Saturday, March 03, 2018

Joplin R-8 Board hires Lankford full-time, renews administrator contracts, hires four teachers, accepts six retirements, four resignations

During a closed session Tuesday, the Joplin R-8 Board of Education hired Dr. Ron Lankford to serve as assistant superintendent for business services through the end of the current fiscal year.

Lankford, who retired after a long career in education, including a lengthy stint as superintendent of the Webb City R-7 School District, has been serving as a part-time troubleshooter for the district for the past couple of years, first taking the role of human resources director then this year handling the responsibilities formerly handled by retired CFO Paul Barr, but the State of Missouri limits the hours a retired educator can work and Lankford's hours were scheduled to run out this month.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education granted the R-8 School District a waiver under the critical shortage provision that will allow him to work full-time through the end of the year.

The position will be advertised and Lankford will help in the search for his full-time replacement.

In other action during the closed session, the Board rehired the following administrators:

District Administrators - Sandra Cantwell, Dr. Stephen Gilbreth, Matthew Miatt, Dr. Kerry Sachetta, Jacob Williams.

Building Administrators - Teresa Adams, Gregory Boyd, Christopher Bozarth, Jason Cravens, Joshua Depoe, Brandon Eggleston, Joshua Flora, Paul Gipson, Matthew Harding, Kirk Harryman, Daniel Hueller, Bret Ingle, Susan James, Shally Lunden, Mark Lynch, Catherine McCombs, Chris Mitchell, Julie Munn, Sarah Mwangi, Brenda Olds, Brian Olivera, Kasey Pliler, Steven Reed, Jason Riddle, David Rockers, Karen Secrist, Melinda St. Clair, Heather Surbrugg, Jason Weaver, and Jill White. 

The following were hired:

Certified Employment (Teachers)- Tylan Harris, Jessica Henson, Myra Hidalgo, Ashleigh McFarland, Toby Sissions, and Angela Street

Classified Employment - Whitney Cummings, Frederic Frerer, Dennis Goode, Jud Heald, Steven Keith, Barbara Largent, Toby Sissons, KayCee Spaugh, Joyce Stepens, Marvin Tindall, Angela Tipton, and Rick Waldo.

Dale Peterson was hired as community engagement coordinator and Teresa Adams as summer school director.

Retirements and resignations were accepted from the following:

Retirements - Elaina Edman, Carol Mailes, Betty Meyers, Carolyn Tunnell, Linda Unser, and Diana Younker.

Resignations - Shana Ball, and Christina Morgan.


Anonymous said...

Community engagement coordinator....Just what the hell is that?

Anonymous said...

>>>Community engagement coordinator....Just what the hell is that?<<<

Used to be Melissa Winston? Before she went to Bright Futures with the Huff?

Superintendent Huff was made aware that if the trip proceeded as scheduled, litigation would likely ensue. In response to the complaints, Principal Eggleston agreed that in the future, if the venue was to be used for trips, a request would be made to omit paragraph 6 from the Victory waiver and release form.

When Victory learned of parents’ concerns, they informed the Joplin District that parents could strike paragraph 6 from the waiver and release form if they so desired. However, Superintendent Huff, Defendant Eggleston, and the Joplin District determined not to advise parents of their option to strike out paragraph 6 of the waiver, and to “go on as it’s written.”

Defendant Eggleston met with the North Middle School faculty attending the trip, instructing them to monitor Victory employees to ensure no proselytization occurred. However, Victory staff present during the North Middle School field trips were not given instructions regarding proselytization.

While the North Middle School field trips were the events that precipitated this litigation, they are not the only examples of the Joplin District’s use of Victory facilities. The Court notes other schools within the Joplin District have also used Victory facilities on numerous occasions.

For example, the Joplin District regularly hosts high school excursions to Victory facilities for abstinence-only sex education titled “Battle of the Sexes” provided by Life Choices, a Christian-based organization.

The trips take place during school hours, and school buses take the students to the Victory facilities. The trip is considered part of the “curriculum” of the Joplin District. The adults who teach the Joplin High School students while at Victory are selected by the Connection Institute, the prevention services arm of Life Choices.

Life Choices programming held at Victory for Joplin High School students does not include information about contraception or abortion - they teach abstinence only. Battle of the Sexes is the incarnation of a program that started in 2010 by Melissa Winston at Life Choices called “Man Up” for boys and “My Life” for girls. Winston was previously Youth Development Coordinator for Life Choices Medical Clinic and Resource Center. Since November 2013, Winston has served as Director of Community Engagement for the Joplin District. The Man Up/My Life events have been held at Victory or its predecessor since 2010.

Approximately 800 Joplin High School students are transported to Victory during school hours and attend Battle of the Sexes Life Choices program each year. On March 11 and 12, 2014, Joplin High School took its junior class to Victory for a two-day Battle of the Sexes event. The event was held from 1:00 – 3:00 each afternoon and approximately 800 students attended.

On March 11, 2014, Victory posted information on its official Facebook page captioned “Victory Worship Sessions” describing the Joplin High School Battle of the Sexes event, along with four pictures from the event. One of the photos posted on the March 11 Facebook page shows a Joplin school bus parked in front of a large Victory banner.

On March 12, 2014, Victory posted a second message on its Facebook page, “Victory Worship Sessions,” about the JHS Battle of the Sexes event, along with four pictures. The post stated: Good Wednesday Morning! We started out this day with worship and prayer for our schools, community and nation...believing that God is in control and worthy to be praised! This morning’s session led by Joshua Bussey. God’s faithfulness endures forever! Once again, thank you Joplin School District for allowing us to pour into these students’ lives.

Anonymous said...

A PR person in lieu of another teacher. Still heavy on both administration AND student-to-teacher ratio!

Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ, how many jobs can landlord retire from? How are they hiring him full time if he retired from the the PSRS? Is this illegal? How much longer can he continue to fleece the taxpayers?

Anonymous said...

"The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education granted the R-8 School District a waiver under the critical shortage provision that will allow him to work full-time through the end of the year." - Turner's article
How does this qualify as a critical shortage? They didn't know they needed this position for a full year when he was hired?