School Board Meets Jan. 15

By Sue Curry Jones

The Ava R-1 School Board held their first meeting in the New Year on Thursday, Jan. 15. Lacy Diel, an Ava High School sophomore, who now serves as student representative to the board, joined the group at the boardroom table.

In closed session, Superintendent Dr. Nancy Lawler said the board accepted the resignation letter of Laryme Campbell, high school math teacher. Lawler noted Campbell’s resignation was cited as a career move, as Campbell has accepted a new position in a different district.

Lawler said the board evaluated Mike Henry as assistant superin­tendent, and her position as super­intendent.  Both received extended contract agreements for their current positions, with Lawler receiving an additional three-years and Henry two-years. It was noted the contract extensions commence at the end of this term, and begin with the 2015-16 school year.

Bills totaling $144,840.07 were approved for payment with motions from Johnny Burkdoll and Vernon Johnson. The vote was 6-0.

Additional voting actions included the following items:

  • Adoption of the 2015-16 school contact list, with designations given as: Homeless Coordinator – Special Ed Director (Connie Lee); Migrant Coordinator – Special Ed Director (Connie Lee); English as Second Language – Special Ed Director (Connie Lee); Special Education – Special Ed Director (Connie Lee); Safety Director – Maintenance Director (Monty Valentine); Title I – Assistant Superintendent (Mike Henry); 504 Coordinator – Special Ed Director (Connie Lee); Title IX – Athletic Director (Rex Sawyer); Foster Care – Special Ed Director (Connie Lee).

Motions to approve the list were by Marsha Aborn and Jeff Davis, the vote was 6-0.

  • KPM of Springfield, Mo. was reselected as the auditing firm for the ensuring school year. Johnny Burkdoll and Dan Watson tendered motions, and the vote was 6-0.
  • the school cafeteria and food services review was approved as presented. It was noted this is the fourth year the school has partnered with the Opaa! Food Management service group. Motions to accept the evaluation were presented by Johnny Burkdoll and Dan Watson. The vote was 6-0.
  • community involvement review was approved as presented, with motions from Johnny Burkdoll and Vernon Johnson. The vote was 6-0.
  • an agreement to implement a Bear Visa Card with Home Pride Bank, of Ava, was adopted in a 6-0 vote. Motions to approve were by Marsha Aborn and Vernon Johnson.

Dr. Nancy Lawler reminded board members of upcoming events, citing the following dates: school board study session scheduled Saturday, Feb. 7; Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Tuesday, Feb. 10 in the school’s Decker Library; the Q Commons event, on Thursday, Feb. 26, at the United Methodist Church, 7-9 p.m., and the Missouri School Board Assn. legislative forum Feb. 17 in Jefferson City, Mo. Lawler also noted Ron Wallace had responded in answer to the Writ of Quo Warranto filed against him citing an allegation of nepotism, during a Dec. 2014 board meeting. Lawler said another response would be issued in 30 days.

Assistant Superintendent Mike Henry reported A+ funding revenues were better than anticipated, and the actual loss for Ava schools was a minimal amount. Henry also noted teachers and staff are preparing for spring testing which this year will begin on-line testing for students in grades 3-8.

The board spotlight recognized the Truancy Court system recently established for Douglas, Wright and Ozark counties.   According to Jerry Connor, Chief Juvenile Officer of Judicial Circuit 44, the truancy court is ready for cases, and referrals from the school. Connor said the truancy court is an informal, but solid process for handling repetitive and unnecessary student absences, with the main goal placing the youths back in the classroom. Connor said the truancy program will not only hold students accountable, but will also confront parents, and those who claim homeschooling curriculums, must answer to state guidelines.

In addition, the school board recognized Laurie Macy for hosting and implementing a middle school play this year. Principal Aaron Dalton said Macy was instrumental in stage sets, and diligently worked with students on parts and lines. He said the play was an outstanding opportunity for 19 middle school youths to be involved and invested in a new experience.

The school board also recognized four fall semester athletes for special accomplishments during the season. The students were: Tristan Haltom and Nate Bray, for achievements in football; and Logan Sicilia and Bailey Ray, for exceling in cross country competitions.

The next regular meeting of the board is slate for Thursday, Feb. 19, 6:30 p.m. in the board meeting room near the Decker Library. Meetings are open to the public.