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February School Board update

Feb 24, 2023 12:23PM ● By Gwen Romero

Last Tuesday, while many of you were celebrating Valentine’s Day with people you love, the Board of Education was sharing some love for the students, parents and staff of Morgan County. Here are some highlights.

Principal Ty Mikesell honored Mountain Green Middle School’s Jonathan Cox and Stephanie Bauer as the Employee Spotlights. Jonathan, in technical education, has been with the district for four years. His specialties are digital literacy, robotics and furniture design; some of his work has been featured in books about furniture design. Stephanie is a paraprofessional who has been with the district for eight years and “has the patience of Job.” Stephanie also writes children’s books in her spare time. Thank you both for your devotion to Morgan’s kids.

Welcome to our new transportation director, Corey Sanders, who dove in on Feb. 6.

The search for Supt. Jacob’s successor continues. Richard Stowell, USBA Executive Director, met with the Board to review options for in-district and broader searchers, comment on what has worked in other districts, field questions and discuss personnel. The Board plans to announce the new superintendent in April. 

Special Education Director Steve Wood was on hand to give the annual report. Morgan currently employs more than 40 paraprofessionals in addition to our specialists to meet the needs of our students. And, while referrals for services in the elementary schools are down, SPED is looking for ways to meet the new licensing requirements for testing and to provide essential services in all grades.

The financial health of the district is another reason to celebrate. Through conscientious spending (and a little legislative help) the district has been able to reduce fees without increasing taxes. The Board is also using short and long term planning to manage capital projects as well, including remodeling work at MMS and MHS.

A few additional needs that the district is addressing include an additional counselor at the high school, supporting positive mental health for students and staff and recognizing inspiring work across the district. Student Board member Addie Morgan noted “the mental toll” many are experiencing and the benefits of having some long weekends. Kelly Preece commended “teachers and staff dealing with family struggles” who are in classrooms, engaged and “continue to do their jobs at an outstanding level.”

Vice President Blunck gave a special shout-out to MGMS’s Christa Gettis for making health interesting for eighth graders, whom he saw fully engaged in creating informational brochures. President Gaylene Adams ended the meeting on another positive note saying, “Hats off to all our classified staff who are so essential to education and what we do.”

The board meets again on March 14.

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