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R-2 Board reorganizes as new members take office

Two new Board members  and incumbent Bruce Thomas took the oath of office as  the Jackson R-2 Board of Education meeting began April 11. Welcomed to the Board were Greg Farrow and Sara Varner.

Kelly Waller was elected Board president. Brian Thompson was elected vice president and delegate to the Missouri School Boards Association. Bonnie Stahlman was reelected as secretary and Bleau Deckerd was reelected as treasurer.

In other action:

• Early childhood: The teachers from the Early Childhood Center at East Elementary presented a program on the Week of the Young Child. Later, the Board approved the Early Childhood Program Evaluation.

• Health Services: The Health Services Program Evaluation was approved.

• Wellness Policy: The Board approved Wellness Policy procedures.

• MSBA agreement: The MSBA (Missouri School Boards Association) membership and Policy Maintenance Agreement were renewed for another year. MSBA monitors Jackson School District policies and makes sure they are in compliance with state laws.

• Employee benefits: The employee benefits package was approved. Insurance rates did not increase because there was a low loss ratio this past year.

Career and Technology Grant: It was agreed to apply for a Cape Career and Technology grant, which is a 50/50 matching grant that will fund computers for the high school business department to be used in two accounting courses.

• Two new sports: Approval was given to add girls golf and boys tennis to the JHS sports schedule. Girls golf will be in the spring and boys tennis will be in the fall.

• Construction management team: Brockmiller Construction was chosen as contracting construction management team.

• SHI Grant: Stacy Bohnsack and Lori Heuring, along with Liz Aufdenberg, presented information on a School Health Index Grant that East Elementary received.

• Community service: Jared Koehler, a JHS senior, gave a presentation on the Student Community Service and Outreach Committee that was formed this past year.

The purpose was to get students more involved in the community and to become more service-minded. JHS math teacher Julie Rushing helped organize the group.

The group had three projects:

1. Hat day, which raised money to help with some medical expenses for Jake Blagg, a JHS student going through cancer treatments;  

2) Adopted a family of four at Christmas; and

3) A canned food drive that collected more than 1,000 cans of food for those in need.

School security: During public comments, Donna Tidwell thanked the board for its service and spoke in favor of increasing school security. Suggestions included surveillance cameras, locking down parking lots, police patrols of parking lots, adding metal detectors, and not allowing strangers in buildings.

• Next meeting: The Jackson R-2 Board of Education meets regularly for open session at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at 614 E. Adams, Jackson. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 9.

Gregory Dullum has worked for The Cash-Book Journal for more than 25 years. Prior to becoming the editor in May 2017, he was production manager, circulation manager and reporter. Before moving to Cape Girardeau in 1988, he was editor of the Saint Louis Park Sailor, a weekly community newspaper in suburban Minneapolis, MN. A native of Minnesota, he returned there after graduating with distinction in 1978 from Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA, with a degree in mass communications. His wife, Marie, whom he met in college, is a native of Zalma, a small town in southeast Missouri. They have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. Gregory may be reached at

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