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By Carmen Ensinger
North Greene School District is addressing the resignation of Superintendent Mark Scott by “promoting within,” much like they did when Scott was hired to replace Superintendent Les Stevens eight years ago.
The board convened a special meeting Friday, March 23, at which time they approved hiring Lawrence Coultas as interim superintendent for the district until Jackie Kuchy, who is currently the elementary school principal, can receive her superintendent’s certificate.
It was pretty much the same scenario that was used when Scott was hired eight years ago to replace Stevens. Coultas was brought in then as an interim superintendent to mentor Scott until he received his certification as well.
This will be at least the third time that Coultas has been with the North Greene School District, either in the Superintendent position or in a teaching position.
The promotion of Kuchy to the role of superintendent leaves a vacancy at the elementary school for a principal. This was also addressed at the special meeting Friday. The position was offered to a candidate, but their name is not being released pending their acceptance of the contract offered. They are currently employed by another district. They are, however, from the North Greene district.
At the regular school board meeting on March 15, the board accepted the resignation of Brad Staats as transportation director. Staats was hired for the position back in December of 2022. Prior to that, Vance Dirksmeyer had been doing double-duty as both the director of transportation and building and grounds director. Superintendent Mark Scott said the reason Staats gave for resigning the position after only four months with the district was that he was going back to his old job with a tree service.
The district will also be looking for a new secretary at the high school. The board accepted the retirement of Linda Coultas, effective July 31 as well as Susan Williams as a social worker. Both of those positions will be posted for.
The district approved hiring Patty Baldes as the new district bookkeeper with a start date of April 3. She will replace Tiffany Mumford who left the district to take a job with the State of Illinois.
The board also approved resubmitting the application for the Three-Circles Grant for ag teacher Josh Lawson. This grant supports agricultural educators by providing additional salary beyond the regularly assigned teaching duties.
The grant partners with school districts to pay for 50 percent of 400 additional hours outside of the regularly assigned teaching duties. The district, or community partners pay the remaining costs.
Lawson more than earns the additional 400 hours through his many different projects he does with his students in his ag class and through his sponsorship of the FFA program. One good example would be the recent donkey basketball fundraiser and fish fry. Another would be the Veteran’s Day display his students oversee each year. Plus the upcoming plant sale and their work with the White Hall Fourth of July Homecoming.
The board also approved an overnight trip for the Senior Class to either Gatlinburg or Branson.