Bulldog Bytes

A Newsletter for Employees of the Mexico59 8/19/15

Bulldog Bytes

Bulldog Bytes will be available in your in box each Wednesday (with some exceptions around Christmas break). Send items you would like included (including wedding announcements and birth announchments) to jdiffenderfer@mexico.k12.mo.us.

All Employees must watch MUSIC videos!

EVERY Employee of Mexico 59, regardless of job position, must watch the required videos.

The link is https://in2vate.com/music/

Ensure that you do this in a timely fashion. There is a “Forgot My Password” link on the page for your assistance.

Employee Handbook - Please read and sign

On 8/5/15, Bethany Collins emailed everyone the Employee Handbook link. Here is the link again. https://goo.gl/xSVk93 Please remember to read it, print the last page, sign it, and return it to your Building Administrator.


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.

District Calendar

Wednesday, August 19

5:30pm MMS - Open House

6:45pm MMS - XC Parent Meeting

Thursday, August 20

School Starts

3:15pm MMS - First Day of Cheer Practice

3:30pm MMS - Volleyball First Day of Practice

3:30pm MMS - XC First Day of Practice

5:30pm MMS - Football Parent Meeting

6:00pm MHS Open House - Freshman Parent meeting in Emmons Hall at 6:00-6:30

6:00pm MMS - Band Instrumental Rental Night

Friday, August 21

7:00pm MHS Football - Varsity

Monday, August 24

ECC Open House/Meet Teacher by appt.

8:00am FFA Recruitment Week

4:30pm MHS Girls Tennis @ Marshall

5:00pm MHS Softball V/JV v@ Hannibal

5:45pm MHS Volleyball vs Southern Boone

6:00pm MHS Football - JV

Tuesday, August 25

FFA Recruitment Week

ECC Open House/Meet Teacher by appt.

4:00pm MHS Girls Tennis @ Boonville

5:00pm MHS Boys Soccer vs Elsberry

5:00pm MHS Softball V/JV vs Marshall

Wednesday, August 26

FFA Recruitment Week

ECC Open House/Meet Teacher by appt.


Mexico School District 59 Position Openings 2015-2016


Part-Time Evening welding

Speech Pathologist (4)



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 Baseball Coach - MHS

Assistant Track Coach - MHS


7th Grade Boys Basketball

Mexico School District gets new Employee Absence program.

Subfinder was acquired by AESOP/Frontline and there are some changes you need to know about.

1. You will be emailed your user name (your phone number) and you PIN (which you can change)

2. Teacher and Paraprofessionals will not have to do a separate entry in HR Portal for the absence (In Progress)

3. Teachers can attach documents to the their absence for the substitute to see ahead of time.

If you have any questions, feel free to call Beth Hawkins at x2704 or Jo Ann Diffenderfer x2425

Here is link to the Teacher Learning Center

Hashtag your back to school photos

As you post photos to social media on 8/20, use the hashtag to identify your school. #1stDayEF, #1stDayHAW, #1stDayMCM, #1stDayMMS, #1stDayMHS

MHS Theater Cookbooks are in

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.

Please be looking for the MHS Theatre Department at various venues around the community. We will be working for our funding.

Look for us at the Soybean Festival August 21 & 22.

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

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

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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 http://goo.gl/AQBRxK

Social Media shout outs!

Lesley Bruinton, APR @lesleybruinton

My favorite tweet of the day in this kindergarten classroom on the first day of school.twitter.com/TCSBoardofEd/s…

TCS Board of Ed @TCSBoardofEd

"I'm a little bit nervous. I don't know how to read yet." You will!! #TCSLearns #TCSHere pic.twitter.com/7qmGzG0rj2

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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Transfers and relocations

The following employees have changed positions or buildings since the last all employee meeting:


Melissa Chastain now Principal at Hawthorne

Dana Hunt now Technology Director

Julie Lower now Assistant Principal at Eugene Field

Brandon Schafer now Assistant Principal at Hawthorne

Certified Staff:

Katrina Dukes - now at EF PE

Stacey Ellison - still at MMS but moved to Math

Carrie Gerberding - now at EF teaching 3rd grade

Bryan Green - now at HAW teaching 3rd grade

Kathryn Lehnen - now at ECC as Pre K teacher

Laura Haynes - now at HAW teaching Art

Mindy Hudson - now at HAW as Title 1 reading

Grant Johnston - now at MHS teaching Math

Christina McCaw - now at MCM as Librarian

Jessie Mommens - now at EF teaching 5th grade

Jenna Power - now at EF teaching 1st grade

Ellen Tucker - now at MCM teaching 3rd grade

Kris Turlington - now an MMS counselor

Kelly Whalen - now at HAW teaching 3rd grade

Support Staff:

Lorraine Allen - still at MMS, now Principal's secretary

Ondrea Clark - now CO Payroll Coordinator

Sonja Eldridge - now HAW Attendance Secretary

Jennifer Fowler - now CO Secretary to Transportation

Amber Henderson - now CO Accounts Payable

Sandy Jackson - to ECC as a Paraprofessional

Rebecca Jorgenson - now at EF in the Food Service Department

Lori Kelsay - now HCC Technology Assistant

Amber Smtih - now HAW Principal Secretary

Shauna Wheaton - to MCM as a Paraprofessional

Board of Education Meeting recap 8/17 & 18/15

Board notes are very brief this week. It was a tight deadline from Tuesday night to Wednesday morning with the all-staff meeting taking place.

First, on Monday night the board met to consider the facilities plan and potential bond issue projects. Currently, the board has a list of about 40 items to consider. These items were generated by the combination of surveys and meetings facilitated this past school year by our architectural firm, Hollis and Miller of Kansas City, MO.

In a future (soon) Bulldog Bytes I’ll share the entire listing of possible projects and where the board is so far in prioritizing those items. At some point this fall there will be another public forum to discuss these projects. Also, the board has engaged the firm Patron Insights to complete surveys this fall. There will be more information coming out soon about this process.

Tuesday night was the regular monthly board meeting. Those notes are below embedded in the agenda.

Board of Education Meeting - Regular Session 8/18/2015 - 7:00 PM

Link to the meeting in eBoards

1. Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance

2. Adopt Agenda

3. Tax Rate Hearing

a. Staff & Patron Input - Comments on proposed tax rate

There were no patron comments on the proposed tax rates.

b. Set 2015-2016 Tax Rate

The board considered three different rates. Due to the prepayment of bonds (last weeks board meeting) the board has the ability to set a higher levy in debt service. This prepayment will save the district nearly $93,000 in interest money and allows the district to get a head start, if you will, on a future bond issue. The board considered the three proposed tax levy scenarios and chose to approve Option One (page three of this link). This will raise the tax rate .2669 cents over last year, for a total levy of $4.2627.

4. Staff & Patron Input - there was no patron input.

a. Educator Recognition for Additional Degrees Earned

The following staff were recognized for having earned an advanced degree during the past year, congratulations!

Educator, Degree, Building, Degree in

Adam Barnett, Masters Degree, Mexico High, School Teaching

Danielle Westmoreland, Masters Degree, Mexico Middle School, Education Administration

Jenna Power, Masters Degree, Eugene Field, Teaching

Robert Dalton, Masters Degree, Mexico High School, Teaching

Jessica Mommens, Masters Degree, Eugene Field, Education Administration

Sarah Gooch, Masters Degree, Hart Career Center, Education Administration

Hester Russell, Masters Degree, Hart Career Center, CTE Leadership

b. August MSBA Report

This month's report includes:

Update on NCLB in Washington D.C.,

New teacher licensure assessments,

Annual safe schools and colleges conference,

MSBA fall delegate assembly and fall conference,

3rd annual "what's super about public schools" contest,

5. President's Comments

All of the board members commented about the beginning of a new year, thanking staff for all their hard work getting ready. Also mentioned where the students and staff who participated in and led the Student Leadership Academy at the HS and the Community Health Fair held recently at the United Methodist Church.

6. Consent Agenda

Consent agenda was approved as presented. Each item can be accessed at the link provided.

a. Minutes July 21, 2015 Regular Session & August 11, 2015 Regular Session

b. Reading of Bills (except agenda item 7)

c. Personnel

d. Professional Development Plan/Handbook

e. Dual Credit Agreement

f. Bid - Bus Fuel

g. Bid - Roland V5-540i 54" Wide Solvent Printer

h. Declare Items No Longer Needed for Educational Use

i. Readopt Policy BBFA - Board Member Conflict of Interest and Financial Disclosure

j. Local Compliance Plan

7. Bills - See Itemized List

8. Reports & Presentations

a. Construction Report - Very little to report. Windows and intercom are complete at McMillan and the water line is complete at the HS. Normal summer maintenance and cleaning are largely complete.

b. Assessment Results

Dr. Templeton’s report can be accessed at the link. Building administrators will have a copy as well. Suffice it to say, that while we are not where we want to be yet, we made steady progress in many areas. Given all the rhetoric we had heard about low scores were going to be due to new tests, I am pleased to report we really scored better than expected in many areas.

In some regards it was our best year. Four years ago we scored above the state average in 3 of 22 tested areas (MAP/EOC - ELA/MA/SC/SS - 3rd grade through HS). Then we improved to 4 of 22, repeated 4 of 22, and last year we were 6 of 22. This past spring, we scored above the state average in 7 of the 22 years, which is the best we have done in several years. And in many (not all) areas, we are slowly closing the gap to the state average. Slow and steady wins the race. Good job everyone.

c. Federal Programs Report

Annual report that reviews the budget and expenditures in our Title programs (Title I, II, III and VI).

9. Unfinished Business

a. Facilities Management - No business was necessary for this item.

10. New Business

a. Treasurer's Report - approved

We ended the month with 24.09% balances/cash reserve. Remember our balance will decline as we move through the year and reach a low point in November or December, prior to receiving tax revenue payments from the county.

b. Annual Secretary of the Board Report - approved

This is our year-end financial summary statement we must complete for the auditors and for DESE. Our year-end balance was 26.89%.

It should be pointed out, that we are planning a deficit of approximately 1.5 million dollars this year. Part of that is due to a one-time/year loss of revenue that we recover next year of about $750,000. Depending on how the state's revenue picture plays out, we are looking and deficits for the next several years that will likely only be offset by significant budget reductions or an increase in operating tax at some point in the next 12-24 months. Stayed tuned for more information.

c. Policy GCPB - First Reading - no action taken

This was first reading (the board normally approves on the 2nd reading) of changes to the staff resignation policy. This change would introduce a financial penalty for anyone resigning after June 1st in future years (and after contracts are returned in May for non-tenured staff). Since 2010 we have received 24 resignations in June, July and August. Each of those is a burden to the district in finding and hiring candidates that late in the “hiring season.”

Additionally, after June 15 our payroll department is working in the new year file set, and staff that leave after that time induce a significant amount of extra work for the business office. Lastly, part of planning for the coming year is knowing who your staff is going to be. Not knowing or making a change in the summer is doubly difficult. Not only does turnover impact student achievement, having time to identify and train new staff is very important.

d. Next Month's Agenda

always provided as a reminder that any item to be placed on the agenda should be communicated to Bethany at least five days in advance of the meeting.

11. Adjournment to Executive Session

The board held a quick executive session with no action to report at this time.

Slide show from All District Meeting

Click here to re-watch Mr. Freeman's presentation from the All District Meeting on 8/19/15. The video link is also here and has some great information.


Earn extra money...Work at an MHS sporting event

As most of you know the athletic department hits the ground running when school starts and that means there are work opportunities for those that are interested.

Kris Fecht will list out the upcoming events and if you are interested in working please email her the date and sport that you would be willing to work. She usually emails these out once a week, so look for her emails. kfecht@mexico.k12.mo.us.

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Watch the Flash Mob Video from the All District Meeting.

Click the link below to see and hear our great staff get our year started off with song!