by Deb Hammond
It was a busy night at the Thursday meeting of the Platte County R-3 School Board despite the onslaught of sleet, freezing rain and snow that impeded many rush-hour commuting patrons’ journey from work. Winter weather warnings and numerous motor vehicle accidents did not prevent the district's business from moving forward as planned. There were contracts to approve and policies to change.
The board renewed the contract for Dr. Michael Reik to remain in the leadership role as the district's superintendent. The contract was approved unanimously by all board members present in a closed session prior to the board’s regular meeting. Board member Lori Bogart was absent. The Landmark has put in a request for terms of the contract but had not yet heard back as of deadline.
According to a district newsletter, Reik’s contract now runs through 2018.
Reik became the superintendent on July 1, 2009. He came to Platte County R-3 in July of 2001, first serving as assistant principal at Barry School and Platte City Middle School, then principal at Barry School.
In the 2006-07 school year, Reik became the assistant superintendent of academic services, then moved to assistant superintendent of support services before becoming superintendent in 2009.
In other business, the board approved a contract to construct a new greenhouse for the Northland Career Center. The approved plan, at a total cost of $110,266, will build a greenhouse during the 2014-2015 school year that will be fully operational for the 2015-2016 school year.
Grant monies awarded to the Northland Career Center will cover $99,027 of the cost for the greenhouse. According to materials provided to board members:
“The purpose of a greenhouse at Northland Career Center is to provide hands-on learning in an environment conducted like a business. The students will go through the whole process: planning, planting, transplanting, maintaining and marketing. They will learn how to prevent and treat diseases that occur in a greenhouse. One goal with this greenhouse is to raise Poinsettias or Easter Lilies to fundraise for the FFA.”
The program also plans to partner with its own culinary arts program in growing certain items that may be used in culinary recipes and with the Platte County High School Science Department offering a real life farm-to-table experience to its students. It is expected that the additional costs associated with this program will be covered by the additional revenue that NCC will bring in during the 2014-2015 school year.
The greenhouse will be constructed by International Greenhouse Company, who submitted the lowest bid proposal at a cost of $90,097. It is expected that students from the building trades section of NCC will assist with the construction of the greenhouse to further enhance their learning experience while providing cost savings to the district.
Platte County High School Student Council leaders Courtney Poos and Rylie Collins made a presentation to the board, sharing PCHS Student Council's plan to campaign to bring the Missouri Association of Student Councils 2016 Annual State Convention to Platte City. The 2015 State Convention is being hosted this year by Park Hill South High School March 19 through March 21.
This is an annual event that brings approximately 1,000 student leaders from across Missouri together for a three-day convention. PCHS Student Council sponsor, Gena Puckett, reported that the group would know by March 21 if Platte County R3 was selected.
Platte County has hosted past district conferences, this would be the first state convention to be hosted in Platte City.
Dr. Mike Brown, assistant superintendent, presented Barry Middle School staff member AJ Laarman with the February 2015 SCHIVIR Me Timbers staff recognition award for his dedication to the Robotics Teams. Several students from Barry Middle were on hand to demonstrate one of their award winning robots for the board.
The Robotics Team at Barry and Platte City Middle Schools has achieved great success in its inaugural year. As an extra-curricular activity, Laarman spends most of his free time over lunch periods and after school working with these teams. There were three middle school teams, including one all girl team, that were among 26 high school and middle school teams to compete at the Belton Regional Competition on January 24. In their very first competition, one PCR3 middle school team took first place.
The board recognized the district staff members nominated for the 2014/2015 Excellence in Education award by the Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce. The nominees were selected out of approximately 125 nominations and will be recognized at the April 21 Northland Regional Chamber Excellence in Education Banquet. The Excellence in Teaching Nominees are: Rebecca Anderson; Anna Burnett; Tiffany Droegemueller; Courtney Morgan; Eric Mitchell; Jackie Porter; Kimberly Redinger; and Terri Wallis. The Excellence in Service Nominees are: Linda Cline; Belinda Knopp; Lesa Levi; Brooke Roberts; Dawn Schultz; and Jim Stoway. Excellence in Higher Education Nominee is Rebecca Graham. The Volunteer in Support of Education Nominee is Harry Lett and the Business in Support of Education Nominee is the KCI Auto Auction.
From theses nominees a panel of three outside judges will determine who will be named the Platte County Teacher and Platte County Service & Support Person of the Year winning either a $1,500 classroom grant or a $1,500 workplace grant. The winners will be announced at the April 21 Northland Regional Chamber banquet.