Board reorganizes following April's contested election

Saturday, April 18, 2015
During the New Madrid County R-1 School District conducted their reorganization meeting on April 9, Kay Rebstock, far left, swore in new members from left: Demetrius Moore, Ralph Barnwell Jr. and Ryan Eddy. Submitted photo

NEW MADRID - Newly elected New Madrid County R-1 board members took their oaths of office and went right to work.

During a special meeting, April 9, the New Madrid County R-1 Board of Education accepted the certified election results from the April 7 election.

Incumbent Ralph Barnwell Jr. and newcomer Demetrius "Dee" Moore, who received the most votes in a four-way contest, were sworn into three-year terms on the board. Incumbent Ryan Eddy ran unopposed and was elected to fill a one-year unexpired term.

Also the Board elected officers for the new year. Eddy was chosen to serve as president; Don Brittain, vice president; and Kay Rebstock, secretary/treasurer.

Approval was given to a membership agreement with the Missouri Educators Unified Health Plan Inc. and for the 2015-16 employee health insurance plans through MEUHP.

According to Heather Schuerenberg, R-1's director of business and finance, the district had a 4 percent increase in its insurance cost from the 2014-15 school year. Through MEUHP three plans are available for employees with the District paying $513 per member per month, Schuerenberg said.

Also during the April 9 meeting, a budget work session was scheduled for 9 a.m. April 30.

At the April 13 board meeting, community members were given approval to reorganize the NMCC Booster Club. Serving as board members are: Ryan Riley, Jenny Cope, Kevin Carlisle, Earl Grissom, Monica May, Gary Kenedy and Casey Rost.

"We are really excited about the Booster Club," said Dr. Cynthia Sharp Amick, superintendent of schools. She said the group is already starting a membership drive and urged anyone interested to contact any of the committee members.

The Board added an earth science class to the high school curriculum for 2015-2016 for sophomores and juniors. Amick said it was determined some students didn't want to take chemistry for their third science credit.

"We felt earth science is a good addition," she said.

Applications will be sought for a bus mechanic for the district beginning July 1.

According to Amick, the District currently operates 39 buses and the mechanic would be responsible for day-to-day items such as oil changes and small repairs that could be done on site.

Also the board gave their approval to seek applications for an instructional technology coordinator for 2015-2016 for the district.

As the District starts the 1:1 initiative next year at Central High School, which would provide students and teachers with personal computers, the instructional technology coordinator would assist classroom teachers with software, applications and professional development; visit classrooms as teachers need assistance; and help repair devices. Also the individual would check devices in and out to students and maintain an inventory of the computers.

Other business:

Football officials: The SEMO Football Officials Association Board of Director's fee schedule for the 2015 season was approved. The scheduled sets the costs for officials serving at sports events in the region, Amick said.

Community Teachers Association: CTA members requested more computers for the Central Middle school. Also they invited board members to a CTA dinner meeting at 5 p.m. April 28 at Susie's in Sikeston.

District updates: Pate Hogan updated the Board on the 1:1 initiative timeline.The program is expected to begin in late fall.

Kate Hampton spoke about the weighted grade system to begin with the 2015-16 freshman class. The District MAP testing, which is now computer generated, was addressed by Bridgett Masterson. Gerald Murphy advised research is continuing on the possibility of implementing a dance team.

John Garner updated Board members on surveillance systems on the District campuses. Currently installation of the system is underway at Central High School and bids are being sought for the three elementary schools and the Middle School.

Personnel: The resignation of Jennifer Machiran, first grade teacher at New Madrid Elementary, was accepted April 9 and the resignation of Ernestine Davis, a part-time counselor at Matthews Elementary, was accepted April 13.

On April 13, the Board renewed the contracts of the district's non- tenured teaching staff for Lilbourn Elementary, Matthews Elementary, New Madrid Elementary, Central Middle School, Central High School and the Technical Skills Center.

April Grissom was transferred from assistant teacher at New Madrid Elementary to a substitute teacher at the Middle School.

Employed were: Angie Hanlin, Matthews Elementary principal; Laura Ort, athletic director; Jerry Winberry, driver's education teacher; Larones Nelson-Bell, high school counselor; Sara Uhls, high school vocal music; Whitney Tanner, position to be announced and volleyball coach; Tenisha Jones-Nelson, assistant teacher; and Jake Kimball, Courtney Long and Corinne Karizamimba, positions to be announced.

MSHSAA special report: The Board reviewed a complimentary special report from MSHSAA on Jerry Winberry. According to Amick, the report praised Winberry for his professionalism, composure and display of character during the state wrestling match.

Enrollment: Amick reported enrollment continues to decline for the Central High School and Middle School while increasing at the elementary schools. Currently the district has an overall enrollment of 1,424 students which is 13 fewer than this time last year.

Also the Superintendent noted the district's goal of having 90 percent of the students in attendance 90 percent of the time is currently not being met at the Central High School, which has a rate of approximately 88 percent attendance. She said the district will continue work to improve attendance.

Dates to Remember:

H.S. Prom (Grand March), 7 p.m. April 25

FFA Banquet, 6 p.m. April 21

JROTC Banquet, 6 p.m. April 20

Honor's Banquet, 6:30 p.m. May 11

Spring "Pop" Concert, 7 p.m. May 5

HS Choir Concert, 7:30 p.m. May 7

Athletic Banquet, 6 p.m. May 12

9th-11th Awards, 2 p.m. May 21

Seniors' last day, 2:55 p.m. May 15

Senior Awards/Scholarships, 6 p.m. May 18

Graduation, 6:30 p.m. May 19

Last day of school, May 22