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Aug. 28, 2023, SSD200 Board meeting

Cara Barth-Fagan takes the oath of office as the next board of education director.

Cara Barth-Fagan, right, takes the oath of office Monday, Aug. 28, after being selected to fill the open position on the Sedalia School District 200 Board of Education. Administering the oath is Board Secretary Lisa Hammerly. 


The Sedalia School District 200 Board of Education met Monday, Aug. 28, in the Heckart Performing Arts Center for its regular monthly meeting, which was preceded by the annual tax rate hearing. All board members were present.

The board interviewed two candidates for the open director position that was created when Matthew Herren resigned. Eric Homan and Cara Barth-Fagan answered questions posed by Superintendent Dr. Todd Fraley; the board then voted 5-1 to appoint Barth-Fagan to serve out the balance of Herren’s term, which expires in April 2024. 

The board approved the tax rate ceiling for 2023-2024 at $4.0628 per $100 of assessed valuation. This includes placing $3.3628 of the levy in the general incidental fund and $.70 in the capital projects fund. Fraley said the tax ceiling has not changed from last year, and that assessed valuation is up about 11 percent from last year. 

Brock Wilson, a project manager with Mid America Sports Construction of Lee’s Summit, discussed expansion of athletic facilities on the Smith-Cotton High School campus. The proposal would add baseball, softball, tennis and soccer facilities to the area in front of the high school where the youth football fields are located. Wilson said there are options for a combination baseball and softball field or separate fields next to each other. The soccer field could be a multipurpose space that could be used for outdoor labs, marching band practice and other uses. All of the facilities would be fenced in. 

Smith-Cotton High Principal Wade Norton said the goal is to bring as many activities onto the S-C campus as possible to increase student accessibility and safety. Wilson said if the board approves the plan at its September meeting, the baseball facility could be operable by spring 2024.

Team SCREAM, the S-C High robotics program, has a goal of starting a robotics team at each school in Sedalia School District 200. It is creating a First Tech Challenge (FTC) team at Smith-Cotton Junior High. Team SCREAM’s board will sponsor the FTC team at SCJH by paying for registrations, materials, and a stipend for the teachers for this school year. This will allow the program to create a baseline budget; Team SCREAM Head Coach Michael Wright asked the board to approve having the district take on the budget beginning in the 2024-25 school year. This will come back for a decision at the next board meeting.

Also Monday:

-- A memorandum of understanding was approved to provide the Sedalia School District Foundation a temporary space located at Sedalia Middle School. The agreement/lease is for a period not to exceed one calendar year. 

-- The board approved an updated and amended memorandum of understanding with the Pettis County Sheriff's Office to guide the protocol for utilizing the Pettis County explosives/weapons detecting canine handled by Deputy Todd Asbury, one of the district’s school resource officers.

-- Tiger Paraprofessional to Teacher Scholarship agreements were approved for Natalie Rentel and Claudia Weese.

-- The board approved the Smith-Cotton Hall of Fame Class 2023-24: Katie Meehan Hauser – Athletic, Tim Morgan – Athletic,  and Derrick Willis – Academic. Hauser is a S-C Class of 1998 graduate who was the Class 3 cross country state champion. Morgan, a 1961 graduate, played baseball, basketball and football at S-C and earned All-America recognition as a quarterback at Hannibal LaGrange College. Willis, from the Class of 1980, had devoted his life to the study and education of people with disabilities. They will be inducted at the Smith-Cotton High Courtwarming basketball game in January.

-- The purchase of two box-style trucks not to exceed $60,000 per vehicle was approved. One will be for the maintenance crew, the other for the Smith-Cotton High band program.

-- A change order in the amount of $13,450 from MTS Contracting for the masonry project at Smith-Cotton Junior High School was approved. The order calls for 600 additional bricks to complete the project. 

-- Donations to Whittier High School of 10 first-aid kids (Calvary Episcopal Church and Walgreens) and $100 (Pruitt Insurance) for the school’s September Community Night were approved.

-- Discussion was held on a non-exclusive collaborative agreement with Missouri Valley College, which could open opportunities for Sedalia 200 students and staff to obtain college and graduate level credit, discounts, and shared resources. This will come back for a decision at a future meeting. 

-- Also discussed was the proposed 2023-2024 Rental Schedule. Changes proposed in the 23-24 rental schedule include updated fees associated with facility locations as well as subsequent fees for staffing required at those locations.

-- Director of Safety and Security Ashley Stark shared a variety of safety and security updates with the board.

-- A districtwide strategic communications plan was presented to the board. The plan will come back for a decision at a future meeting. 

— Fraley recognized school security officers Adam Schreck, Andrew Beier, Nickolas Keller and Samuel Hargrave for becoming certified as School Safety Specialists by the Missouri School Boards Association’s Center for Education Safety.

-- Sedalia School District Foundation President Deidre Esquivel said the foundation received a stock transfer of $35,000 to increase the Seth Wagenecht scholarship fund to close to $100,000.

-- Sedalia NEA President Tyler Janke said the group is close to having 100 members and is still recruiting. SNEA will have an election in September for board members. 

-- New JROTC Senior Army Instructor Joey Sullinger said the program hopes to add air rifle and archery teams for competition. With the addition of the junior high program, which has about 120 students signed up, S-C JROTC has more than 300 students enrolled.