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by Patty Cheffey
While still on track to be approved during the June meeting, the Palmyra R-I Board of Education heard an update on funds for the 2022-23 school year budget,
The board, which met in regular session after reorganizing following the recent election, also congratulated Palmyra’s newest Belcher Scholarship winner, approved several purchases and filled numerous teaching and coaching positions.
Although he’s been working on the budget, Superintendent Kirt Malone said the district is still waiting to get some final figures.
“We always have to wait until after the legislative session to see what the state budget looks like for next year,” he said. “We already know that for the third year in a row schools will receive the same amount of funding from the foundation formula, continuing to make Missouri public schools the lowest funded schools in the entire nation.
“Low state funding translates into a greater tax burden for local communities.”
Proposition C revenue is expected to increase because of improving sales tax revenues, Malone added, noting classroom Trust Fund revenues from gambling has increased from a year ago. Those funds ebb and flow with the amount of money coming in from lottery tickets and gambling boats.
The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER III) has started to be distributed this spring, Malone said, noting he will keep teachers updated regarding the impact of revenue on the salary schedule.
Prior to discussing items, the board reorganized with Joe Knochel and Roth McElvain taking the oath of office as newly elected members. Oneta Crowe was elected president; Darin Redd, vice-president; Stephanie Bross, treasurer; and Joe Knochel, secretary.
The board expressed their congratulations to Tim Wellman, Palmyra High School senior, who was awarded the Belcher Scholarship for Region 3 during the Missouri School Board Association regional meeting April 18 in Kirksville.
“Palmyra R-1 is proud to announce that we have another Belcher Scholarship winner,” said Malone. “Tim Wellman is a wonderful young man who always strives to succeed both in the classroom and outside the classroom. His recognition by the committee validates his character and work ethic as a Palmyra R-1 student.
“Palmyra R-I is proud of Tim and wish him the best as he competes for the statewide Belcher scholarship.”
Wellman will be the third Belcher Regional Scholarship winner from Palmyra in the past five years. The $1,000 annual scholarship is awarded to a student in each of MSBA’s 17 regions.
Applicants are judged based on academic performance, extra-curricular activities, and the quality of an essay. A statewide winner is selected from this group of regional winners and awarded an additional $1,500.
MSBA FutureBuilders established the scholarship program in the memory of John T. Belcher, who was instrumental in developing innovative financing programs for Missouri school districts.
The board also hired several new teachers and filled numerous coaching positions during their meeting last week.
New hires included: Makayla Vigil and Andrea Lanford, PES paraprofessionals; Malena Eager, PES classroom teacher;
Brandon Crisp, PES PE teacher, varsity baseball coach and middle school boys basketball coach;
Devon Breitling, PES music teacher and Junior Singer/Honors Choir sponsor;
Timothy Southers, PHS social studies teacher and varsity girls basketball coach
Jeremiah Reed, PRIDE (alternative classroom) teacher, varsity wrestling coach and middle school football coach;
Brianna Holder, middle and high school music teacher and band and choir teacher;
Grace Fessenden, district maintenance and grounds services;
Aron Knoche, PHS FCCLA sponsor; Alysha Barnett-varsity girls tennis coach; Cody Ash, girls golf coach; Steven Jones, boys golf coach; Nicole Harper, varsity assistant track coach-Nicole Harper; and Lex Meyers, middle school girls track coach.
Although a number of positions have been filled, Malone said the district still has positions to fill, including high school science, high school art and high school special education as well as some coaching position.
During the meeting, the board also accepted several resignation, including those from Chris Parsons, Alex Brandenburg, Marcy Hamilton and Angela Mulhatten as teachers, Katy Fuqua as Key Club sponsor and Jill Englehardt as high school kitchen manager due to retirement.
The board also approved the purchase of several items, including accepting a bid from Central States Bus Sales for the purchase of a Bluebird 2023 model, 77 passenger bus.
They also approved purchasing a lawn mower, a dishwasher for the high school kitchen, flooring for the middle school library and computer lab and classroom furniture for the 2022-2023 school year.
In addition, the board approved the 2022-2023 EBA Health Insurance renewal, which saw an increase of 6.8 percent next year.
The board also:
• heard a report from school library/media staff, Stacy Conrad, Mark Lickfeld, and Elizabeth Lehenbauer, on library/media services across the district;.
• heard a report from Mallory Sublette on her upcoming trip to the FCCLA National Convention this summer;
• heard a legislative update;
• heard a first reading of MSBA policy update 2022A;
• approved the professional development calendar for the 2022-2023 school year;
• approved the OPAA service agreement for the 2022-2023 school year;
• re-hired non-tenured teaching staff, coaches and sponsors as presented; and .
• approved the updated substitute teacher list as presented.