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May 13, 2016
Teacher of the Year and Support Staff Employee of the Year announced

On Monday, May 11, to the surprise and delight of two unsuspecting Joplin Schools' staff members, their names were announced as this year's Teacher of the Year and Support Staff Employee of the Year. Katie Brown Hall, Joplin High School English teacher, was named the Fred Laas Teacher of the Year, and G.G. Mathis, staff accountant in the finance department, was named the Support Staff Employee of the Year. Both awards are made possible by Joplin Schools Foundation. Joplin Schools Foundation President Gloria Turner presented both Katie and G.G. with checks for $500 during a special recognition at the May 10 Board of Education meeting. 

Katie has only been with Joplin Schools for two years, but she has already made a tremendous positive impact on Joplin students and the high school. She works hard every day to ensure that her students have every chance at success. She builds strong relationships with her students, and they often look to her for support in academics and other areas
of their lives. She communicates regularly with parents, stays after school to tutor students, and makes herself available to help her colleagues as well. Beyond the classroom, Katie helps with the Writers Guild, swim team, Transitions, Fusion, and more. 
G.G. has worked for the district for more than 30 years. G.G. defines "grace under pressure." She uses her extensive knowledge of finance operations and her writing and communication skills to help the numerous staff members who come to her for assistance each day. She manages a wide variety of tasks, tight deadlines, and last-minute projects with excellence, confidence, and a keen sense of humor. She is also known for supporting (and treating) those around her with handmade notes of encouragement, chocolate, or a calming bag of tea. 

Both Katie and G.G. define outstanding service above self and represent the best of our staff. Congratulations!

Top: Joplin Schools Board of Education President Jeff Koch, Teacher of the Year Katie Brown Hall, Joplin Schools Foundation President Gloria Turner. Bottom center: Joplin Schools Support Staff Employee of the Year G.G. Mathis
Board of Education May special session update

Joplin Schools Board of Education met for a special session Tuesday, May 10.
Highlights from the meeting:
  • The board and a representative from the Joplin Schools Foundation board recognized the Fred Laas Teacher of the Year Katie Brown Hall and the Support Staff Employee of the Year G.G. Mathis. They were presented with checks for $500 each by the Foundation.
  • The board approved the employee health plan recommended by the employee health plan advisory group. Learn more.
  • The board approved Smith & Boucher's engineering fees of $184,000 related to the new Early Childhood Center. The center is set to open in 2019. Learn more.
  • The board discussed a request from Bright Futures Joplin to fund two positions for one year out of designated Bright Futures Joplin donations held by the district. Per its request, this would give Bright Futures Joplin a year to raise the needed funds to sustain the two salaries in the future. The board will review a proposal from the district regarding this request at the May 24 meeting. Read the request from Bright Futures Joplin.
  • Dr. Ridder will seek a request for proposal from search firms for the superintendent search and share that information with the board at the May 24 meeting. He also reported on his work to establish a search committee made up of a broad representation from the community. This committee will determine the qualities required of the next superintendent.

Reception held to recognize Joplin Schools' retirees

On Wednesday, May 4, Joplin Schools held a reception to recognize employees who are retiring from the district. Congratulations to the Joplin Schools Retirement Class of 2016!

Joplin Schools offers free Summer Food program to students throughout the district
Several JHS students chosen for Missouri American Legion Boys and Girls State 

Several Joplin High School juniors have been selected to participate in the Missouri American Legion Boys and Girls State program held in the summer at the University of Central Missouri. American Legion Boys State and American Legion Auxiliary Girls State programs teach participants how government works while developing leadership skills and an appreciation for their rights as a citizen. Participants run for office, learn public speaking, create and enforce laws, and actively participate in all phases of creating and running a working government. Congratulations to the students pictured below! 
First row left to right: Madeline Campbell, Farhath Sulthana, Allison Cloyd and Sarah Peterson. Second row left to right: Samuel Griesemer, Hamza Kamran, Andrew Chesney, Ethan Brown, and Othellis Roper as alternate

FTC welding teacher recognized for years of service

The Ozark Section of the American Welding Society recently recognized Franklin Technology Center's welding teacher Dave Noah for 30 years of teaching. He received a plaque honoring him for his quality of instructional performance devoted to the promotion and expansion of welding skills and knowledge. He was also awarded a commemorative white welding hood from all of the southwest Missouri welding instructors for his years of service as a mentor. Congratulations!
JHS students dominate annual PSU statistical poster contest

JHS teacher Adam Bennett and his statistics students swept the top three spots at the Pittsburg State University 2016 Statistics Poster Contest held recently. JHS students Ashtyn Turner and Farhath Sulthana placed first for their poster on "Vocabulary Retention." Jamie Brame and Amanda Amodeo placed second for their analysis of the "Bandwagon Effect and Donald Trump," and Lauren Landers and Anna Graves placed third for their review of "Are First Born Students Actually Smarter?" Way to shine JHS! 
East Middle School history project shared with alumni

On Monday, May 9, East Middle School students and staff were joined by a number of East Junior High alumni for the unveiling of a special history project. Over the last several weeks, a committee of East Junior High alumni, led by Barbara Cox, interim EMS principal, gathered memories and interviews (conducted by current EMS students) for a special history video. They also gathered memorabilia for a display case at the school. The video and display case were unveiled during Monday's ceremony. While their building may be new, EMS students learned about the rich history of their school and had an opportunity to hear stories from numerous community members who attended their school's namesake over the years.

Watch this video produced by JETHD with the help of alumni volunteers and EMS students (a special thank you to the individuals listed at the end of the video for their contributions to the project):

Save the date: Open Houses set for 2016-2017 school year

Monday, Aug. 15
Middle Schools
5:30-6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, August 16
Elementary Schools
5:30-6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 16
Joplin High School/Franklin Technology Center
6:30-8 p.m.
Spirit wear sales 5:30-8 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 18 
Early Childhood Center
5:30-6:30 p.m.
Meet Joplin Schools' Eagle of the Week

This weekly honor recognizes Joplin Schools' employees who demonstrate the qualities and behaviors that benefit the day-to-day operations of the district and promote student success. Joplin Schools' employees, parents, and community members can nominate a Joplin Schools' staff member for this recognition.  

Joplin Schools Eagle Minute brought to you by:
May 21
Joplin High School/Franklin Technology Center Open House
2-4 p.m.

May 22
2 p.m.
Missouri Southern State University

May 23
Summer School begins

May 24
Board of Education Regular Meeting
7 p.m.
Memorial Education Center

Aug. 15
Middle School Open Houses
5:30-6:30 p.m.

Aug. 16
Elementary School Open Houses
5:30-6:30 p.m.

Aug. 16
Joplin High School/Franklin Technology Center Open House
6:30-8 p.m.
Spirit wear sales 5:30-8 p.m. 

Aug. 18
First day of school

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