Board members sworn into office

Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
Community Editor
Three people were elected to 3-year terms on the Neosho Board of Education in the June elections. Left to right are Melissa Wright, new board member, Kim Wood, incumbent, and David Steele, incumbent. Tonya Patterson, executive administrative assistant is shown swearing them into office.

At the monthly Neosho Board of Education meeting on Monday, three members were sworn-in for three year terms. Incumbents David Steele and Kim Wood were both winners in the June 2 election, postponed from April, along with newcomer Melissa Wright. All were sworn in by district executive administrative assistant Tonja Patterson.

Outgoing board member Brett Day, who did not seek reelection, was honored by the board for his 9 years of service to the district.

"It's been a pleasure to serve the school district," Day, a Neosho school alumnus. said. "The district provided me an education and allowed to to go out and build a life."

Wood was also elected by the board to serve as the president for the next year. Jonathon Russell was elected as vice-president.

Neosho Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jim Cummins began the meeting praising the community for standing behind the recent school levy increase that voters approved earlier this month.

Prior to the levy's passage, the district had conceptual designs. Now that the projects will become reality, blueprints must be drawn up.

Cummins provided a time frame for each of the projects included in the levy,

Tornado shelters for Central Elementary, Benton Elementary, Neosho Middle School and Field Early Childhood Education take top priority. The steel based safe room shelters should be installed by early autumn while the concrete-based shelters are expected to be completed by spring 2021.

The 1500 seat performing arts center at Neosho High School is expected to be completed during 2021. Work will soon begin on the End Zone indoor facility that will provide both locker rooms as well as practice space plus concessions and restrooms for Bob Anderson Stadium. The Roy Shaver baseball field will be relocated to the sports complex located between Neosho Junior High School and Carver Elementary.

Board members will discuss the projects in greater detail during an upcoming board retreat this month. They will also plan the full budget for the projects in the future. The levy is expected to raise about $22 million dollars but the final cost may be more but until there's a budget in place, the board can't determine if any remainder would come out of district reserves or through fundraising efforts.

The board also discussed the current June summer school session now underway and that the July session will provide transportation, which was not offered in June,