SIKESTON - Just about every seat was taken Tuesday afternoon, as the board room was brimming over with parents, teachers and students proud of Sikeston Public Schools' recent accomplishments.
To begin Dr. Larry Bohannon praised the achievements of the band, under the direction of Ed Cowan; orchestra, under the direction of Gay French; and the choir under Nora Fuchs's leadership. Each group earned a "1" rating at the District Contest this year.
"I don't know when the last time this happened," Bohannon said as he and newly elected Board President Bill Priday handed out certificates of recognition.
Other newly elected officers include Steve Millington, vice president; Pete Burns, secretary; Lori Boardman, treasurer; and Arlene Roberts, assistant treasurer.
Also, Melissa Eakins was honored for being named the Southeast District Outstanding Community Teachers Association Leader and Dr. Marissa Bowen was recognized for receiving Phi Delta Kappa's Educator of the Year Award.
Cliff Lankheit had the honor of recognizing the winners of the Southeast Missouri Regional Science Fair for their dedication and achievement.
"I'd first like to recognize our teachers that have worked so hard with the Science Fair this year," said the Science Fair coordinator. "We've had one of our very best years this year with Science Fair. Our teachers have done a fantastic job working with students before and after school, putting in many hours and getting students ready for not only our local competition but also our regional competition. This year we've got a couple of students going to the international competition so they're still getting ready and still preparing."
Although not all in attendance, he applauded Barbara Blanton, Tina Cork, Marilyn Lambert, Kathy Eldrige, Gary Williams, Beth Brunkhorst and Wanda Throop.
Lankheit also pointed out the lengthy list of the awards the Science Fair winners earned.
"If you would have been there it was Sikeston called up constantly and it was just fantastic," Lankheit said. "All of our students in grades 7 to 12, both junior and senior division, did an outstanding job."
He introduced Chelsea Grigery and Kendra Riddle, the two students Sikeston Public Schools are especially proud of for making it to the International Science Fair in May. "They did a fantastic job," Lankheit said. "I was just flabbergasted and I still am," he said, grinning. "I was typing all this up and I thought I was going to run out of ink," he joked.
In addition to placing first in senior chemistry, he pointed out Grigery earned the American Chemical Society Award and The U.S. Army Award and that she is the first ninth grader in Sikeston Public Schools history to go on to the International Science Fair. She will also compete at the Missouri Junior Academy of Science next week.
Riddle, Lankheit noted, won the Cape Girardeau Engineering Club Award, the Hoover Presidential Library Association Award, United States Army Engineering Award and the Scientitic American Award. She is also going to the Missouri Junior Academy of Science next week.
She presented her project at the Missouri Science Symposium and was chosen as one of two students from Missouri to go on to the National Science Symposium in a few weeks. Lankheit stressed this is the first time Sikeston Schools has had a student go to the National Science Symposium.
This will be Riddle's second time in a row to go to the International Science Fair. "We haven't sent two students to this since 1965 and we haven't sent a student two years in a row since 1961 so those are major accomplishments," the educator said proudly.
In other business the Board of Education accepted the resignation of Angela Constant, Melinda Heisserer and Nancy Miles.
New teachers for the 2002-2003 school year include Bethany Largent, who is returning to employment, and Lisa Arnson, special education, both at the elementary level.
New teachers at the secondary level include Brad Blackman for physical education, science grades 7-9 or in-school suspension; Lucia B. Henson, math at Junior High; Kelly Mausey, English at Junior High; and Jonathon Sipp, science.
Superintendent of Schools Steve Borgsmiller informed board members the R-6 District has been told by the State Board of Nursing that Sikeston Public Schools was given the go-ahead to consolidate its Practical Nursing Program for the next school year which means closing the program in Hayti.
"We are contacting everyone down in the Hayti area, thanking them for the years of cooperation and passing on to the special school district down there the opportunity they may have to pick this program up," Borgsmiller said. "Anything we can do to assist them we're certainly willing to do that. I just wanted to close that loop and we're on the way toward a program here for next year."
Before the meeting was adjourned, board member Bob Depro noted the Sikeston Area Higher Education Center's recent auction brought in $57,000.