Newly appointed Sedalia School District 200 Board of Education member Matthew Herren is given the oath of office from Director of Board Services Lisa Hammerly during Monday night’s Board of Education Meeting at Smith-Cotton High School. 

The Sedalia School District 200 Board of Education has a new member after a vote during Monday night’s meeting.

In a 6-0 vote, Matthew Herren was approved to fill the vacant seat of former board member Steve Schilb, who died unexpectedly in late March. Herren was the only individual to submit his name to the board for consideration. Herren, who ran for the board during the last two municipal elections, was interviewed by the board during the meeting.

He replied “no” when asked by board President Dr. Jeffrey Sharp if he had a special agenda for wishing to be on the board

“Yes, I do as a former counselor, I would like to advocate more for the counselor positions, but I am also an advocate for the students, staff, and community,” he added. 

Herren was also asked, among other questions, how he would deal with a request if approached by a special interest group seeking approval on a matter. 

“Every parent is a special interest group and advocate for their child,” he replied. “In every matter when someone is upset they feel their opinion hasn’t been heard. The key is to let them know their opinion matters and to listen to them, but they should understand the first step is going through the proper channels.” 

Following the vote, Herren was given the oath of office and joined the board for the remainder of the meeting. His seat will be up for re-election in April.   

“We are very excited to have Mr. Herren join us a member of the Board of Education,” Superintendent Steve Triplett said. “As a former school counselor Matthew has an understanding of school business and brings a particular set of skills needed to address mental health needs of both our staff and students.” 

The board discussed the 2018-19 budget and the preliminary budget for the 2019-20 school year.

In information supplied by CFO Dr. Harriet Wolfe, members approved a total of $50.2 million in revenues and $54.1 million in expenditures.

Transfers are being made for construction of the Early Childhood Special Education Center, parking lot repairs at Smith-Cotton High School, repairing of roof systems at the high school, replacing the intercom systems at Heber Hunt, Parkview, and Skyline Elementary schools, upgrading the electrical at Heber Hunt and replacing the bleachers at Sedalia Middle School. The final budget will be approved after all receipts and payments are made. 

According to Wolfe, the district should end the year with a balanced budget, with the possibility of adding $100,000 to district reserves.  

Wolfe submitted a proposed 2019-20 budget which she described as “very conservative” with projected budgeted revenues of $54.5 million. Estimated budgeted expenses are projected at $58 million.

Members approved final plans for the new Early Childhood Center as submitted by the firm of Porter, Berendzen and Associates. Last fall, the board voted to proceed with a new $10.5 million, 40,000-square-foot facility to be built on the grounds of Smith-Cotton High School. The facility will be constructed using district reserves without a tax increase to district voters.

One area where district patrons will see a price increase is the food service program. School meal programs are to be net zero, meaning they are not to make or lose money.

During the Tri-Annual Audit by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the District was informed it was not charging a sufficient amount for breakfast and lunch.

“DESE stated that Sedalia 200 was charging below the recommended amount in accordance with reimbursement allowances,” Assistant Superintendent Dr. Todd Fraley informed the board. “Failure to raise these rates would result in a reduction in state reimbursement. The district would then need to subsidize this amount. DESE stated this could be increased over a two-year period.”

Board members voted to accept the following recommendations:


Elementary students: Free

Junior high and secondary students: $1.15

Adults: $1.40


Elementary students: $1.90

Junior high and secondary students: $2

Adults: $2.50  

The district is moving to a one-to-one program, meaning each student will have their own electronic device while in class. The board approved a four-year lease between the district and Apple Inc. for 720 iPads. The agreement will allow the district to obtain a sufficient number of devices for the early childhood and elementary schools. 

The total cost is $60,940 per year for four years. According to information provided to the board, “The agreement offers the district new devices that can be placed on a four-year rotation plan with consistent and predictable budgeting allocations. Apple will be responsible for the collecting and return of all devices at the end of the lease. The district will be responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged devices during the duration of the lease.”  

Triplett noted technology is a part of students’ everyday lives. 

“It is important for our district to not only get students comfortable with using technology, but to enhance their understanding of how it will make them more effective in the working world,’ Triplett said. “Chromebooks are an effort to replace printed materials, it is a key element in the transformation of teaching strategies.”

In other actions, the board voted to: 

• Approve the year-end Health Evaluation. According to information in the meeting packet, there were 50,560 visits to the health offices in 2018-19. Of that, 48,632 students were returned to the classroom and 1,928 were sent home due to illness, injury or other conditions. None of the visits required emergency medical services or 911 calls.

• Approve the sole bid from SGC Foodservice for bakery items, a 16.6% increase over last year. The total price will be based on the amount of goods ordered. 

• Approve the bid from Hiland Dairy, a 3% increase over last year. The total price will be based on the number of goods ordered.

• Approve bids from Meyer Laboratory, Ecolab Inc., and Graves Food for Ware Washing (kitchen cleaning supplies). 

• Approve the low bid by Cybertron for the purchase of computers at $528 per unit and 20-inch monitors at $86.76 per unit.

• Approve a two-year agreement with the Springfield School District to provide academic services to Smith-Cotton students through its online Launch Program. There is no cost to the district until the district uses the services.

• Approve the district’s Five-Year Maintenance Plan.

• Approve the updated curriculum for elementary social studies, elementary science, secondary social studies and secondary personal finance. The board approved objectives and alignment to the Missouri Learning/Show Me Standards.

• Approve Memorandums of Understanding with the five public schools the Co-op serves: Green Ridge, La Monte, Smithton, Dresden, and Pettis County R-V (Northwest). 

• Approve board meeting dates and locations for the 2019-20 school year.   

• Accept a donation to the Sedalia Middle School from the Sedalia Parks and Recreation Department for seven rescue tubes for the Sedalia Middle School pool. 

• Heard a presentation from Steve Bloess, chairman of the citizen committee helping to inform the public about the City of Sedalia’s tax questions on the Aug. 6 ballot. Bloess discussed several options for the district’s use of the Community Center, if approved by voters, primarily the aquatic center.

Education Reporter

Hope Lecchi is the education reporter for the Democrat, covering all things education in Sedalia and Pettis County, as well as providing general assignment and feature coverage. She can be reached at 660-530-0144.

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