, the Missouri English language learners regional supervisor and Daphne Hensley, the English language learners coordinator for the district.

The general meeting for all returning staff will be on Aug. 12. The first day of classes will be Wednesday, Aug. 17.

Counseling program

Board members studied a review of the guidance and counseling program completed by Assistant Superintendent Julie Germann. While counselors gather no formal data on student progress, Germann indicated the counselors try to meet at least twice a year as a group and annually with the assistant superintendent to discuss progress and issues.

During the past year at Monett Elementary, Leslie Henry and the physical education teacher worked with a group of students with the most challenging behavior and social concerns, utilizing the time for play therapy and other behavior modification strategies. Several students made progress by learning coping skills relating to their social and emotional challenges allowing items to join other students on core content areas without becoming a behavioral challenge to those groups.

Marla Cantwell said her biggest accomplishment was surviving her first year as a counselor at Central Park Elementary. She praised Monett Intermediate School counselor Debra Williams, her mentor, for helping her connect with other counselors on how to deal with behavioral problems. Cantwell was particularly pleased with coordinating the student fundraiser to help the Ozarks Honor Flight program.

Henry, Cantwell and Williams each used a new PBS strategy, Check and Connect, with success at their buildings. Williams viewed the approach as her major success of the year, using it in small groups to help students with behavior problems.

Middle school counselor Nancy Noll-Meyer reported 20 students served in the new Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, which will attempt to expand in the coming year. A student ambassador program was started, pairing a middle school student with a new student to aid in transitioning.

High school counselor Lori Selensky reported the new and expanded office at the high school had greatly helped operations. Efforts were made to improve scheduling for the coming year. Dual credit offerings and a higher graduation rate were major accomplishments for the year.

At the Career Center, Karen Brosi said earning accreditation under the North Central program was the big achievement for the year. Having 122 students inducted into the National Technical Honor Society was also noteworthy. A new student orientation process had been implemented with great success.

Counselors at each campus said time and scheduling, particularly in meeting with faculty and students, remains their greatest concern. An increase has been seen in the amount of emotional support requested by colleagues. The counselors voiced frustration over the lack of participation in advisory committees at each building.

Two top needs cited by counselors were support from administration in scheduling and staff needs, plus cooperation from staff and administration on the collaboration between grade levels to see that teaching is aligned.

Several of the counselors volunteered in Joplin in recent weeks. They were able to offer support to families struggling with the aftermath of the May 22 tornado and help debrief search and rescue workers. They found the experience humbling and a test for their training and personal fortitude, Germann said.

The next R-1 Board meeting will be at 6 p.m. on July 21.

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