Purdy school board considers future of house
Mixed opinions surfaced about the future of the houses owned by the Purdy School District during the April meeting of the R-2 Board of Education.
Superintendent Jerry Lingo said the lease was ending on the house purchased seven years ago to acquire three acres to expand the elementary playground. The district paid $70,000 for the land and recouped $27,000 in rent.
Lingo said the board needed to decide on the future of the building. Among the options Lingo suggested were continuing to rent the house at a higher rate or demolishing it.
Removing the house offered options, such as expanding the playground. Elementary principal Jeff Swadley said the current playground was bigger than anything the children previously had and quite adequate. High school principal Bob Vice suggested using the land for a new bus garage.
School board members in the past have talked about a lack of housing in the district. Board member Ken Terry said he would rather keep the house, and fellow board member Russ Neill said he would also like to rent the Harris house behind the school, on which the district was finishing purchase arrangements.
Board members agreed to conduct a tour of the rental house in May before deciding which course of action to take.
In a special session prior to the regular meeting, board members approved election results, which returned Randy Henderson and Ken Terry to the board without a public vote. Both took the oath of office from Stacey Williams, board secretary.
Henderson was re-elected board chairman, a position he has held since 2008. Ronnie Veith was re-elected vice chairman.
In personnel action, the board accepted a letter of retirement from elementary vocal music teacher Sharon Vaughn, who has taught in Purdy for 10 years. Don Terry, the high school science teacher, resigned to take a position in Diamond, reducing Terry's travel time.
In closed session, the board reviewed non-certified staff and approved rehiring for the coming year.
Board members voted to add Dawn Dixon and Zabdi Salazar to the substitute teachers' list.
A retirement reception for Vaughn was scheduled for 9 a.m. on May 15 in the elementary gym. A reception for Lingo is planned but not yet scheduled, Williams said.
Coach Jennifer Schallert reported on future procedures for retiring the number on an athletic jersey. The only other Purdy athlete in the state record book was basketball player Earl Miller, who ranked #12 for career total points and points in a season.
Becky Fly Woods ranked in the state tournament record book but not in the state book, which Schallert and Athletic Director Grant Young proposed as a standard for consideration. Fly went on to Missouri Southern State University where she played as an All-American and ended her career in the MSSU Hall of Fame.
Schallert said other schools do not appear to have a standard procedure for considering such an honor. Generally, it appears a coach would make such a recommendation to the athletic director, who would in turn pass the request to a principal and the school board.
Board members voiced satisfaction with the approach. Lingo said no objections surfaced over the board's decision in March to retire Addy Roller's basketball jersey after she set four state basketball records.
Henderson read a series of thank you notes for acoustic improvements made in the elementary gym. Lingo said the comments were the largest number of thanks the district had received over any project.
The transportation director received a 100 percent pass rate for the district's nine buses for the second time in three years. Lingo said the approval represented a significant achievement for a one-person transportation department, run by Rod Tucker.
Several events have been scheduled as the end of the school year approaches. The Fine Arts Evening with music performances and a display of district art winners will be on April 24, with the vocal music concert beginning at 7 p.m. The middle school spring trip, which has gone to Fantastic Caverns in Springfield for a number of years, will go to a Springfield Cardinals game on May 1.
At the high school, the spring band concert will be at 7 p.m. on May 1. The FFA Chapter will have its banquet on May 4. The Friends of Music banquet will be at 7 p.m. on May 3. The Awards Assembly, when scholarships are announced, will be on May 9. Baccalaureate will be at 9 p.m. on May 9 in the high school gym. Graduation is at 7 p.m. on May 12.
Vice said 36 choir and band students qualified for state competition at the district level, more than some 3A and 4A schools send.
Janet Boys, middle school principal, said the middle school academic awards would be held in the elementary gym due to the improved acoustics. Students would be allowed to bring more family in the past because of the larger facility.
Swadley reported 20 medals were presented at the MAP test motivational assembly, recognizing high and improved performance last year. Parents of all the honored students attended.
Summer school will be held May 21 through June 22. Swadley had 240 students express interest in attending, up from 121 a year ago. He hoped as many as 300 would attend, which would earn the district an additional 42 eligible pupils for the school funding count.