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While you were away...
School may have been out for the summer, but that doesn't mean our Eagles weren't busy making us proud! Check out these summer announcements, recognitions, and accomplishments:

Joplin Schools welcomes new interim superintendent
On Thursday, July 16, during a special session, Joplin Schools Board of Education voted unanimously to hire Dr. Norm Ridder as the interim superintendent for Joplin Schools. Dr. Ridder most recently served as interim superintendent for Mehlville School District, Mehlville, Missouri, for the 2014-2015 school year. Prior to that, Dr. Ridder served as superintendent for nine years at one of Missouri's largest public school districts, Springfield R-12 Public Schools. Learn more about Dr. Ridder.

Several schools honored by state for improving student behavior
Several Joplin schools earned a state award for effectively implementing Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support, a comprehensive approach to improving behavior and academic performance. Congrats to Beacon School, Gold Level; McKinley Elementary, Silver Level; Jefferson Elementary, Bronze Level; and Kelsey Norman Elementary, Bronze Level. Learn more about SW-PBS.

Outstanding teacher recognized
Zac Holden 15 Under 40
Joplin Regional Business Journal named D. Zach Holden, fifth grade teacher at Soaring Heights Elementary, one of its 15 Under 40 honorees. Thank you Zach for representing Joplin Schools as an outstanding professional in our community.

Students excel at National History Day competition
South Middle School students Destiny George, Autumn Achey, and Hannah Crouch earned 9th place in the nation at the National History Day competition in the Junior Exhibit for their entry "Irena Sendler: Leading Zegota and Leaving an Inspiring Legacy." That's right - 9th in the nation! Ivan Obert, SMS teacher and History Day guru, had much to do with their success. Congratulations.

JHS athletes qualify for state
At their June meeting, Joplin Schools Board of Education recognized several of our JHS athletes who qualified for state competitions in track and field, tennis, and soccer. Well done Shelby Beaver and Colton Harbin for Track and Field, Alex Mailes for Boys Tennis, and Megan Rowe for Girls Soccer.

JHS student shines in state choir performance
Tanner Munson, JHS 2015 grad, represented Joplin Schools at the Missouri All-State Show Choir. He was chosen from hundreds of auditions and was also selected as a soloist. Way to go Tanner!

Joplin Schools gives back
Several Joplin Schools' staff members volunteered their time for the United Way Day of Caring. They helped to complete the Born Learning Trail at Wildcat Glades. When you have some time, check out this fun interactive trail for kids and parents that helps to build language and thinking skills fundamental to success in school. 

Joplin High School AP scholars announced

Twenty-nine JHS students recently earned the distinction of Advanced Placement Scholar by the College Board. JHS offers numerous AP courses in a variety of subject areas. These college-level courses help students gain the skills and study habits they will need for success in post-secondary education. Find a complete list of our JHS AP scholars at the link below. 

Joplin Schools Night at MSSU tonight!
Show your Eagle Pride, and support the Green and Gold at the first home game for MSSU, Thursday, Sept. 3. Kids 12 and under are free.

Board of Education meeting update

Joplin Schools Board of Education met for their regular session on Tuesday, Aug. 25, and a work session on Tuesday, Sept. 1. Highlights from the regular session include:
  • A decision by the board to approve building the new Early Childhood Center on land donated by Mercy Hospital next to Irving Elementary. 
  • An announcement that as of June 30, the end of the 2014-2015 fiscal year, district general fund balances increased from approximately 11 percent ($7.6 million) to approximately 22 percent ($14.8 million). The jump is due to the receipt of some reimbursement grant funds (district funds were spent in previous budget years and grant reimbursements were received in the 2014-2015 budget year) and a one-time infusion of funds from adjustments made last August to the tax levy (the total tax levy of $3.66 did not change from the previous year - the debt service was decreased to $.61 and the operating fund was increased to $3.05 for a total of $3.66). Fund balances at Joplin Schools have historically hovered around 25 percent (see chart). Fund balances fell over the last three years due to disaster-related rebuilding efforts. 
  • The board's approval to set the annual tax levy for 2015-2016 at $3.66 per $100 of assessed valuation - no change from 2014-2015. 
At the work session, board members heard information regarding strategic planning. The board supported moving forward with research and surveys to determine what students, staff, parents, and the community would like for its schools. This data and information will be used to develop the district strategic plan, which will be completed by Dec. 1. 

Watch the full meeting:

Board of Education names Dana Snodgrass Eagle Legacy Award recipient

On Aug. 18, during the annual Joplin Schools' staff opening day, Joplin Schools Board of Education honored areas businessman Dana Snodgrass with the Eagle Legacy Award. The award recognizes a community member who is a tireless advocate for the betterment of Joplin students, has had a lasting impact on local education, and has worked on improving the community through involvement in service to Joplin Schools. Congratulations Mr. Snodgrass.  

Joplin Schools Eagle Minute brought to you by:
Sept. 3
Project Graduation Meeting
7 p.m., JHS Cafeteria
Sept.  7
No classes - Labor Day

Sept. 22
Board of Education Meeting
7 p.m., Memorial Education Center

Sept. 25
Homecoming Game
7 p.m., Junge Field
We hope you enjoyed this issue of the Eagle Minute. If there are specific topics you would like to see covered, please email your suggestions to