School Bells Begin To Toll Across The County

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
Students in the Warsaw R-IX School District started the 2019/2020 school year on Tuesday, August 13, with a lot of positive new changes. Students in Cole Camp R-I, and Lincoln R-II school districts begin their new year on Wednesday, August 21.
South Elementary School, in Warsaw, has increased its 2018/2019 enrollment by 80 percent with the addition of Early Childhood Special Education and all-day prekindergarten programs. Ruth Mercer Elementary School is closed, reducing the number of elementary schools in the district from three to two. Warsaw High School is offering new classes, including upper level, online studies, and has brought back the Science Club that was popular for years, but unavailable last year.
“The expected prekindergarten enrollment at South was 72, and registration has recently risen to 81 students,” said School Superintendent Dr. Shawn Poyser. “A new modular classroom unit is being readied on the campus for prekindergarten students who start school on August 20th, and I have to say what a great job Billy Brewster has done getting the unit set up.”
Warsaw High School Principal Danny Morrison said that for the first time, a semester-long ACT Preparation class is available to help students with techniques and strategies that can help them succeed when taking the test. He said that Integrated Math and Applied Math have been added to the current selection of math classes.
“We have also added a LAUNCH virtual access program that provides many online classes that can be taken at school or accessed from home computers,” said Morrison. “All sciences are available such as Human Anatomy, and this gives students a chance to study courses that we don’t have enough teachers to cover. High levels of Spanish and many other subjects are available through this program that is sponsored by Springfield public schools.”
Warsaw R-IX’s new teachers are as follow. They are Shelby Williams, who teaches Art at North Elementary; Megan Palmer, sixth grade Math; Eric Nolan, Middle School Social Studies; Matt Dove, High School Social Studies; Amanda Helvey, High School English; Mikel Gragg, High School Math; Damen Williams, High School PE/Health; Jamie Allen, Science; Janet Conner, Middle School English; and Taylor Lambdin, PE at South School; and Tim Townsend is a new High School Paraprofessional. (Information regarding paraprofessionals at other campuses was not available prior to publishing deadline.)
As of August 12, enrollment in Warsaw R-IX was 374 at the high school, 289 at the middle school, 357 at North School, and 276 at South School.
Cole Camp R-I School District welcomes six new teachers this year. They are Kayce Kern, High School guidance Counselor; Shanda Miller, Family & Consumer Science; Danielle Bailey, Vocal Music; Katie Schlesselman, Spanish; Mark Swartz, P.E.; and Zach Lutjen, Fourth Grade.
“This year’s classes and programs are pretty much similar to what we had last year,” said Tim Roling, School Superintendent of Cole Camp R-I. “August 12 was the first day of sports practice for volleyball, soccer and football.”
Roling said that he did not have a current number of student enrollments because registration is still taking place.
Lincoln R-II School District has only one new teacher this year – Heather Kessing, Fourth Grade, and enrollment is expected to hover around 480 as it has in recent years.
“We have no new classes or programs,” said Kevin Smith, Lincoln School Superintendent. “However, we have Industrial Arts classes that satisfies a strong need. The teacher of these classes received a grant, and funds were matched so that Industrial Arts tools could be updated. Few schools offer this type of program.”
Active Shooter Response training is an important part of in-service training at all schools. More information regarding how each school district trains will be part of a future article in the Benton County Enterprise.