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After spending 21 years as a fifth grade teacher Casey Laws has accepted the position of principal for the Dresden R-XII School District.

Although they have been in school for less than a month, the Dresden R-XII School District is welcoming the community back to school with a Back to School Barbecue from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19.

It is just one way the district hopes to bring the community together according to Dresden Superintendent Travis Moore.

“We are so excited to start off our school year with a big welcome to our returning families as well as our new families,” Moore commented.

With a donation of hot dogs and chicken from Tyson, elementary and middle school students, parents and staff have been asked to bring side dishes, desserts, soda or bottled water and table services to the event to make the meal complete. Everyone who attends is asked to bring a lawn chair so they may be comfortable while spending the evening meeting one another and the new staff at the school.

Casey Laws has been hired as the principal for the district. Laws has spent 21 years in education as a fifth grade teacher in Windsor and Warrensburg. This will be his first year as an administrator.

“Teaching has always been my thing,” Laws said. “I truly enjoy seeing students become empowered to ask questions and want to be taught. As the principal, I get to see that at the different grade levels and over time.”

One of Laws’ goals is to make the district as welcoming to the community as possible. He added he hopes to have the opportunity to meet many of the district’s families at the barbecue.

“Parents are absolutely important in their child’s education,” Laws explained. “The school is one of the best places to get answers to how to help at home.

“Our staff has a wealth of knowledge,” he continued. “We are always happy to offer ideas that we believe will help our students be more successful.”

Laws is joined this year by three new additions to the staff: kindergarten paraprofessional Jodi Russell; second grade teacher Katie Cornine; and music teacher Joanie Slinger.

Russell brings 11 years of experience working with students through the Boys & Girls Club of West Central Missouri Cole Camp site as well as serving as a preschool aide at Cole Camp.

Cornine is a graduate of Missouri Valley College and is currently working toward her master’s degree at Northwest Missouri State University. In her 13th year of teaching, Cornine said she is, “Looking forward to getting to know my students and being a positive light in their education.”

Sliger, a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, has lived in Missouri for three years. Having taught both vocal and instrumental music in Oklahoma she is looking forward to returning to the classroom as a teacher this year. Last year she worked as a paraprofessional in the Warrensburg School District.

Moore noted he is looking forward to working with all the staff as they embark on developing a new strategic plan for the district.

“The fundamental purpose of any school is student achievement,” Moore explained. “Our mission statement reflects this commitment ‘Empowering students to achieve.’

“All decisions we make are student-centered to live up to our mission,” he continued. “Specifically, we are looking to address facility needs, have more community involvement, and meet the needs of our student population.”

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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