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story.lead_photo.caption California High School English teacher Dana Barr was recognized for being a LifeChanger Award nominee at the Moniteau County R-1 School board meeting Nov. 19, 2018. Photo by Liz Morales / California Democrat.

The position for a School Resource Officer has been filled, after a unanimous decision between the Moniteau County Sheriff's Office and the Moniteau County R-1 School District. The announcement was made during the Nov. 19 school board meeting.

Scott Harkins, a reserve deputy for the sheriff's office, already is considered a county employee, Superintendent Dwight Sanders explained. This new title will be a deputy reassignment. Harkins will begin his duties in January.

An update on the 2020 bond issue also was discussed during the meeting. Sanders said the planning process is still in motion.

"Right now, we're working to fine tune some of the numbers," Sanders said. "After they are finalized, we will take a look at our priorities for this bond as we go."

The main priority will be to add to the elementary and middle schools.

"The bulk of the construction will be connecting the backside of the middle and elementary schools back by the bus drop off/pick up area," Sanders said. "It will be a two-story building, so we'll actually be expanding the middle school library and cafeteria."

In this addition will be room to build classrooms in order to allow the fifth grade to join the middle school. Also in the expansion, the school board is looking to "demo the kindergarten, first and second grade classrooms and add them into the new section."

Sanders also mentioned building a gymnasium that could serve as a safe shelter in the event of a natural disaster. This safe shelter would be partially-funded with FEMA grant money, if the proposition is approved.

In other business, the board recognized California High School English teacher Dana Barr as a nominee for the LifeChanger of the Year award. She was formally nominated by a former student, Tyler Gowans-Husted, who described Barr as "being the Michael Jordan of teaching."

The board also approved the request by California High School choir director Michele Bilyeu to allow her choir to perform in Carnegie Hall in the spring of 2020.

Last spring, four large ensembles from CHS competed in Chicago and won first place in their division. Bilyeu said the men's choir also won the Judicator's Award. These accomplishments led the choir to be invited to the Festival of Gold in Carnegie Hall. The Festival of Gold, Bilyeu said, is not a competition, but an opportunity for choir students around the country to sing together.

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