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Crocker schools hire coaches and teachers, ban student cell phone use
CROCKER, Mo. (April 28, 2009) — Crocker students will have several new teachers next year, along with new rules restricting cell phones, board members decided Tuesday night.

The new staff members will be Scott Spooner, hired as the boys’ head basketball coach and athletic director, Nancy Ward as the head girls’ basketball coach, and Lee Richardson as the high school social studies teacher. Spooner currently teaches in the Conway schools but lives in Lebanon.

All of the staff members were approved unanimously except Ward, who received one “no” vote from board member Dawn Kubinski.

Board president Don Mayhew did express concern about the number of Crocker teachers who have temporary rather than full certification, and wanted to know why that’s allowed.

“So what you are saying is it was because we’re way out in the boondocks?” Mayhew asked.

Not necessarily, according to school counselor Ann Stevenson.

“You have to understand that temporary certification is certification. It just means they need to do more work to get fully certified,” Stevenson said.

The new rules barring cell phones in the school drew more attention, however.

High School Principal Tami Bobbitt said the district needs to be realistic about what formal rules can accomplish with cell phones.

“They’re going to carry them; they’re kids,” Bobbitt said. “We can tell them not to, but they will. If they have them in their lockers, or if the girls have them in their purses, as long as they are off, or if they have them in their backpacks, as long as they are off that’s OK with me.”

Board member Kris York said whatever rule Crocker establishes, it needs to be clearly defined.

“You know they are going to push it to the limit,” York said. “I don’t have a problem with this, but I’m asking because you know people are going to be asking.”

Other types of technology received greater support from board members, including a proposal by librarian Jennifer Houlehan to connect a smartboard to the internet and upgrade the library computers.

“(The smartboard) will get a little bit of a signal but not enough to get on, and I don’t know why,” Houlehan said. “The printer situation in the high school library is a problem every year. Every time we get a printer in the beginning of the year, by the end of the year it no longer works. We really need to get a quality printer… I don’t know what kind of printer we need to get, but they don’t seem to last more than one school year. We need to get one that is meant to handle large print jobs, which the ones that we have probably aren’t.”

In other business:

• Board members agreed to bring up an ongoing discussion about procedures for public comment at board meetings during the May meeting. Superintendent Jim Bogle suggested that those who want to comment at the board meetings fill out a form requesting permission to comment in advance.

Bogle also noted that the Missouri Sunshine Law would prevent board members from taking action on items brought up by members of the public if they’re not placed on the agenda.

“The main thing to do would be to develop this form so people would be able to tell us their name and address and what they want to talk about,” Bogle said. “Obviously we cannot do anything if we have people comment on anything that is not an agenda, so we may have to just put it on the agenda for the next meeting.”

After discussion in closed session, board members decided to hold off on a policy for now.

“We just need to come back and talk about it next month; we’re not ready to vote on it tonight,” said board president Don Mayhew.

• Members of the Crocker Ministerial Alliance will sponsor an awards presentation and baccalaureate service at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13, at the Crocker High School gym. Graduation will be at 7 p.m. Friday at the same location. A senior breakfast will be held at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, May 5, at the First Baptist Church of Crocker.

• Bogle said a member of a Waynesville Boy Scout troop wants to do repairs on a rock wall at the Crocker school for his Eagle Scout project; board members thanked him for the information and said they appreciated the offer of help.

• Bogle said the summer school staffing plan is larger than anticipated due to a higher-than-expected number of students who want to be in summer school. The additional staff members won’t be hired for summer school unless warranted by actual attendance, however.

• Board members approved a banner to be hung in the gym to recognize academic as well as athletic achievement awards, at a cost of between $300 and $500.

“We recognize athletics all the time, but we want to make a banner for academic achievement that lists the years we received our academic achievement awards,” Bogle said.

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