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CARE celebrates American Education Week November 13-19

What is CARE? At last year’s April Community Teachers Association meeting, members expressed concern about dwindling attendance and the desire of support staff to be a part of the organization. The Executive Committee responded with proposed constitutional amendments that would reshape the Community Teachers Association so much that a new name would be required. The finished product of these changes is a new association for all the employees of the Fredericktown R-1 District: Community Association of R-1 Employees. The proposed changes were adopted by an overwhelming majority and the new association was born.

CARE membership is divided into two categories: Teacher and Support Staff. The structure of the Executive Committee has been revised to include two Support Staff representatives, who have the same privileges as Teacher members. Dues revenue supports all activities of the Association and funds the CARE/RTA scholarship.

CARE is the local affiliate of the Missouri State Teachers Association. Since 1856 the Missouri State Teachers Association has been leading the way for Missouri’s educators with services and benefits. MSTA is a grassroots organization made up of local associations in each local school district. This reflects MSTA’s strong commitment to local control. Members of MSTA set the policy and priorities of their professional association to meet the needs of Missouri educators. By joining a professional group like MSTA, members enjoy a host of valuable services and add their voice to that of other professionals.

MSTA headquarters is in Columbia, with offices in Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield, Cape Girardeau, and Jefferson City. In keeping with their commitment to local control, CARE and MSTA have no national affiliation.

CARE Executive Committee

The executive committee is composed of the CARE officers, building representatives, and two Support Staff representatives. The 2005-2006 executive committee is: President Jody McKenney (Intermediate), Vice-President Joe Clauser (Middle), Secretary Ginny Hogan (Primary), Treasurer Sandie Redman (Intermediate), Parliamentarians Mike Graham and Tom Mooney (High), Past President Bonnie Whitener (Primary), Building Rep Donna Roberts (Primary), Building Rep Sandy Wenninger (Intermediate), Building Rep Annie Kennedy (Middle), Building Rep Jason Basden (High), Support Staff Rep Jane Kopitsky (Primary), and Support Staff Rep Melissa Goldsmith (Middle).

Recent CARE News

Lewis Named Outstanding Choral Director

High School and Middle School Choral Director Lisa Lewis has been named Outstanding Choral Director of the Southeast District in 2005. The announcement as made at the summer convention of the Missouri’s Choral Directors Association in Jefferson City. The Southeast District extends from this area south, including the bootheel, and from Elsinore and Doniphan to the edge of the state. Lisa has been employed by the R-1 district for six years and currently directs the Middle School choir and the High School mixed, concert, and swing choirs.

Clauser Appointed to MSTA Executive Board

Middle School Keyboarding and Communication Arts Teacher Joe Clauser has been appointed to the MSTA State Executive Board to complete the remainder of the term of retiree Jack Poston of North County R-1. The State Executive Board is the governing body of the state association, and its members oversee the operation of MSTA. Joe currently serves as CARE Vice-President and Southeast Region MSTA President-Elect. The unexpired term lasts until November 2007, at which time he will be able to run for his own three-year term.

Donation Made in Memory of Former Member

Former Intermediate teacher Pat DeSpain passed away on Wednesday, August 17. Pat retired from the R-1 district in May. A memorial donation of $100 is being made by CARE to the district’s Special Olympics team. The students who will benefit from this donation are those to whom Pat devoted her career as a Special Education instructor.

Delegates Attend Annual Convention

MSTA delegates, including Joe Clauser, Ginny Hogan, Brenda Jenkins, Jody McKenney, Sandie Redman, Donna Roberts, Jane Stephenson, and Bonnie Whitener, took aim at their annual business meeting, and among the targets where the Missouri Assessment Program and state education policies.

An issue that garnered passionate support was a resolution that calls for allowing teachers to read and paraphrase MAP communication arts tests to special-ed students. Plans to administer tests by making students read them on their own are currently underway — an initiative of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Delegates hailed another resolution that calls for appointing practicing educators on the State Board of Education and limiting the terms of all board members.

The resolution passed — along with one that supports the current practice of the State Board appointing the commissioner of education. A governor’s committee had suggested earlier this year that the commissioner of education be appointed by the governor.

Two employment-related resolutions became hot debate topics later in the day. Henry Anton from Nixa R-2 proposed a resolution opposing random drug testing of school employees. His district has been considering such a policy in wake of a recent incident. Supporters said teachers deserve to be treated as professionals. Others favored random drug testing, arguing that teachers should not be above the law when it comes to children’s safety. Anton’s proposal passed.

Scott Stone from Centralia R-6 proposed that MSTA support the passage of an act to prohibit districts from penalizing employees who break contracts that were signed before they knew that their benefits would be cut. Often, he said, teachers sign contracts and learn later that their fringe benefits are going to cost them more. The resolution passed after a division of the house and counting of the votes.

Mayor Proclaims American Education Week

Fredericktown Mayor Danny Kemp has declared November 13-19 American Education Week in Fredericktown. As the proclamation notes, &#8220Today’s public schools have enabled generations of Americans to build upon the lessons of the past to achieve the dreams of tomorrow.” It is important for the community to take time during American Education Week to join the local teachers, school administrators, education support staff and students in special activities in honor of the event. American Education Week has been observed since 1921, and several activities — in addition to the proclamation ceremony — will be taking place at the district level as well as in individual buildings.

Caring Hands Basket Benefits MSTF

CARE assembled a basket of handcrafted items from R-1 employees and students, as well as Fredericktown residents, to include in the Caring Hands Basket that as auctioned at the MSTA State Convention, November 3-4, in St. Louis. Proceeds from the basket supported the Missouri State Teachers Foundation, an organization that works in cooperation with MSTA to provide scholarships to public schools and educators. The basket, worth an estimated $375, was auctioned for $140.

A Few CARE Activities

Services for Community: School Board Candidate Forum, March 28, 6:30 p.m. (location TBA)

Services for District Employees: Back-to-School Breakfast for all staff, Legislative Presentation at October Meeting, Legal Service Presentation will be held at a future meeting, Hosting Regional MSTA Legislative/Retirement Workshop, December 5, Representations at all School Board Meetings

These pictures were all taken at the Back-to-School Breakfast, hosted by CARE.


820:  Elementary Building Rep Donna Roberts

821:  Past President Bonnie Whitener

822:  Parliamentarian Tom Mooney

853:  Elementary Staff Members Lisa Boyd, Joanna Mathes, and Carol Stephens

857:  2nd Grade Teacher Jennifer Miller talking to Speach Therapist Rhonda White

858:  Special Education Secretary Shonda Matthews and Elementary Secretary Kay


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