District honors 21 retiring staff members

Retiring staff members of the Webb City R-7 School District were honored during a lunch on Thursday, May 5.

Those present were: (SITTING) Rebecca Botts, 15 years, high school English language arts teacher; Jan Shelley, 22 years, Mark Twain Elementary principal; Randall Hayes, 29 years, high school math; Glenda Irwin, 18 years, Harry S Truman Elementary third grade teacher; Nancy Russow, 15 years, bus driver; Richard Holland, 3 years, bus driver; Kim Endicott, 9 years, behavior specialist; Diane Freitas, 22 years, occupational therapist. (STANDING) Sharon Peek, 9 years, special education; Russell Ball, 26 years, Harry S Truman counselor; Pam McClintock, 27 years, Harry S Truman computer tech; Jan Cortez, 18 years, Harry S Truman Title I assistant; Kevin Cooper, 23.5 years, assistant superintendent of business operations; Rita Womack-Cummings, 20 years, junior high physical education; Jill Summers, 21 years, junior high drama; Amy Simmons, 25 years, Carterville Elementary Title I assistant.

(NOT PRESENT) Vernon Williams, 22 years, junior high custodian; Mitch Vonwald, 12 years, custodian; Kate Markman, 8 years, speech language pathologist; Judith Haines, 7 years, bus driver.

Heather Lesmeister selected as executive director of Spiva Center for the Arts


George A. Spiva Center for the Arts Board of Directors President Angela Vorhees announces that Heather Lesmeister has accepted the position of executive director. 

Lesmeister joins Spiva from Missouri Southern State University, where she led communications, marketing and external relations during her tenure. In these roles she managed communications, public relations functions and marketing strategies in support of the institution’s strategic goals, plans and aspirations.

She brings extensive experience in fundraising, event management, engagement and administration, as well as a commitment to visual arts. Her career includes a 13-year stint at Freeman Health System, where she was the assistant director of development and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals program director.

She holds bachelor’s degree in graphic communications from MSSU. A Webb City High School graduate, she, her husband Kile and son Maddox continue to reside in Webb City.

Lesmeister is joining Spiva at an exciting time, as it prepares to move this fall to the Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex on Seventh Street in Joplin.

Heather Lesmeister

Liberty electric fuel charge is going up June 1

Electric customers of The Empire District Electric Company (Liberty Utilities) will see an increase in the fuel adjustment clause (FAC) charge on their electric bills, effective June 1.

For a residential customer using 1,000 kWh (1,000 kilowatt-hours) of electricity a month, the FAC willincrease by approximately $5.85 a month.

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