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Board to hold community meeting April 21

Photo by Shari Harris
New board member Heidi Moloney recites her oath of office under the direction of Board Secretary Jeremy Rinne.

Photo by Shari Harris
Board Secretary Jeremy Rinne led new board member Ashli Todaro through her oath of office.












The Licking R-VIII School Board of Education met Monday, April 11, at the Office of the Superintendent. Board members, including those newly elected, and administrators were present, as well as the Secretary to the Board and members of the public.

Due to the need to elect officers, Supt. Cristina Wright called the meeting to order. Rawly Gorman was nominated and elected Board President. Alan Quick was nominated and elected Board Vice President. Jeremy Rinne was nominated and elected Board Secretary. Mrs. Jennifer Nelson was nominated and elected Secretary to the Board. The meeting was turned over to Board President Rawly Gorman.

The Board voted to approve minutes from the previous meeting and to approve payment of bills. Supt. Wright reviewed bills with the Board prior to the vote. High school library chairs, a $6500 bus repair, and antifreeze for the HVAC system at the elementary school were among the month’s expenditures.

Public comment was moved up on the agenda, and Mrs. Linda Roberts addressed the Board in regards to the Missouri Retired Teachers Association (MRTA). The organization’s membership consists of retired teachers and school personnel, and it is the watchdog of pension funds for all retired school staff. On behalf of MRTA, Mrs. Roberts asked that the school board join 50 other districts in the state and pay first year MRTA dues of $44 for all retiring teachers and school personnel.

Mr. Gorman read the election results and the board approved the results. Board Secretary Jeremy Rinne led new members Ashli Todaro and Heidi Moloney through the swearing in process.

The agenda item “Non-Certified Letters of Intent & Extra Duty Assignments” was moved to closed session.

The Board approved covering the 5.7 percent increase in MET insurance rates for the 2022-2023 school year, added an HSA option and eliminated Plan 4 from the options offered.

Renewing student athlete concussion insurance through MSHSAA was approved by the Board, at an annual cost of $211.95.

Supt. Wright announced the Seamless Summer program, which has allowed the district to offer free meals to all students, will only extend through the end of Summer School. Furthermore, the state is requiring an increase in meal prices. Effective at the beginning of the Fall Semester, student breakfasts will remain at $1.25, but student lunches will be $2.42, and adult lunches will be $4.15. Families may still qualify for free or reduced price lunches, and will need to submit the Free & Reduced Lunch Form to determine eligibility. The Life 360 program will be in place for 2022-23, and will offer a free meal in the afternoon to any student.

The Board approved MSBA Policy Update 22A, which related to policies on lactation support, professional short-term leave, corporal punishment, and seclusion and restraint.

The Board voted to advertise for bids to resurface the parking lot. Final decisions of what will be resurfaced will be made when the Board has decided whether the capital projects tentatively planned with ESSER III Funds will be possible.

The Board moved to enter closed session.

Supt. Cristina Wright provided the following information related to business completed during the remainder of the meeting.

”The Board thanked Mrs. Hawn, Mrs. Buehlmann, Mrs. King, Mrs. French, Mrs. (Hoemann) Daniels, and Mrs. Bonnie Beasley for their service to the district and wished each employee all the best in their new endeavors.

“Mrs. Tillery was approved as the district’s first Leadership Academy member.

“The Board reviewed the structural engineer’s report of damage to the high school gym building.

“The Board welcomed Mrs. August Huff as long-term sub for Mrs. Sheppard, Mrs. Elisabeth Cole as sub nurse, Mrs. Candice Shepherd as 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Ashley Adey as paraprofessional, Mrs. Theresa Skidmore as high school English teacher, Mrs. Rebecca Taylor as kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Whitley Hart as FACS teacher (internal transfer), and Mrs. Gabby Lopez as 2nd grade teacher.

“The Board discussed hosting a community meeting to gather public input on ARP/ESSER III plans. This meeting will be held April 21 in the FEMA Gym at 7 p.m.

“The Board discussed having a Stakeholder Night next year to increase public awareness of district programs, financial challenges, and student celebrations.

“Lastly, submission of the MO Postsecondary Advising Initiative Grant was approved by the Board.”

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