Superintendent Corner

December 12, 2018

John French

As we head into the holidays and the first semester of the 2018-19 school year comes to an end, I would like to take a moment and highlight a couple of major school events coming up. First, the Highland band will be leaving on Christmas night to travel to San Antonio, TX where they will competing and performing at the 2018 Valero Alamo Bowl! The band will be marching in a parade, as well as representing the Highland community when they perform during the half-time of the Alamo Bowl game on Friday, December 28th. While the game will be televised on ESPN, it is likely that ESPN will not broadcast the band performing. There may be a YouTube broadcast of the half-time show available, but the details have not been finalized yet. Keep an eye on the district website if you are interested in possibly watching this performance online.

The next big event at the school will be the 47th Annual Highland Varsity Basketball Tournament, which will start with the first games taking place on Saturday, December 29th and then resuming January 1st – 5th. The actual game schedule will be posted on the district website.

I would also like to congratulate Mr. Christian and Mr. Sparks on the great success the music program is having at Highland. Special congratulations go out to Morgan Jennings for earning a spot as an alternate for the All-State Choir. Other outstanding choir achievements include the following:

CONFERENCE CHOIR members: Morgan Jennings, Leah Jennings, Jayden Dreyer, Cosea Cisco, Donovan Gullian, William Leeser, Joleen McClaughry, and Cheyenne VanMeter. DISTRICT CHOIR members: Morgan Jennings, Joleen McClaughry, Leah Jennings, and Jayden Dreyer.

On the band side of things, congratulations to the following students for tying a school record by qualifying 18 individuals for the Conference Band: Josslyn Tournear – flute, Josie Mullins – clarinet, Brianna Neisen – clarinet, Karley Koch – clarinet, Gage Neisen - alto sax, James Stutheit - alto sax, Thomas Evans - tenor sax, Cody Bliven – trumpet, Sabastian Pearson – trumpet, Blayde Meany – trumpet, Audra Dehner – trumpet, Nathan Moore – trombone, Braeden Wenneker – trombone, Breeze Dunton – tuba, Zayne Gaus – percussion, Allen Moore – percussion, Noah Parrish – percussion, and Carli Scifres - baritone (Who qualified as 1st-chair All-Conference!). Thomas Evans – tenor sax also qualified for All-District Jazz & received honorable mention for concert band!

Typically, I would be discussing the school district’s Annual Performance Report (APR) and how the district faired on this “grade card” from the state. Unfortunately, the state has not yet released the APR scores for school districts and only recently shared preliminary student achievement data from the state accountability tests. Part of the delay certainly has to do with the drama that unfolded with the state board of education appointments made by former Governor Greitens and the firing of the Missouri State Commissioner of Education last year. The other relevant hold up centers around the fact that Missouri public schools have had to deal with four different tests using three different sets of standards in just the last five years. The state tests last year were adjusted to include more rigor and therefore are a harder exam than students have taken in recent years. What we do know at this point is that the state scores, and likely individual student results, will have declined from the prior year’s results. It is important to remember that these scores are not really comparable to the scores received in the prior year because it is a different test. More to come in future articles.

Finally, as the first semester draws to an end and we enter into the holiday season, I would like to wish for everyone to enjoy the season with family and loved ones. Have a Happy New Year!

Beginning December 11, 2018, school districts across Missouri will begin collecting filings for local school board candidates. This month’s Superintendent’s Corner for Canton R-V School District will focus on some frequently asked questions regarding school board candidates.

Canton R-V Superintendent’s Corner

Jesse Uhlmeyer

Have you ever wanted to become more involved in your community?

Canton R-V School District will hold a public election on April 2, 2019, for two positions on the Board of Education. Each position will serve a three-year term. According to the Missouri School Boards’ Association (MSBA), “the board of education is a volunteer representative body elected by the registered voters of the local public school district. The board governs the school district and serves as a leader and champion for public education in the community. School board members represent the interests of the entire district, not a subgroup or specific area of the district community. Board members come from all walks of life and are as diverse as the communities they serve.” The filing period for the April 2, 2019 election is December 11, 2018, through January 15, 2019. Individuals wishing to file for the election may do so Monday-Friday, at the Canton R-V Superintendent’s Office, 3rd & Madison Street, Canton, Missouri.

What are the qualifications to run for school board?

According to Missouri statutes regarding the qualifications for a school board candidate, a school board member must be a U.S. citizen, a resident taxpayer of the district, a resident of Missouri for at least one year and at least 24 years of age. Candidates must also be current on state and local taxes; have not been found guilty of or pled guilty to a felony under Missouri or federal law; are not registered or required to register as a sex offender; and have filed required campaign documents for all previous campaigns, if any.

What authority does the school board have?

According to MSBA, “school boards are granted their power and authority from state laws and regulations. The school board has authority to take action only when it is acting as a whole during an official board meeting. Individual board members have no authority to provide direction to the superintendent or other staff, change policies or procedures, direct operations of the district or make other individual decisions.”

What are the responsibilities of the school board?

The most important responsibility of the school board is to be the connection between the school and the community. Board members are tasked with the responsibility to ensure that local tax revenue is being expended appropriately. Another important responsibility of the school board is to hire a certified and qualified superintendent to provide leadership, direct the school administrative team, and supervise the daily operations of the district. The board is responsible for adopting all of the policies and regulations that govern the operations of the district. The board is also responsible for evaluating the superintendent’s performance based on clear goals, adherence to policy and protection of district assets.

What type of training do school board members receive?

Missouri law requires all elected board members to complete sixteen hours of orientation and training within one year of their election (RSMo.162.203).

If you think you want to be a candidate for one of the school board member vacancies, then one of the best things you can do is attend board meetings in advance. This provides a great opportunity to observe the school board in action and learn about district priorities, the condition of facilities, effectiveness of district programs, accomplishments of students and staff and many other important aspects of the district. Our next meetings are scheduled for January 14, February 11, and March 11 at 6:00 p.m. in the Library/Media Center Conference Room.

Mr. Jesse Uhlmeyer


Canton R-V School District