The Farmington Board of Education held its regular meeting on Nov. 21 with an agenda that highlighted the athletic accomplishments of several teams and featured a visit from Mineral Area College President Dr. Joe Gilgour.
Gilgour shared information with the board about program expansions at MAC and expressed his appreciation for the good partnership between Farmington schools and the college.
“The new Industry and Technology Center is open, and we are really excited about it,” he said. “We have a new campus that opened in Cape Girardeau a year ago last fall, and enrollment has grown from 21 to 85 students and continues to grow. This January, we are opening a campus at Jackson High School and are trying to expand to meet the needs of the community as we go.
“As many of you know, we had to make some tough decisions with cuts to fine arts during COVID. Mineral Area Fine Arts Academy filled the gap and is going strong, and we are blessed with having them as partners. Theater will be back at MAC in the fall of 2024. Enrollment is up 5% from last year, and Farmington is the largest school district represented in fall enrollment.
Gilgour added that, during the community college’s most recent graduation, Farmington had 29 students who graduated with an associate of arts degree at the same time they received their high school diploma.
“This was also the largest number of students from any of the schools in our district to achieve that. MAC appreciates Farmington being a great partner,” he said.
Roosevelt Elementary Principal Jenna Hemmann brought students with her who had volunteered to speak to the board about why their school is important to them and our community.
Nash Baker said, “It’s a place where we get to learn new things every day. Schools teach us about numbers, letters, science, history, and lots more. Schools are like treasure chests of knowledge waiting for us to explore.”
Duke Baker said, “School is a safe place where we can be ourselves.”
Meritt Baker said, “They feed you there, let you have exercise, and everybody there is really nice, and they try to keep you safe.”
Ty Southerland said, “School is where we make friends and have fun together. We do projects and laugh a lot; it’s where we learn to work and play.”
Gabe Weiss said, “School is fun.”
Addison Helton said, “School helps us get ready for the world outside. They teach us important things we will need to grow up, like reading, writing, and how to solve problems.
Hemmann also presented the Featured Teacher Award.
“I have the distinct pleasure of recognizing Miss Krista White from Roosevelt Elementary,” she said. “Ms. White was described as an educator whose tenure has been marked by excellence and dedication and someone that has made profound impacts on the lives of countless students.
“I emphasize the word ‘countless.’ It’s a frustrating fact that in education, those doing the most difficult work don’t often see the fruits of their labor. This exceptional educator has been a beacon of inspiration for both students and colleagues, fostering an environment of growth, learning, and empathy.”
Dean of Students Jennifer Menteer announced that the Farmington Church of the Nazarene and Wings of Love were selected as the recipients of the Heartland Hero Award. Pastor Jeff Roever and Sandy Shelley accepted the award on behalf of the church and Wings of Love.
“Dictonary.com defines ‘hero’ as ‘a person noted for courageous acts or nobility of character,’ Menteer said. “The Farmington Church of the Nazarene and the Wings of Love organization exhibit qualities of noble character such as integrity, selflessness, and generosity. Wings of Love is part of the Love Farmington Initiative, which is made up of several churches and associations that do outreach in our community to show love and support without hesitation.
“Volunteering is an action of pure generosity, an act that reflects the very essence of community and service. The people we honor today embody these principles in every sense: their eagerness to help and support has left an enduring mark on our school, enriching the lives of students and faculty alike. In a world where time is precious, they have willingly offered their selflessly, contributing countless hours to support our school initiatives, events, and activities.”
Athletics and Activities Director Chad Mills introduced the portion of the meeting set aside for the recognition of the volleyball, girls’ tennis, and softball teams, adding that other fall sports would receive recognition during the December meeting.
Volleyball Coach Haley Baker said she was proud of her players’ commitment to the season.
“It didn’t end the way we would have liked, but we still had a lot to be proud of,” she said. “We had a 20-win season, finishing 20 and 16.”
Baker recognized the following athletes for their accomplishments:
Brynn Johnson – 2nd Team All-District
Cheyenne Strohkirch – 2nd Team All-District
Madison Mills – 1st Team All-District
Ava Cooper – All-Conference/1st Team All-District
Emily Bauer – All-Conference/1st Team All-District, 1,000 career assists
Girls Tennis Coach Andrew Canter recognized Addison Brenneke for receiving All-Conference.
“This girls’ tennis season saw us replace five of our top six players, so it was a rebuilding year for us,” he said. “Our motto this year was ‘be relentless,’ and this was probably one of the most relentless teams I’ve ever had. They never gave up. The record doesn’t show any indication of what they did or how much effort the girls put into the season, but I’m really proud of them for their accomplishments.
“When we start our season, we rank our team with a tournament, and Addison ranked in at number five. I could definitely tell she was not happy. Halfway through the season, we had a tough loss, and Addison looked at me and said, ‘By the end of the season, I’m going to be number one.’ So, I said to just go do it — and she did. It took her about two weeks to challenge through the girls in front of her, and she ended up being our number-one player by the end of the year. She was also selected Team Most Valuable Player and she was selected All-Conference by the coaches in the conference.”
Softball Coach Allison Pingel said her team ended the season 20-9 and received second place in both the conference and district tournaments. Pingel recognized the following players for their accomplishments:
Elly Robbins – 1st Team All-Conference, 1st Team All-District, 1st Team All-Region, 1st Team All-State
Jayce Jarvis – 1st Team All-Conference, 1st Team All-District, 1st Team All-Region, 2nd Team All-State, and broke the school district home-run record with 13 runs.
Shelby Bowling – 1st Team All-Conference, 1st Team All-District, 2nd Team All-Region
Jayden Tucker – 2nd Team All-Conference, 1st Team All-District, 2nd Team All-Region
Jocelyn Grimes – 2nd Team All-Conference, 1st Team All-District, 2nd Team All-Region
Avery Graham – 2nd Team All-Conference, 2nd Team All-District
Emilee Gilliam – 2nd Team All-Conference
Olivia Hartupee – 2nd Team All-District
The next board of education meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Dec. 19 at Truman Auditorium in Farmington.
Lisa Brotherton-Barnes is a staff writer with the Daily Journal. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.