USD 421 begins interviews for new superintendent

LYNDON — The USD 421 Board of Education held a special meeting March 7. No action was taken during the executive session; however, the board did narrow down the candidates for the superintendent position that will be vacant after June 30. Cheryl Cook, superintendent, had submitted her resignation during the Oct. 12, 2016, board meeting, which the board accepted.

The board selected three candidates to be interviewed during special meetings March 13-15, whose names were released Monday following the meeting. The three finalist are Troy Damman, superintendent of USD 272, Downs; Adam McDaniel, superintendent of USD 322, Onaga; and Jeff Jones, principal of West Palins High School, Ransom.

The process will begin with a dinner for the board members, the candidate, and the candidate’s spouse each evening. After the dinners, the candidates will be interviewed starting at approximately 7:15 p.m. each evening during an executive session with the board.

Lockdown drill problems

Jennifer Hamlet, elementary and middle school principal, informed the board about issues discovered during a recent lockdown drill at the schools.

“The fire marshal wants our doors shut when they are teaching, but some of our doors don’t shut unless they are all the way,” Hamlet said.

A simple fix was made to the Lyndon Elementary School classroom doors to remedy the issue.

“So what we did is, we used magnets so that they could have their doors locked and that way, they don’t shut all the way,” Hamlet said. “For the ones that won’t shut unless you latch them, we took one spring hinge and replaced one of the hinges on the doors, so now all the doors will swing shut, just like all the middle school doors. So that way, all they have to do is pull a magnet and their doors are locked and they do not have to go and use their key. It was an easy fix and the teachers are happy because they do not have to go out and try to lock their doors.

“We also discovered that when we do an ‘all call’ for the lockdown, all of our ‘all call’ goes just into the classrooms,” Hamlet said. “It is not in the hallway, so if there is a kid in the hallway or bathroom, they cannot hear it. We found some things, which is why we have drills.”

Jerry Jacobs, maintenance director, is investigating the problem with the sound system for the all call announcement.

In other business, the board:

• approved the updated classified handbook.

• approved nomination of Elton Decker for Ring of Honor.

• accepted an $800 donation from the Osage County District Attorney’s office from the Diversion Fund.

• received driver’s education update from Brad Marcotte, Lyndon High School principal, who reported 35 forms being turned in so far.

• received an update on the freshman orientation from Marcotte, who said attendance for the orientation was good.

• received an update on spring sports from Marcotte, who reported there are more than 20 girls and 13 boys out for track, 26 for softball, 12 for baseball, and nine for golf. So far, one form has been turned in for dual sports and there are four more dual sports forms that were handed out, but have not been turned in.

• requested more information be obtained on replacing versus refurbishing the transmission for the district car before making a decision on it.

• received information from Cook on the upcoming April 3 professional development day. The day will include continuation of training related to the new accreditation system, the 5Rs (Relationships, Relevance, Responsive culture, Rigor, and Results), writing because cursive writing is coming back, and lock down procedures.

• received an update on Three Lakes Educational Cooperative from Eric Ratzloff, board member. Three Lakes has filled two positions, psychologist and occupational therapist.

• held an 80-minute executive session.

• approved the resignation of Miranda Gardner as high school girls basketball assistant coach; approved the resignation of Katrina Litch as middle school girls basketball and volleyball assistant coach; and approved the employment of Litch for high school girls volleyball coach for the 2017-2018 school year.

• approved the employment of Marcotte for middle school track assistant coach for the 2016-2017 school year.

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The Osage County Herald-Chronicle

The official newspaper of Osage County; the cities of Burlingame, Carbondale, Lyndon, Melvern, Olivet, Osage City, Overbrook, Quenemo and Scranton; Burlingame USD 454, Lyndon USD 421, Marais des Cygnes Valley USD 456, Osage City USD 420 and Santa Fe Trail USD 434.

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