As Sharrock Dermott assumed the position at the head of the table as the new board president, Dr. Ron Lankford, assistant superintendent for business services, picked up a now extraneous item and carried it over to Board Secretary Janet Waldo.
She accepted the plate, bearing the name "Jeff Koch" and the meeting resumed moments later.
Koch, who had served as board president for an unprecedented three years, was defeated in his bid for re-election and departed graciously at the end of the adjournment of the old board saying "a great deal of change has taken place in the past three years. I feel the district is on a good path." Koch praised the team that has been assembled for the district and pledged his continued support.
A few moments after Koch's departure, Superintendent Melinda Moss conducted the election of officers for the new board, with Dermott elected president and Brent Jordan vice president.
When Koch was first elected board president, a different superintendent, C. J. Huff, conducted the election.
And while the terms of Huff's departure can be questioned (and rightly so), his removal ended a dark era for the Joplin R-8 School District and for that alone Koch earned the gratitude of taxpayers, teachers, staff, and students.