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Education

No Change in Leadership for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

In a closed meeting today, the Missouri Board of Education discussed potential personnel changes for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The motion to remove Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven as head of the agency failed in a 4-4 vote. Eddy Justice, Doug Russell, Sonny Jungmeyer and Jennifer Edwards voted for the leadership change. Board President Charlie Shields, Vice President Vic Lenz, Mike Jones and Claudia Oñate Greim voted against the motion.

“I look forward to the focus returning to educating our children,” said Commissioner Vandeven.

Missouri Welcomes New Member to the State Board of Education

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens has appointed John T. “Tim” Sumners of Joplin to the eight-member State Board of Education.

Dr. Sumners has worked as a church pastor and chaplain and is currently the chaplain for the Joplin Police and Fire Departments, as well as the Webb City Fire Department and the Redings Mill Fire District. He also served as an adjunct professor at Southwest Baptist University’s campus in Joplin.

Seal of Biliteracy Available for Missouri Students

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is introducing the Missouri Seal of Biliteracy (Missouri Seal) Program. The Missouri Seal is awarded by local school districts to graduating students who have proven a specific level of proficiency in English and any other world language, including sign languages. The graduating class of 2018 is the first class to be eligible for the program.

American Government Teacher from Imperial Wins Prestigious Milken Award

The students in Jordan McGaughey’s 10th grade American Government class learn to explore all sides of an issue and connect historical events with today’s political climate. McGaughey serves the Fox C-6 School District by helping to develop curriculum, offering professional development, mentoring student teachers and acting as an instructional coach. Those are among the reasons that McGaughey has been named a winner of the Milken Educator Awards.

Ritenour Music Teacher Selected as 2017-18 Missouri Teacher of the Year

At Iveland Elementary in the Ritenour school district, Beth Davey’s classroom does not fit the mold of a traditional music room. There are no risers or chairs, because for Davey, music transcends chord progressions and harmonies; it provides a voice for students to represent their world.

“Our humanity is solidified by feeling that we are known,” said Davey, who teaches K-5 music. “Connections sustain us, and to advance into the future, we must draw upon what connects us the most. Education provides this opportunity for connection.”

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