School Board reorganizes following election

Bob Foos

Jason Woodmansee, the lead vote getter in the April 2 Webb City R-7 School Board election, was elected as board president when the board met Tuesday in regular session, and he was appointed to be the board’s first legislative liaison.

Erin Taylor was also sworn in. She received 25 more votes than Lisa Robinson, who like Woodmansee, was seeking reelection.

Outgoing president William Roderique thanked Robinson for her dedication.

As she left, Robinson gave a tearful goodbye, saying she had poured her heart and soul into being a board member. She thanked district teachers who believed in her as a student to become a first-generation college graduate. Finally, she said she knows the board will “continue to fight for public education.”

Advocating for the state to prioritize funding for public education will be one of Woodmansee’s duties as legislative liaison.

Superintendent Tony Rossetti suggested the new board position partly because he and other members of the Missouri Association of School Administrators are against Senate Bill 727, which is currently being considered, and other “negative bills for education.”

He said the SB 727 mixes good things with bad things. It raises the minimum teacher salary to $40,000, but it should be $50,000 in order to recruit and retain teachers, according to MASA’s policy platform.

Also during the board’s reorganization, Stephen Crane was elected vice president. Cheryl Chaney will continue as board secretary, and Josh Flora, assistant superintendent for business operations, will continue as treasurer.

14 new teachers hired

In response to a board member’s question, Flora said that despite a reduction in the number of graduating teachers the district is not having that much of a problem filling open teaching positions.

One thing that’s helped, he said, is a program by the Southwest Center for Educational Excellence that helps paraprofessionals who have demonstrated competency in the classroom obtain their certification.

The board offered contracts to 14 new teachers and accepted the resignations of two teachers.

Schools to honor their own scholars

Brenten Byrd, assistant superintendent for instructional services, updated the board on the annual banquet for students who excelled on the MAP test, which was canceled because of pending severe weather. The catered food didn’t go to waste, it was distributed to school staff throughout the district.

Now, rather than reschedule, he said each school will celebrate their own scholars and their parents.

Former pet salon building to be torn down

The former pet salon building on the southwest corner of Broadway and Jefferson Street will be demolished.

Flora said the building was damaged when a water pipe burst. It has been unused since the district purchased it with additional parking for the junior high in mind.

In that same block on the west side of Jefferson Street, he announced that both houses the district owns will be used for students with bahavior problems.

Trial period for tablets with route guides on buses

Flora also told the board that tablets purchased to help guide drivers on the most efficient way to complete their routes are now in use on a trial basis, ahead of full implementation in August.

He said they will mainly be a benefit to drivers new to their routes and substitute drivers.

Groups honored

Lt. Col. Dustin Elder and Sgt. Stephanie Attaway introduced the JROTC rifle team that placed second in the nation.

Jeff and Lori Cole introduced members of the unified Basketball team that won the state championship. The southwest Missouri unified track meet will be held here Tuesday.

Amber Hunt updated the board on her culinary students, who she said are enjoying their new facility, which was built last summer as part of the latest addition to the high school.

• Resignations were accepted from:

– Amanda Christy, junior high counselor

– Austin Grotts, eighth grade sciende

• Contracts were offered to:

– Elexa Brouwer, first grade, Webster Primary Center.

– Nicole Arft, second grade, Webster

– Amber Large, high school math

– Clayton Milas, high school social studies

– Scott Cranford, high school special education

– Dave Wiemers, high school in-school suspension

– Emily Burkhart, middle school special education

– Avery Davis, middle school sixth grade

– Payton Waits, middle school fifth grade

– Paula Nelson, junior high language arts

– Bridget Yost, junior high language arts

– Teri Foreman, third grade at Mark Twain

– Andrew Korth, special education at Heritage Preschool

– Katey Smith, first grade at Bess Truman Primary Center