School board says goodbye to old friend
Hellos and goodbyes dominated last Thursday's school board meeting when the board recognized former Principal Tom Jerome for more than three decades of service and welcomed two new additions to the Eudora School District.
Nottingham Elementary's newly-retired principal, backed by a phalanx of family, smiled as Superintendent Marty Kobza read his resume.
As Jerome accepted a surprise plaque from the board he said, "I'd like to spend some time reminiscing."
Beginning with Eva Deonier, board clerk, Jerome went through the room, recalling in what grade those attending the meeting were when he arrived in 1967. He told Joe Pyle, on conference call from St. Louis, he remembered Pyle as a young boy, knocking on his door when he first moved to Eudora asking to be his paperboy.
"I've signed 34 contracts, and I don't regret one of them," Jerome said.
Jerome then thanked the six school board members "who had the courage to sign on a greenhorn" when he was 27.
Later in the meeting, Kobza introduced two new members to the district and recognized Eudora school district veteran Don Grosdidier as the new middle school principal.
"If I can have as successful a tenure as Tom has, I'll be happy," Grosdidier said.
New food services director Cindy Cavanaugh told the board she'd like to see changes implemented, but not too quickly for the employees.
"The employees can make or break a program," Cavanaugh said.
Cavanaugh said she wanted to get away from a corporate atmosphere and into a family atmosphere.
"This seems like mega-family atmosphere," she said of Eudora.
The board then introduced James Lauer, Nottingham's new principal, who will move from Seneca to Eudora in several weeks.
"I want to make it fun for the kids," he said.
Newly-elected board member Brenda Clark also attended the meeting.
In other school board news:
The board elected Mark Chrislip as board president and Bob Rice as board vice president.
Kobza updated the board on the budget it will adopt in August. Because the figures in the budget are based on formulas dependent upon the number of students in the district, Kobza said those numbers could change with student population.
"At this point, I don't think that would be a bad thing," he said.
The board decided to re-bid for a special education bus because one of the bidders sent information to Eureka rather than Eudora. It also agreed to begin bidding for lights to complete the softball and baseball fields by the high school.
Kobza updated the board about the new policies set by the Kansas Association of School Boards. Changes include allowing schools to notify local law enforcement when a student is suspended from school for possession of a weapon or controlled substance, whereby officials can suspend a student's drivers license.