The Central R-3 School Board recognized academic and athletic achievements of several students during their regular meeting Nov. 18.
Family members packed the high school auditorium where middle and high school students shook hands with school board members. Teachers talked about their academic success and team coaches recapped the seasons as fall sports come to a close.
First to the stage was the high school volleyball team. Athletic Director Chad Bradley said this year, the volleyball team secured the second-highest number of season wins in school history.
High School Volleyball Coach Tracie Casey introduced players and gave season highlights. She said the team ended with 27 wins, four losses, and two tie games in what she described as an amazing season.
“We are part of the large school conference,” said Casey. “We were undefeated in the large school. So, we won the conference, then we won the conference tournament.
“We also made it to the finals of the SEMO Tournament and that is a big tournament — 36 teams,” she said. “We were down there for two days and [Principal] Johnson called the line scores all day so he can tell you exactly how long of a day it was, but these girls played amazing…”
Volleyball players included Avery Norris, Buckli Moss, Kaley Kimball, Lizi Marler, Liberty Coleman, Addisyn Casey, Jessica Hulsey, Shalea Fischbeck, Mariah Wagganer, Reagan Bradley, Allie Kelly, and Brylee Populis.
Making First-Team All-Conference were Norris and Kimball. Marler and Hulsey made Second Team All-Conference this year.
Players making First Team All-District were Casey and Kimball. Marler was on Second Team All-District.
The high school Students of the Month were next introduced by High School Principal Michael Johnson.
“Our two Students of the Month, voted on by the faculty and staff, are Avery Norris and Chase Nelson,” Johnson announced. “Whenever I went around to teachers to ask a little bit about those students, they all had the same things to say … very reliable in the classroom; always dependable; always there; other students rely on them, and they’re good teammates in the classroom…”
Johnson said Nelson has been a past participant in track and Norris plays basketball and volleyball. Both students are also active members of the student council.
Nate Gremminger was announced as the Elks Student of the Month.
“I’m just going to tell you the truth about Nate that he’d be the first one to tell you,” said Johnson. “He came in as a freshman, like a lot of students do, and had his struggles.
“But this is why people like myself and Chad, Tracy, and all of our staff that’s here … this is why we teach,” Johnson said. “He came in and had those struggles and here he is today.”
Johnson said that Gremminger went to national competition last year with Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA), has been a two-year member at the ROTC in Farmington, and he’s someone on whom the staff depends in the Counseling Center.
The high school principal had high praise for the November Students of the Month, saying they’re very dependable people and well-deserving of recognition.
“This is the best part of our job is watching these young men and women grow up on the court, in the classroom, and as young men and women and they’re going to graduate here. We’re going to be so proud of this group of people,” Johnson said.
As students of the month, Norris and Nelson selected Teachers of the Month. Norris selected Social Studies Teacher Alex Redecker and Nelson chose Spanish Teacher Angie Pallo-Monges.
Middle School Principal Greg Noble introduced the middle school Students of the Month for October and September, as well as the character students of the two months.
“We have two different students of the month,” said Noble. “We have the Academic Student of the Month, which the middle school has always done, and we’ve also implemented this year a Character Student of the Month as well, which is one student per grade level, voted on by the teachers.”
Noble explained that the Academic Students of the Month are primarily chosen based on performance in the classroom. With the new Character Students of the Month, students can be chosen based on some classroom performance but a lot of it is just how they conduct themselves in the hallways, with their peers, as well as with their teachers and other adults the building.
For eighth grade, the Academic Students of the Month were Matt Manion and Naveah Dailey for September, and Cole Crocker and Madilyn McDavid for October. Eighth-grade character Students of the Month were Mikaela Overstreet for September and Crocker for October.
The seventh-grade Academic Students of the Month were Noah Aguayo and Suzannah Huddleston for September, and Hayden McCarty and Ceana Laubinger for October. Seventh-grade Character Students of the Month were Luke Geile for September and Carson Weber for October.
The sixth grade Academic Students of the Month were Chase Warden and McKinley Portell for September, and Kale Dreier, Ally Burrell, and Renee Roberts for October. Sixth grade Character Students of the Month were Dreier for September and Jada Alley for October.
“This is a fantastic group of students,” Noble said. “When you’re a Student of the Month, you ought to be, but I mean, every student up here could also be a Character Student the Month whether or not they were… This is a great group of students and we’re really proud of them.”
Central Middle School Assistant Principal Josh Johnson recognized the seventh- and eighth-grade football players.
The seventh-grade team finished the season with four wins and two losses. The team went undefeated at conference to become conference champions. Johnson said the eighth-grade team was undefeated all the way around to secure the conference champion spot.
Middle School Football Coach Kerry Politte introduced the teams and spoke of the season’s high points.
“These guys were a hard-working group,” said Politte of the seventh grade players.
“Many of them hadn’t played football before this year and we started off a little bit rough but we played Festus, which is a big school, and after that, we kind of got on a roll a little bit.
“We ended the season with three wins in a row,” said the coach. “And we kind of just started winning by a lot bigger margin … These guys really learned the game and learned how to work hard throughout the season.
Politte said the coaches are looking forward to this group coming up into eighth grade next year and they see the great potential the young players have.
“I think, in my memory, and maybe somebody here can correct me, but I don’t know that we’ve ever won seventh- and eighth-grade conference in the same year,” Politte said. “So that’s a pretty big accomplishment there and these guys did that. Now it’s going to be on them keep working hard to be able to do that again the next year.”
Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com