New Madrid County R-1 Board approves list of summer repairs, improvements

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

NEW MADRID, Mo. - While students enjoy a summer break, school personnel will work to ensure all the facilities are in good repair when classes resume in August.

During their May meeting, the New Madrid County R-1 Board of Education approved summer 2017 improvements and purchases.

According to Dr. Sam Duncan, superintendent, the improvements include painting, repairing roofs and parking lots and fixing lights.

Last year due to budget shortfalls, the district cut back on summer maintenance. Duncan said when the District did receive a settlement from Noranda Aluminum the money was used to pay off debt and restore salary steps for personnel. Now the remaining money is being used to meet infrastructure needs, he said.

"We are trying to be really balanced in what we repair and spend money on," Duncan said. "Every building will be touched in some way."

The District is still frugal with its money, the Superintendent pointed out. He said rather than replace the bleachers at the Central Middle School and Central High School, they have located a company which can provide replacement wheels and motors to enable repairs to be made.

The District will renovate a room previously used for storage to create a larger weight room for athletes.

The Board adopted a resolution to approve the financing of weight room equipment. The needed equipment totaling $38,000 will be funded over five years.

"The (NMCC) Booster Club is helping us by having the room painted and helping us buy equipment for a top-notch strength training facility," Duncan said.

The Board approved the following transfers: Renee Smith from Health Occupation at the Technical Skills Center to half-time Health Occupation and half-time coordinator for TSC; Ryan Blocker from substitute bus driver to full-time bus driver; Larones Nelson-Bell from counselor at New Madrid County Central and Central Middle School to CMS counselor; Lisa Godwin from psych examiner with the special education office to psych examiner with the NMCC counselor office; and Stephanie Walker from special education at Lilbourn Elementary to assistant teacher at New Madrid Elementary.

Laura Ort's title as athletic director for NMCC was changed to dean of student activities for NMCC. Duncan said the change better reflects Ort's duties in overseeing students' activities, not just athletics.

The Board employed Laura Neislein as agriculture education instructor at TSC; Andrew Tilmon, social studies at NMCC; Kelly Robey, assistant teacher; Shonna Slaughter, assistant teacher at Matthews Elementary School; Caitlyn Springer, assistant football competition cheer coach for NMCC; James Ferguson, nightwatchman at the Central campus; Cheryl Nolen, special education assistant teacher; Jennifer Moore, early childhood special education at New Madrid Elementary; Whitney Gorton, volleyball at CMS; and Jennifer Moore, early childhood special education at NME.

Resignations were accepted from Amy Long, eighth grade science at CMS; Kathy Mattson, elementary library assistant; Tom Schoemehl, baseball for CMS; Tiffany Terrell, special education at NMCC; and Lisa Godwin, volleyball and cheer for CMS.

The Board approved several 2016-2017 budget adjustments. Duncan noted the district is maintaining a balanced budget and will have a balanced budget for the next school year, despite the setback caused by the closing of Noranda and the loss of those tax dollars.

"We aren't spending money we don't have coming in. The district has leveled off financially," Duncan said. "It is really quite miraculous."

In other action during the May meeting, the administration was approved to begin the process of selling the current Building Trades house "as is." The house is located on St. Francis Street in New Madrid.