The Sedalia School District 200 Board of Education welcomed new member Diana Nichols and elected new officers before agreeing to long-term maintenance and technology plans during its regular meeting Monday night.
Nichols, who ran unopposed, replaces departing school board member Stan Bowlin, who did not seek re-election.
Nichols, an eight-year veteran of the Sedalia School District Foundation, told the Democrat she has been a part of the district since her daughter started kindergarten nearly 25 years ago and is excited for a chance to remain involved with the school system.
“I like what the board has been doing and I like where we are going,” Nichols said. “We have staff in this district that pour their hearts out for their students and I just want to be able to be here to support them.”
The board also swore in incumbent board member David Wolf for a new term; Wolf also ran unopposed for the seat.
Following their oaths of office, Nichols, Wolf and the other board members conducted their mandated post-election reorganization meeting, re-electing Dr. Jeff Sharp as board president. The board also elected Michael Stees as vice-president; David Wolf as secretary; and Ken Coffelt as treasurer.
With a new board seated, the group heard from district technology consultant Jim Allain, who presented a technology review as the district looks ahead towards technology investments that could see Sedalia students enjoy expanded access to computers and other tech devices.
Allain said the district is currently working on improving wireless access at the junior high and high school, a project the district hopes to complete this summer. Beginning this fall, the district will then test a “Bring Your Own Device” technology plan that would allow students and teachers to use their smart phones, tablets, or laptop computers in the classroom.
“We have to stay on the cutting edge without being on the bleeding edge,” Allain said.
Brad Pollitt, assistant superintendent, said the district will evaluate the BYOD policy through next fall with an eye towards a “1-to-1 initiative” that could see iPads or tablets issued to students for classroom use.
“We are a ways out for that. First, we have to get the infrastructure in place, then we can evaluate how it has worked out and how to move forward,” Pollitt said.
The district also approved a $4.2 million, 5-year maintenance plan that Pollitt said anticipates pressing needs while remaining flexible enough to accommodate new issues as they arise.
Board members also unanimously approved John “Bud” Thomas, Ralph “Stub” Dow and Donease Smith into the 2013-14 S-C Athletic Hall of Fame.
Thomas is a former St. Louis Browns professional baseball player who also served as the first principal of Heber Hunt Elementary. Dow was a football coach who had successful seasons through the 1940s. Smith is a former S-C girls basketball player who went on to a career as director of operations for the WNBA’s Detroit Shockers, as well as Kansas State University and the University of Memphis.