Lockhart recognized after quarter-century with Harrisonville

Special to the Democrat MissourianFebruary 21, 2014 

After dedicating nearly a quarter of a century to the Harrisonville School District – most recently serving as secretary to the assistant superintendent – Janet Lockhart is retiring after 24 years. Receiving a standing ovation at the Feb. 18 Harrisonville School Board meeting, Lockhart was honored by board members and presented with a memento.

Tim Ryan, assistant superintendent of human resources and operations, expressed his gratitude to Lockhart, who began her employment with the district in 1990 as a high school principal secretary, by gathering testimonials from her colleagues and saying how much he will miss Lockhart, who always worked at what he characterized as “warp” speed and was pleasant to everyone around her.

“Janet was one of the biggest reasons for a long run of successes at the high school during her stay there – she ran the building successfully, put fires out, and made decisions,” added Board Member Marv Cochran.

Also honored at the meeting were a group of Cass Career Center students. CCC Director Gina Smith was on hand to offer program highlights as well as recognize individual students for their accomplishments.

Future Farmers of America Student Carter Neill took the podium first, enlightening board members on how the agricultural program works.

Amy Miller, marketing instructor for CCC, introduced DECA students Tanner DeVore and Isaac Tompkins. DECA is an organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the world. DeVore told the group about how much students gained on a recent trip to Orlando, Fla., in which they were able to learn more about marketing.

SkillsUSA Student Representatives Jonathan Dickerson (CAD student and Skills USA PM Chapter President) and Jacob Dunn (automotive student) were in attendance to explain the hands-on skills they are acquiring as well as leadership traits they are developing through competitions and challenges.

“The real-world skills you all are developing are very impressive,” Cochran said. “It is so great that you are learning to enter the workforce with these skills.”

Following the recognitions, Tara Carotenuti, president of the Royal Guard Band Boosters, shared information on the organization's plans and goals for the school year.

David Kauffman, MSBA delegate, updated board members regarding Missouri School Boards Association activities. Returning from a legislative forum in Jefferson City that day, Kauffman updated the group on the most recent education bills proposed. Board President Deb Welhoff followed up this report with an update on the Harrisonville Public School Foundation.

In action items, the board voted to approve revisions to board policy JECB as presented, based on the recommendation of Duane Martin, legal counsel. This policy deals with admission of non-resident students to ensure guidelines are in accordance with state law.

Based on the recommendation of Gina Smith and Jeanette Miller, CCC assistant director, the board voted to approve the addition of a National Technical Honor Society as a recognized club at CCC beginning with the 2014-15 school year.

In support of evolving technology goals and objectives, the board also voted to add a new technology integration specialist position for next school year.

A motion carried to adopt the Network of Educator Effectiveness as the teacher evaluation system beginning with the 2014-15 school year. According to administration, the strengths of this model are the growth opportunities available for teachers, the timely and effective feedback for teachers, the training for administrators and wealth of data that this model generates regarding student and teacher performance.

“The great part about this system is its emphasis on showing teachers how they can improve,” Board member Marie Vallee said. “They can go to an online professional development library that is not just reading but role playing and other things. I really have high hopes that it can help teachers improve on very specific things that each of them needs to improve upon. After I saw it, I thought, ‘this is the best thing I’ve seen in years.’ This gives me real encouragement for education.”

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