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Emmendorfer returns to Jackson R-2 as COVID-19 coordinator

Dr. Beth Emmendorfer has returned to the Jackson R-2 School District as the District’s COVID-19 coordinator.

Emmendorfer, who retired at the end of June as the assistant superintendent, will be the single point of contact between the district and the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center.  She started in the new part-time position when classes began two weeks ago.

“We hope that it won’t have to be something that will have to be utilized too much, but it is a way to be proactive as a school district,” Director of Communications Merideth Pobst said.

Pobst said Emmendorfer was able to hit the ground running with the new position due to her strong knowledge of the District and the area.

“Internally, she was already a well-trusted source and already knew our processes,” Pobst said. In addition, Emmendorfer had contact with the local public health center, which Pobst said made her a “perfect match for the position.”

The roll of COVID-19 coordinator will allow the District to be proactive in their contact tracing on school grounds for the public health center. In addition, she will help lead students and staff members if they get sick.

“If a student or staff member would start exhibiting symptoms, she can begin the process of checking on them and will get them in contact with the local health department to figure out what the next steps would be,” Pobst said.

Superintendent Dr. John Link, who had previously said Emmendorfer was integral in putting together the District’s re-entry plan, added that the District is currently seeking reimbursement for the added position through the county’s CARES Act funding, saying, “We’re hopeful that we will be reimbursed due to the fact that it meets all the requirements.”

CARES Act funding must be used for necessary expenditures from March 1 to Dec. 20 that were incurred due to the COVID-19 public health. In addition, the expenditures cannot have been budgeted before the pandemic.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past five years. He can be reached at

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