Bulldog Bytes

A Newsletter for Employees of the Mexico59 09/16/15

Bulldog Bytes

Bulldog Bytes will be available in your in box each Wednesday (with some exceptions around Christmas & Summer break). Send items to be published to jdiffenderfer@mexico.k12.mo.us. These items can be wedding photos, birth announcements/photos, fund raisers for sports and civic clubs, and other district wide communication needs.

Use Bulldog Bytes for District Wide Communication

If/when you have a message that needs to be communicated to the ~375 employees of Mexico 59, Bulldog Bytes is the only way to do it. Send your information to jdiffenderfer@mexico.k12.mo.us or call Jo Ann at x2425.


In case you did not know, we need certified teachers as bus drivers. This would be extra money for you and it will also help you when you retire, if you keep it up, as it logs more income for you when reported to PSRS. For more information about becoming a bus driver, contact Curt Jackson x2424.

Mexico School District Calendar

Wednesday, September 16

MHS - Spirit Day - Class color day

3:00pm - FFA - Area 4 Leadership Conference

Thursday, September 17

HAW School Pictures

MHS - Spirit Day - Sports Day

4:00pm - MHS Girls Golf - Mexico, Rolla & Helias

5:00pm - MHS Softball V/JV v@ Battle

5:00pm - MHS Boys Soccer @ Boonville

5:30pm - MHS Volleyball @ Bowling Green

6:00pm - MMS 7/8 Volleyball @ Chester Boren Middle

Friday, September 18

Early outs for Homecoming

Parade line up begins @ 1:45 - check in at MHS circle drive

MHS - Spirit Day - Red & Grey - SUPERFAN

9:00am - EF 2nd Grade Nature Walk

11:45am - ECC NO Afternoon classes due to Early Dismissal for Homecoming

5:00pm - HAW - PTO Chili Supper

7:00pm - MHS Football Varsity - vs Boonville (Homecoming)

Saturday, September 19

MHS Choir District Auditions @ Battle

MMS Volleyball 7/8 Boonville Tournament

7:00am - MMS XC @ Fulton Invitational

8:00am - FFA Elsberry Trap Shoot

9:00am - MHS Cross Country - Fulton Cross Country Invitational

10:00am - MHS Girls Tennis - NCMC @ Hannibal

12:00pm - HCC- LAN Party

Monday, September 21

10:15am - ECC Mrs. Miller the Science Thriller w/Travis, Bedford

2:15pm - ECC Mrs. Miller the Science Thriller w/Travis, Bedford

5:00pm - MHS Boys Soccer vs Southern Boone

5:00pm - MMS 7/8 Volleyball @ Warren County

5:45pm - MHS Volleyball vs Boonville

6:00pm - MHS Football JV @ Boonville

6:00pm - Parents As Teachers Messy Play Night @ECC

Tuesday, September 22

10:15am - ECC Mrs. Miller the Science Thriller w/Travis, Bedford

1:30pm - MHS - William Woods Visit- Jrs & Srs

2:15pm - ECC Mrs. Miller the Science Thriller w/Travis, Bedford

4:00pm - MHS Girls Golf - Moberly, Mexico & Battle

5:00pm - MMS 7/8 Football vs Boonville

Click here for the most up-to-date calendar http://www.mexicoschools.net/calendar-google.php

Mexico School District 59 Position Openings 2015-2016


Part-Time Evening welding

Speech Pathologist (4)


Building Secretary

Bus Drivers & Substitute Bus Drivers

Substitute Food Service Workers

Substitute Nurses

Substitute Teachers

The following coaching/extra-duty positions are available for the 2015-2016 school year. Please contact Jeff Anderson x3008 at Mexico High School for additional information.


Assistant Track Coach - MHS

School Reach is now School Messenger

We have a new calling alert system at Mexico School District. It is called School Messenger and replaces the former School Reach. Calls about early dismissal or changes due to weather will come out as before.

We have automated calls which are going out for attendance. These calls are made daily if parents haven't called into to tell the school that their student is absent.

Parents may also receive an automated negative lunch balance call once a week.

Parent information is gleaned from SISK12 and the Parent/Student portal. If you have an update to your phone number, be sure you sign in to your account and make the changes there.

Our first call to everyone will be September 16th to alert parents to the early dismissal on September 18th for Homecoming.

This is a new system and as with anything new, there can, and will, be some kinks to work out. If you experience something out of the ordinary, please call Jo Ann Diffenderfer 581-3773 x2425. We appreciate your patience and know that we will work to solve issues as quickly as we can.

MHS Theater Cookbooks ready to be purchased....Get yours NOW!

From Sara Given - MHS Theater Department---It is a great honor to be selected to represent not only our school and community but the state of Missouri at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland August 2016.

We are in need of your support.

“Dramatically Delicious” is our new cookbook. The entries look AMAZINGLY scrumptious! $15 per cookbook with a 75% kickback to our group traveling abroad.

We will be hosting the Children's Tent at Walk Back in Time. So, stop by with your kids next week and pick up a cookbook while you are there!

If you are interested in donating to our group, please contact Sara Given at MHS or Bethany Collins at Central Office.

Social Media shout outs!

UNITED WAY: We have reached a contribution of 7% toward our district goal of $7,400.

Board of Education Meeting Recap by Kevin Freeman, Superintendent of Schools

Board of Education Meeting


Superintendent’s Notes - my notes on the agenda below in bold italics

The entire board packet with all attachments may be viewed in eBoards at this link:

September Board Meeting

1. Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance

2. Adopt Agenda - agenda accepted

3. Staff & Patron Input

a. September MSBA Report - at this link. This month in the MSBA Board Report: Update on HB1490 work group progress, Student safety update, Fall regional meetings, MSBA school personnel information survey.

4. President's Comments

Comments included:

Numerous donations to various scholarship funds and BRIGHTfutures. See the list at the

board agenda.

Off to a new year and a good start.

Busy first of the year. Worth mentioning how well the middle school is doing in academic achievement.

Appreciation for BULLDOG BYTES, great when info goes out. Congratulations to athletic

teams and in particular soccer team.

Thanks for everyone’s enthusiasm. Enjoy reading the building reports. Enjoy the

enthusiasm that is there.

Thanks everyone for your hard work and effort.

Betty Baker one of the toughest teachers and one place kids really learned. Tremendous

tribute to her with this many people giving all this money.

Very exciting to read about what is happening in buildings and building reports. Looking

forward to parent teacher conferences.

5. Consent Agenda - approved

a. Minutes August 17, 2015 Study Session & August 18, 2015 Regular Session

b. Reading of Bills (except agenda item 6) - we pay bills monthly. Sometimes there is

a check that one or more board members have to abstain from the vote.

Those are moved to item #6 below

c. Personnel - approved as presented as part of the consent agenda. See the

board meeting link for list

6. Bills - See Itemized List - approved

7. Reports & Presentations - provided for information only to the board. All contained in

the agenda at the link above.

a. Building Reports

i. Mexico Senior High School Building Report

ii. Davis H. Hart Career Center Building Report

iii. Mexico Middle School Building Report

iv. Eugene Field Elementary Building Report

v. Hawthorne Elementary Building Report

vi. McMillan Elementary Building Report

vii. Early Childhood Center Building Report

b. Construction Report - same as above. No update at this time from architect on

the 10-year facility plan.

c. Assessment Results

i. Peer Group Data - See the attachments in the board agenda link above.

Mexico is improving relative to our peer group and conference schools.

ii. ACT Data - see the attachments in the board agenda link above. Total

comprehensive analysis by Dr. Robinson on the ACT results from

last year.

d. Food Service Report - Provided for information only. See link above.

e. eBay Report - two years ago we stopped having auctions in the fall and started

using eBay to sell excess property with great success. See the financial analysis.

8. New Business

a. Treasurer's Report - approved as presented. For those new to board reports, the

one important number in this report is the % cash balance or reserve at the end of the month. This represents our “cash on hand” on an ongoing basis. Currently the % is above the prior years. However, we expect this to decline sharply in this budget year as we’ve budgeted for a 1.5 million dollar deficit this year. Our lowest point of cash reserves during the year should occur in December before our local taxes are receipted in January.

b. American Fidelity Agreement - ACA Tracking and Reporting - This is a component of

complying with the regulations of the ACA (Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare). This agreement with American Fidelity was approved pending a modification of the contract to alleviate possible penalties for the district.

c. 2015B Policy Updates - First Reading -policies are read twice by the board, with

approval generally coming on the 2nd reading. There were four policies in this update, three of which deal with evaluation of superintendent, principals and teachers. DESE asked MSBA to incorporate some language about student growth into the evaluations.

d. Tuition Reimbursement - there is a desire from the board to encourage teachers

to earn their advanced degree in their subject area or reading. At the HS level we need teachers with MA in their subject area for Dual Credit offerings, especially with some looming changes coming down from higher ed. This was tabled and will be discussed with Salary and Welfare.

e. Investment of School District Scholarship Money - currently we have 1.3 million

dollars in restricted funds dedicated for senior scholarships. State law extremely limits our ability to invest funds and earn interest, essentially we are limited to CDs which currently earn less than 1%. If we can move this money to an external foundation which is not restricted by school district investment policy, we can save and grow this scholarship fund for the future. No decision was made.

f. RFP - Liability, Property and Workers Comp Insurance - We are soliciting RFPs (Request for Proposal) for this insurance for the coming year.

g. MSBA Fall Regional Meeting - Region 17 October 21, 2015, Montgomery Co. R-II -

MSBA organizes regional meetings in the fall and spring hosted at local districts around the state.

h. Next Month's Agenda - provided for information only.

9. Adjournment to Executive Session - no action was taken in closed session.

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Mexico teachers train for Project Lead The Way

By Kathy Craghead - Mexico Ledger Staff

from Mexicoledger.com Posted Sep. 9, 2015 at 3:44 PM

After the excitement of the first day of school, students in the upper grades at Eugene Field Elementary and Hawthorne Elementary Schools will join thousands of students in participating in Project Lead the Way.

Two teachers, Kingswell Bayron who teaches fourth grade at Hawthorne, and Alicia Saunders, who teaches fifth grade at Eugene Field, have received training in the activity and project-based curriculum. They participated in the PLTW Launch, a program designed to give students early experiences in the world of science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.The program is designed for students kindergarten through fifth grade, and offers 12 modules aligned to grade-level standards.

"I think STEM is vital to all grades," Bayron said. "We will implement the program which can be taught in all the core subjects into our science, math and, of course, reading classes. This program is hands-on and will challenge all students in a wide range of topics and skills."Bayron, who trained June 11-13 in Blue Springs, plans to share an activity called Computer Output-Input. "One activity I did in training was to create a game on the iPad. I learned about coding and what it really takes to make a game. The activity will involve many math skills, organization, reading, patience and team work."

Saunders, who trained July 6-8 in St. Louis, plans to help implement modules at her school in grades 3-5, and eventually to include all grades."Implementing PLTW is important in lower grades to set a base of math, science, computer science and engineering for students," she said.Saunders plans to have her fifth graders build simple and complex machines using VEX robotic kits.

"In every module, students will be working on activities that lead up to a final project. Each module has a story with a problem that the students will solve through exploration."PLTW, which is a non-profit organization, is the nation's leading provider of STEM programs.The programs are designed to help students develop skills needed to succeed in the global economy.The PTLW curriculum flows through the high school level.

The program has been offered at Hart Career Center for several years, taught by Hester Russell and Mark Murphy.This year, MHS math teacher Keith Louder will also teach one class in the program, Computer Integrated Manufacturing. He also was trained in Introduction to Engineering Design.CIM is available to any student who has taken IED. Students who have not had IED may choose to take the classes simultaneously.

"CIM will introduce students to technology used in modern manufacturing," Chris Denham, director of Hart Career Center, said. "They will learn about the manufacturing process, product design, robotics and automation. There are many opportunities, both in our community and globally, in the field of manufacturing. Unfortunately, it is an industry not many of our students know much about. Our goal is to expose students to the processes and the possibilities."

13 Common Sayings to Avoid

Some of these are related to control issues, others to motivation, and still more to management. All reflect frustration and/or anger. Let's start the upcoming school year by wiping these sayings out of our vernacular.

Student Health Screenings to be held at YMCA

Students in grades 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th will travel to the Mexico YMCA for health screenings. The dates are:

Sept. 17 McMillan

Oct. 8 Eugene Field

If you have any questions about this, please contact your school's nurse or Angie Anderson, Head Nurse at x2802.

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Healthy Snack from the Wellness Commitee

The wellness committee has provided some delicious fall apples and caramel dip for your healthy snack this month.

Look for the red tub in your building workroom.

September's health theme: Cold & Flu Prevention. Health tips are located in the plastic display in your workroom.

Zenith Aircraft Company's 24th annual Open Hangar Day and Builder Fly-In

Friday, Sep. 18th, 9am to Saturday, Sep. 19th, 9pm

5720 East Liberty Street

Mexico, MO

Here's some info on our upcoming 24th annual Open Hangar Day and Fly-In. Please add this event to your Events Calendar and share with the Chamber membership, as well as on social media.

Zenith Aircraft Company's 24th annual Open Hangar Day andBuilder Fly-In Gathering is Friday and Saturday, September 18 & 19, at the Zenith kit aircraft factory in Mexico, Missouri (at Mexico Memorial Airport- KMYJ, located in central Missouri). This is a great time to visit the kit airplane factory and see where these aircraft kits are made, to meet the factory staff, and to get together with fellow pilots, builders and enthusiasts.

We have many activities planned for both Friday and Saturday morning, including the following:

  • EAA's Charlie Becker (EAA's Director of Chapters, Communities and Homebuilt Community Manager) will attend with the One Week Wonder airplane, the Zenith CH 750 Cruzer aircraft that was built in seven days at AirVenture Oshkosh 2014
  • Zenith STOL Competition and Demonstration, sponsored by Kitplanes magazine.
  • Free Education Seminars on loss of control prevention, first flight preparedness, transition training, sport pilot, homebuilt aircraft rules, homebuilt aircraft insurance, engine oil analysis, and more!
  • Free product seminars and demonstrations from Garmin, Dynon, Continental, Rotax, UL Power, Viking, Jabiru, Corvair. and more!
  • Zenith Aircraft kit construction seminars and demonstrations

There's plenty of ramp space for visiting aircraft (of all types) and free camping at the airport. Great BBQ food (from Becky and Nick Steinman) will be available for lunch on both Friday and Saturday, and a Zenith Banquet dinner will be held on Friday evening at the Mexico Elks Lodge. Free coffee and donuts will be available on Saturday morning.

Before the Open Hangar Day activities, Zenith will be hosting one of its popular monthly hands-on factory workshops, and William Wynne of FlyCorvair.com will hold a popular Corvair College workshop next to the Zenith Aircraft factory.

More info and details: http://www.zenith.aero/profiles/blogs/2015-open-hangar-day

Share and link to our Facebook event page:


Photos from the 2014 event. Photos from the 2013 event.

Attached are a few photos and brochures to help share information about our event. We hope to see you there!

Sebastien Heintz,

Zenith Aircraft Company

Zenith Aircraft Company: www.zenithair.com

Zenith Builders and Flyers: www.zenith.aero

Zenith on Facebook: facebook.com/zenithair

Zenith Aircraft magazine: http://j.mp/zenith-magazine

National Back to Church Sunday

Mexico United Methodist Church invites

all Mexico School District employees & their families

to be our special guests on National Back to Church Sunday

Connecting .... Growing ... Serving

Please join us for Worship & lunch!

Where: 122 East Promenade, Mexico, MO

When: Sunday, September 20th

Worship starts at 10:15 am

Nursery & Children's Worship available

Lunch is provided immediately after Worship

Thank you for serving the families of our community!


(573) 581-4791

MHS Key Club to host Red Cross Blood Drive

September 23rd from 10-2 is the Key Club's blood drive in the Sports Complex lobby. It will be open to the public. Please spread the word and/or participate if you can. Besides being for the Red Cross, the Key Club seniors could get a scholarship through the Red Cross if we collect enough units.

*Coaches (note from Mrs. Galloway): If you would consider letting athletes participate, they could perhaps be excused from practices that day. If it is a game day I understand them not participating.

Thanks everyone for helping with a good cause!

CPI Training Reminder

Wednesday, Sep. 23rd, 3:30pm

1200 West Boulevard Street

Mexico, MO

Reminder: CPI physical training is set for September 23 at Mexico Middle School beginning at 3:30 p.m. If you have registered for this class, please remember to have your online training and 3 page test completed prior to this date. You will be required to bring the 3 page test to the physical training for completion verification.

A+ for Mexico Grant Applications due!

A+ for Mexico Grant Applications need be turned in ASAP. The deadline is September 25th.

Information can be found at http://goo.gl/yjtO44

The application can be found at https://goo.gl/7TDCqz

Help the Dixie Gray Band go to Orlando in 2016

Click the above link for information on the Orlando trip and how you can help.

Nominations are now being accepted for Pioneer in Education Awards

During the Annual Christmas Reception we will present the Pioneer in Education Awards. Employees are encouraged to nominate a retired staff member or former Board of Education member. Nominees must have been retired at least three years.

If you wish to nominate someone, please complete the form below and return to the Board Secretary at Central Office not later than November 15.

These two documents are what you need to submit an application. The nomination form. The list of eligible retirees.

Contact Bethany Collins for more information. x2401

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Family Fun Night at the YMCA

Sunday, Jan. 3rd 2016 at 6-8pm

1127 Adams Street

Mexico, MO

Staff and their families are encouraged to come play games, snack and fellowship. Volleyball, pickle ball, ping pong, swimming pool, and racquetball.