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story.lead_photo.caption California High School Photo by David Wilson / California Democrat.

The Moniteau County R-1 School District Board of Education met last Tuesday, with the last day of the 2020-21 academic year in the rear view and year-end events beginning to wind down.

The meeting started with a presentation from the district's school resource officers, Scott Harkins and Leanna Brown. The pair shared some background regarding what the SROs do and their future plans to expand their roles throughout the district and in each school building. The pair noted they're most often seen at roughly 180 after-school activities district-wide throughout the year, but they also dedicate plenty of time toward providing educational programs to students and researching other programs they can implement.

Future goals highlighted during their presentation included a number of potential programs, from hunter safety instruction to "law enforcement interaction 101" classes, each with the goal of educating students throughout the district.

"We serve as a problem-solving resource for the students and staff and act swiftly when responding to any major disruption or criminal offense at the school," Harkins said during the presentation. "I learned really fast when I started here a few years ago that I look at my job as being if I see a safety issue or I see an issue that needs to be addressed, it's easier for me to just do what I can to try to address it, because I know our admins have tons of stuff they're trying to address all at the same time."

From there, the board was given an update regarding ongoing construction and other bond issue-related work. The library at California Middle School was completely emptied earlier this month so demolition could begin, and furniture and materials in the existing pre-K through second grade classrooms at California Elementary School were moved into storage areas last week in preparation for the move to new classrooms when they are ready. The same process is taking place this week for furniture and materials in fifth grade classrooms.

Superintendent Dwight Sanders also informed the board about progress with remaining Guaranteed Performance Contract projects. Minor modifications were completed on new HVAC equipment at California High School, and work on some issues with the LED lighting system at the California Performing Arts Center was continuing as of last week's meeting.

The board also approved a special meeting for June 28 to set the budget for the 2021-22 school year; the new budget must be approved prior to the start of the new fiscal year on July 1.

Resignations approved in May included Jennifer Dampf, a district retiree who returned on a part-time basis to provide supplemental educational services to students in need. Jennifer Porter also ceded her duties as eighth-grade volleyball coach, as she prepares to take on the middle school activities director role next school year.

The board also approved the following contracts for employment: Patrick Truman, middle school technology and high school business teacher, assistant wrestling coach; Tyler Kirchner, full-time district substitute; John Heimann, high school body conditioning teacher, assistant high school football and wrestling coach; Robb Hartman, high school boys assistant basketball coach; Scott Harkins, high school girls assistant basketball coach; Eric Stout, middle school head football coach, high school girls assistant basketball coach and high school head track coach; Gene Dales, high school assistant football coach; David Austin, high school assistant football coach; Lance Boyd, boys golf coach; Taylor Walters, seventh-grade volleyball coach; and Lauren Fischer, head middle school softball coach.

The Moniteau County R-1 School District Board of Education's next regular meeting is set for Wednesday, June 16 at 6 p.m.

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