R-7 Board accepts retirements, extends administrator contracts

Bob Foos

It’s the season of retirement announcements in the Webb City R-7 School District. 

In their January and February meetings, the board has accepted retirement letters from eight teachers with a combined 155 years of experience with the district.

It’s typical for retiring faculty to announce their intentions early so applicants can be sought to fill their positions.

The positions of three teachers whose resignations were approved are also open.

An administration position is also open because the board on Monday accepted the resignation of Karen Brownfield as principal of Madge T. James Kindergarten Center. She wrote that she is thankful to the district for educating her (k-12) and employing her as an educator for 19 years. She will be the principal of Willard Intermediate School-North next year.

Annual contract extensions were approved for 19 other building administrators following an executive session.

During the January board meeting, Superintendent Tony Rossetti’s contract was extended through 2026. There have been media reports that he is a finalist for the superintendent position in Fayetteville, Ark., however, that was not mentioned at the board meeting.

Also in January, contracts for assistant superintendents Brenten Byrd and Josh Flora and Kayla Cullers, director of special education, were extended through 2024. All votes were unanimous.

In other action, the board:

• Voted to contract with Parent Square as a way to consolidate all communication between district staff and parents. Amanda Robbins, director of grants and public relations, recommended Parent Square because “we now have multiple forms of communication that parents have to keep up with daily.” The annual cost is $16,000, which will be offset by the cancellation of a similar application that costs $12,000. With grant funding, it was said the district will be spending less for Parent Square than it is now.

• Approved the 2023-24 school calendar. The first day of school will be Monday, Aug. 21. There will be a full week off for Thanksgiving and two weeks off for Christmas.

• Approved the recommendation of Adam Bell, director of technology, to renew its agreement with Content Keeper. Content Keeper has been used by the district for eight years to filter what students can see on the internet. The new three-year agreement includes software and new hardware for a total of $48,530.

• Was updated on the district’s use of Paper to support students academically is being used “more and more everyday” by students. “That’s what we want,” Byrd told board members.

He also said that Paper officials are considering a presentation to other area districts based on Webb City’s good rating.

• Approved an updated policy manual for district library media centers, including procedures for handling book challenges.

• Acknowledged the “generous” donation of $24,000 in sheet metal from Nathan Bemo, of the American Ramp skateboard-park firm, for use in shop classes.

• Agreed with Rossetti’s recommendation to maintain current relationships for sports medicine with both Freeman Hospital and Mercy for five more years. He said they work well together, and “we’re very pleased.” There’s no cost to the district.

• Heard that the annual MAP Banquet will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, April 3, in the Cardinal Dome.

• Heard that ribbon cutting for the Student Services Building will be at 7 a.m. Friday, March 31, in conjunction with a Webb City CARES coffee reception.


– LaFonda Crouch, sixth grade, 16 years of service.

– Tracy Eden, high school speech and theatre, 27 years.

– Lyter Isenmann, school psychological examiner, 24 years.

– Brenda Kaiser, high school business, six years.

– Sally Lee, director of English language learning, four years.

– Katherine Mitchell, Heritage Preschool teacher, 27 years.

– Haven Pettit, Harry S Truman third grade, 35 years.

– Linda Uselmann, high school social studies, 16 years.


– Paulina Banta, high school Spanish.

– Karen Boyer, Webster Primary second grade.

– Karen Brownfield, Madge T. James Kindergarten principal.

– Chelsey Parker, junior high math and volleyball.


– Joseph Dankelson, high school social studies.


  • High school – Principal Jeff Wilkie, assistants Amanda Eggleston, Jeff Brown and Flave Darnell
  • Junior high – Principal Tamra Ponce, assistants Scott Roderique and Darrell Hicks.
  • Middle school – Principal Jonathan Wengert, assistants Keith Robertson and Beverly Carpenter (half time).
  • Webster Primary – Principal Sarah Lee, assistant Beverly Carpenter (half time).
  • Mark Twain Elementary – Principal Jonathon Derryberry.
  • Eugene Field Elementary – Principal Dusty Allen.
  • Carterville Elementary – Principal Jarrett Cook
  • Bess Truman Primary – Principal Alicia Zornes.
  • Harry S Truman Elementary – Principal Jodi Bennett.
  • Heritage Preschool – Directors Jenny Parker and Traci Coleman.
  • Franklin Recovery Room – Director Jackson Boyer.
  • Virtual Education – Administrator Angie Broaddus.