Susan Myers

Dr. Susan Myers, retiring superintendent of schools for USD 409, receives a plaque from John Eplee, MD, USD 409 Board of Eduation member.

Some symbols of endearment were presented outgoing Superintendent Dr. Susan Myers before the USD 409 Board of Education addressed their business at hand Monday at the board office.

On behalf of his colleagues, Board Member John Eplee, M. D. presented Myers a plaque as a token of how much board members will miss her for all she has done for the district, from where it’s been to what it has become.

“It’s hard to say good-bye,” Eplee said. “Thank-you so much for coming to our community.”

Atchison Mayor Shawn Rizza was present at the podium during the public comment session on behalf of the city of Atchison Rizza read from a framed document that officially proclaimed Monday, June 10 as Dr. Susan Myers Day in honor of Atchison’s special adopted daughter. Rizza then presented the document to Myers.

Following the ceremonial gestures, board members were on track with school safety and security concerns with critique of the past school year and how to move forward 2019-20 and future school years. Outgoing Principal Bryon Hanson and School Resource Office Katie Brown, Atchison Police Department, offered a report about the inaugural year for the SRO. Both agreed the endeavor was a positive one.

“It brought just what I hoped it would,” Hanson said. It built helped build relationships between students, administrators, teachers and law enforcement.

Both agreed the presence of an officer seemingly served as a deterrent from criminal what might have escalated into criminal behaviors.

Atchison Police Chief Mike Wilson agreed that the SRO presence worked well and went hand in hand with frequent talks between APD officers, administrators and school staff. The initiative created a culture of awareness. Awareness is what gets people talking about how to keep students and staff all safe. In the past there might have only been one or two doors monitored. Currently there are more. Communications have also improved and response times have decreased from minutes to seconds.

Board members then took unanimous action on Eplee’s motion Ad Hoc committee for the purpose of examining means to improve security and safety measures for 409’s facilities. They will take a closer look at some items and practices previously discussed like metal detectors, see-through backpacks, additional cameras, etc. Eplee and Board Member Bill Shipley volunteered to serve on the committee. IT Director Donna Noll was appointed to serve on the committee. Plans are for the Ad Hoc Committee members to report on their findings and recommendations during the November meeting.

Concerning other matters, board members:

Set a tentative budget timeline to have the prepared budget submitted by Friday, Aug. 23 to the Atchison County Clerk’s Office. In the meantime, board members plan to review noon Wednesday, Aug. 7; and hold the hearing at 5:30 p.m. Wed. Aug. 21.

Approved a revised lease agreement with Highland Community College to authorize Larry Mears, board attorney, to prepare documents and 10-year lease concerning space on the HCC campus for the expansion of the diesel technology program; and an agreement concerning the transfer of land documents to the diesel program expansion.

Convened in executive sessions to discuss negotiations and personnel matters of non-elected personnel for a total of 10 minutes. After board members resumed regular business they approved the following:

Resignations – Principal Julie Crum, Central School, effective Sunday, June 30, Food Service Manager Tiffany McDowell, effective June 6; Food Service Manager Michelle Hoffman, Paraeducator Taygen Hinton, Paraeducator Broghan McEnerney and Paraeducator Brooke Thompson for the extended schoolyear , all effective May 23.

Recommended for employment for the 2019-20 schoolyear at Atchison Elementary School: Ashley Funk – fourth-grade special education teacher and Barbara Scoggins – second-grader teacher.

Transfer Misty Bleil from fourth-grade special education teacher to third-grade SPED teacher at AES.

Approved Sheila Conner, Kimberly Duncan and Kathryn Hinton to as extended schoolyear paraeducators and 221 supplemental agreements for various activities for the 2019-20 schoolyear.

Mary Meyers can be reached


or on Twitter via @MaryMeyersglobe

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