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Bohannon to be recognized for service

Thursday, March 23, 2006

(Photo)
Sikeston r-6 assistant superintendent Dr. Larry Bohannon
SIKESTON -- Sikeston R-6 assistant superintendent Dr. Larry Bohannon will be recognized for his service and dedication to public education tonight during the Southeast Missouri Regional State Teachers Association's honorees banquet in Cape Girardeau.

Bohannon is one of four Missouri educators who will receive the Meritorious Service to Education award out of a possible 70 applicants statewide.

"It's very humbling and very appreciated, especially, since it was teachers who nominated me and colleagues that wrote supporting letters," Bohannon said. "I'm very fortunate to work with some great people who've given me an opportunity to work with them and beside them."

Bohannon was nominated for the honor by the Sikeston Community Teacher Association.

"Dr. Bohannon is very committed to his job and has done an excellent job for our district," said Julie Hodges, president of Sikeston CTA. "He is the assistant superintendent in charge of professional development and gets into that with everything he's got. It's a passion of his."

Professional development for teachers is important to school districts because it enables teachers to stay informed on what they need to know to keep their students achieving, explained Hodges, who teaches at Sikeston Kindergarten Center.

"He always encourages teachers to be up-to-date on all the latest practices and wants us to be involved with parents and teaching kids, Our district is ahead in a lot of areas and professional is one of those areas."

Sikeston CTA decided to nominate Bohannon because of all he does for the district in terms of professional development, said Sikeston CTA vice president Pam Lowe, who wrote the letter nominating Bohannon for the honor.

"He is always looking for ways to make the district better and stronger. Anytime a conference has come up and we, as teachers, think it will better ourselves and the district, he is always supportive," said Lowe, a teacher at Morehouse Elementary.

And when teachers attend professional development conferences, Bohannon requires them to report to their building or department so not only the person who went gets the knowledge, but everyone in the district or building, Lowe said.

"He is just one of the people always looking out for the good of district," Lowe said about Bohannon.

A 1976 graduate of Murray State University, Bohannon obtained a Master of Arts in education administration from Southeast Missouri State University. He has completed his specialist in education and a doctorate in philosophy. Bohannon began teaching as an English teacher in 1976 at St. Henry School in Charleston. In 1979, he began his career as a math teacher at Sikeston.

Over the years, Bohannon has served as gifted program instructor, Southeast Elementary principal and currently as assistant superintendent of secondary education and professional development.

"I've worked with many great leaders in this district who I have tried to emulate," Bohannon said. "I'm very proud of this district, its teachers and administrators, in what has taken place in professional development, and I think they are the epitome of professionalism and dedication.

He continued: "The school district has as one of its major goals improving achievement using data analysis and then making changes in instructional practice. To this effort, they work extremely hard."

But professional development isn't the only area Bohannon has served the community, Lowe said.

"He started the district's program we have for closing the achievement gap with minority students," Lowe said. "And he plays the organ (for his church).

Bohannon presently serves on the board of trustees for Sikeston Public Library, the board of directors of the Sikeston Cultural Development Council and the board of directors for Southeast Missouri Drug Prevention.

In addition to Bohannon's 27 years of membership in Sikeston Community Teachers Association and MSTA, he has been active in the Southeast Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals. He published "The Yellow Brick Road to Cooperative Learning" and "Class Trade," which appeared in MSTA's School and Community magazine. His writing skill is currently directed to grant writing.

Other Meritorious Service to Education honorees tonight are Linda Hogan, who is a Charleston High School graduate, of the Fredericktown school district; Frederick Wilktorek, Doniphan school district; and Alice Patrick, Puxico school district.

"I feel very fortunate to work with administrators and teachers who believe each student is a unique person and a powerful learner capable of great achievement," Bohannon said. "That is what I truly believe education is all about: Helping the child realize this!"

Bohannon and his wife, Sheila, a Sikeston R-6 art teacher, have two college-

age sons, Clint and Chris.

"I consider myself among those truly blessed to have chosen teaching and administration as a profession," Bohannon said.