Empowerment was the mission statement at Tuesday night’s school board meeting.
The Monroe County Community Schools Corporation celebrated programs and recent events at the monthly school board meeting Tuesday night.
The meeting opened with a congratulations to the referendum Tri-Chair committee, the committee spearheading the YesForMCCSC referendum campaign on the ballot Nov. 8.
Lynn Coyne, a member of the Tri-Chair committee, said he was proud of how volunteers in the community stepped up.
“The people that came everywhere to help, when it got to a point where volunteers could take over, all those people that stepped up,” Coyne said. “It was just stunning.”
Judith DeMuth, superintendent of MCCSC, addressed the changing of school board leadership in the new year after the Nov. 8 election.
“Although we’ve changed the membership, the focus of this board is the needs of every single child,” Demuth said.
The board voted on contracts and changes of order on contract details, including one brought to the board by Tim Thrasher, director of business operations of MCCSC.
He said in the change of order MCCSC has experienced significant problems attracting and retaining job applicants to fill bus driver positions as employees of the school corporation.
To provide a sufficient number of buses to transport students to and from school in timely way the MCCSC will invite bids for independent contractors to provide drivers and buses to meet the district’s busing needs.
“This time we want to go a step further and open it all the way up,” Thrasher said.
The board approved legal advertisement and specifications for contracted student transportation.
Demaris Eberle, a guest at the meeting and a fifth-grader at University Elementary School, wrote a poem featured in the play “Resilience: Indiana’s Untold Story”.
The show, written by Elizabeth Mitchell and Gladys DeVane, is a collection of stories about black history in the state of Indiana and was directed by Danielle Bruce.
The poem was read aloud to the school board and the rest of the meeting attendees. The poem was titled, “Black Lives Matter.”
“Change the country like Barack,
Inspire like Martin
because Black Lives Matter!
So it is our turn
To accept the responsibility,
To be thankful for the people who inspired us,
To advance each other,
To learn, to go high, and to live free.”
Lois Sabo-Skelton, board member, said this poem was so mature it’s no wonder people did not realize who wrote it. She said she had never been so moved by anything in all her years on the school board as she was by Eberle’s poem.
“Tonight this poem, with this dear, extraordinary child, showed us that we must keep fighting,” Sabo-Skelton said. “Let the little children lead us tonight, this little child led us tonight and showed us that we must fight to continue the education for all children.”
In the final statements school board member Sue Wanzer addressed the recent responses by community members to election results from Nov. 8.
“All children need to be comfortable and safe in order to learn, and we will do all that we can to recommit that effort, which we always have, but must continue to do,” Wanzer said. “When emotion seems so high, we will continue to do all that we can.”
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