Prayer For Jackson Schools And New Leadership

A letter from a retired Jackson schoolteacher:

Choosing my words carefully, I feel compelled to pray for the Jackson School District and especially the board members who will be selecting new leadership for the district in the next few weeks. I am praying that this will not be treated lightly and there will not be an ‘inside selection’ where others need not apply. I am asking the board members to truly review each candidate and their connection to the district. I will always love the district.

I spent 25 of the happiest years of my life there. I was hired in the Fall of 1984. My selection was a fluke, it was late in the summer (I was hired 8 days before school started.) I had no family or inside pull. I was quite enamored of the whole district, students, etc. I never got over that feeling.

I served first under Dr. Frank Wiley who told me that he was hesitant to hire me because Government was the THE MOST HATED CLASS in the district! Mr.Nelson later told me that I was hired because I was mature at age 31 and cheap on the pay scale. Essentially I got the job because I was ‘old and cheap’. The second Superintendent I served under was Wayne Maupin. Mr. Maupin was a diligent protector of the district’s money, it’s teachers and students. I recall two times that he sought me out, once to apologize for not calling off school early enough when he heard that I had gone into a ditch on the way to school. The second time, he came to my classroom after the suicide of a student because he was concerned about how I was coping. I will never forget his compassion and desire to connect to the students and the teachers. Dr. Jones was the next leader of the Jackson district. He was not there very long, but he made a tremendous difference for me. On the opening day of school, in his speech he said: “I did a mock interview for a college student, and asked him who he would like to emulate as a teacher. The student’s reply was: “The greatest teacher of all times was Jesus Christ. I would like to be like Mr. Seabaugh, because Science is my chosen field, but I would really like to be like Mrs. Dooley, because she makes you just love learning.” I lived off of those words for the rest of my career. I had to. There were no more words of praise. Ever.

It seems, IN MY OPINION, that many teachers and leaders in the district who had a true heart for the district, a love for its students and a true concern for how things were being managed were quickly dismissed and urged to move on. Opinions were not welcome and anyone who had one was dismissed as “Negative”.  Anyone with experience, who had invested, blood, sweat and tears for the district were pushed aside for people who had less than three years experience in education.

It became very clear that you supported the administrative agenda or you were very quickly persona non grata. I never claimed to be the most intelligent or the best teacher of the district, but I did invest heavily in time, prayers and tears for my students. The Bible says: Study to show thyself approved, a workman who needs not to be ashamed. I know that I did do that. I was told that teachers were to be facilitators and to allow the students to learn on their own. I was a dinosaur that could not accept that. I made the decision to retire after prayerful consideration in 2009.

It was clear that I was attending a party that I was not invited to. I was docked in pay for giving the eulogy at a student’s funeral. I was docked in pay for being the only teacher who attended the funeral of Bob Davis who died in Afghanistan. No administrators attended. Why did we not line the street with flags when his funeral procession passed our school? I will never understand that one.

Jackon High School

I confessed to one student that I never understood why God put me at Jackson to begin with and he replied, “He put you there for me. On several occasions, I was planning to commit suicide, but would decide to attend your class one last time. On each of those days, you would say something that would convince me to go on another day.”

Even though I received several awards and was asked to give the graduation speech five times, I was never considered to be a good teacher by administrators. On the last day, one described the other retiring teachers with tremendous praise and then said, “Mrs. Dooley is retiring, too.” My heart was truly ripped out.

I know in my heart that I served a purpose, if only for comic relief. I know that those students who I visited when they were sick and even dying, those who were going through great turmoil, and those who just loved learning remember being in my class. I fear that teachers, like me are endangered. The test score is the only measure of true learning. On my last evaluation, I was told that the the students didn’t like me because I was a good teacher, they liked me because I was a ‘mom’ to them, and that they did not need me to be a ‘mom”. And that is how I ended twenty-five years of my life.

So, today, I am pleading with the Jackson School Board to consider what kind of person they will put in charge. It takes more than just a businessman, the current pick of a questionable leader. It takes a person who has a true servant’s heart, a love for students and a love for learning! We need a leader who inspires students and teachers to do their very best. The attitude, in my opinion, for too long has been, “if you don’t like the way things are, we have fifty more who will take your job.” and “Teachers are a dime a dozen”.

Good ones aren’t.

My greatest success at the school was on the day that I sat in a student’s desk at 4:30 in the afternoon praying for him, asking God to send someone into his life that he might really hear to solve a very serious problem in his life. As I was praying, he walked through my door! We talked, cried and prayed for two hours. I felt God’s presence in that classroom that day.

If for no other reason, I will always be proud to say that God gave me the opportunity to serve at Jackson High School for twenty-five years, where He nurtured and protected me. He gave mentors like Hal Goddard and Karen Kight (a modern day version of Peter and Paul). He allowed me to learn from the very best. Teachers, like me, were problematic.

That is why today, I am begging the members of the Jackson Board to look beyond who is just in line for the job and seek out the applications of those who have a true heart for students, not only their test score, but the people that they are destined to become. Maybe some of them, were, like me and others who have left the district, problematic.

The Purpose Of Government

By Janet Boston

The purpose of government is to keep order, protect private property and provide access to services across the whole of a county or city like education, transport, planning, fire and public safety, social care, libraries, waste management and trading standards.

Government representatives propose many wonderful options for “new stuff” to their constituents in the form of increased taxes.   Of course, who would not want a child to be educated, not have lunch, not to have a Water Park for tourism, not have an Osage Community Centre for events, not have a new Federal Building, courthouse, police / fire station, school, golf course, doggie park, bike trail, public transportation, Phase I & Phase II (911) to track phone locations of citizens, cameras on stoplights or a garden at the entrance to Cape Girardeau exit, etc?

These may be noble causes / projects and no one wants their town to be unattractive or underserved.  Most of the items listed above involve the expense of building, employees, utilities, insurance, maintenance, payroll, health insurance, possible retirements — all expensed to the taxpayer.

Cape Girardeau and Jackson’s populations have increased which increases tax revenues on many levels annually.  Tax revenues generated by retail sales, restaurant receipts, personal property, home purchases / sales, income tax, utilities, gasoline, food, cell phone, water, and sewer have continued to grow to support Cape Girardeau county’s cities.

Thomas Jefferson  stated, “Would it not be better to simplify the system of taxation rather than to spread it over such a variety of subjects and pass through so many new hands.”

The contra side to the issue is, what is the necessary functions the taxpayer to support?  Should we build a golf course, doggie park, a Federal Building, new school?  Should we create more government programs, Common Core, Kids First, Head Start, NPR, Planned Parenthood, NSA, Homeland Security?  Or should we pave our roads, be prepared with salt for our roads for citizens during inclement weather, update the fire house or build a new police station/jail to protect our communities and create a business environments for more jobs?

Is it really necessary to create a CID board to decide what the restaurant tax revenues should be appropriated? Or should these funds be appropriated to fund a new / refurbished fire house or new police station / jail?  Today, Cape Girardeau taxes provide police, trash hauling etc. for the downtown area.  Why are additional funds required for the same services?

The Casino brings in $2 Million dollars a year.  Cape Girardeau has one of the highest sales taxes in Missouri.  Shouldn’t these dollars be appropriated to fund some of the impending projects instead of raising taxes?  Could we pre-plan projects with existing tax surpluses / projected taxes in the next fiscal year?  Could some of the services now being provided by the City / County be provided by a contract employer reducing costs of benefits and retirements payable by taxpayer dollars?  Instead of being satisfied the citizens supported and paid for a project the Cape administration proposed to expend their tax dollars, the administration gets frantic when the tax is set to sunset.

Thomas Jefferson stated,  “To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt …  I am for a government rigorously frugal and simple.”

Normally when projects have been proposed for a tax increase, the entire project expense is presented for the taxpayer to approve by their vote.  The dedicated tax revenue, when voter approved, is attached to purchases or levied against the taxpayers’ property.  The City and County may receive funding from other state or federal sources and/or grants in addition to the taxes to support some of these projects.  These additional dollars, if sourced, could lighten the local taxpayers’ project tax burden.  The surplus dollars could be used in the next fiscal year in lieu of government pursuing another tax increase.

If I were to conduct a family poll at home and ask who wants to eat out, who wants a new cell phone, who wants more video games, should we get HBO channels, do you want a new car?  Everyone would raise their hands.  Then if I asked them are you willing not to have air conditioning this summer or heat in this winter, take fewer showers, cut the clothing/shoe budget in order to pay for these wants, the attitude is much different and choices of wants verses needs brings reality to the table.  To live within your budget necessitates making the difficult choices and the prioritization of dollars.

This is what we are asking our leaders.  Make the tough and wise choices.  We want Cape Girardeau Missouri debt free.  We want local government to create an environment for businesses to provide good paying jobs.  We want government to work toward bringing people on subsidies to zero. We want equitable agreements between local government and businesses who receive reduced taxation benefits to have the stipulation that the tax benefit be repaid to the city / county if they leave before 15 years. This employment effort will provide the revenue needed to fund the necessities and amenities for Cape Girardeau, Missouri through many sources of tax revenues received from citizens work, investments and purchases.

To Alter Or To Abolish,Chapter 34

Legal Plunder

Written by Darrell Anderson.

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It only can exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.

Often attributed to Scottish historian Alexander Fraser Tytler

President Gerald Ford stated “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”

Missouri Family Network

Image

http://missourifamilynetwork.net/

2-27-13 Missouri Family Network broke the story related to us by Local License Office personnel (received phone calls, verified by phone contacts made to additional fee offices). Following multiple phone contacts and repeated questioning of LLO personnel, MFN brought testimony before the Missouri Senate Transportation Committee in the context of a public hearing on SB 252.  At first the confidential informants speaking with us thought they were in a position of an ethical breach of the public trust.  After some brief research we informed them that the concerns were much greater and that if their stories were true, DOR was in direct violation of various laws of the State of Missouri.  At that time we went public with what we still believe to be serious violations of State Law by the Department of Revenue.  In our testimony we outlined the allegations reported to us from LLO personnel who are fearful that they are being required to break the law under DOR directives.  Outlining 32.091.7 RSMo we detailed the first two clearly stated laws being broken under chapter 32 of Missouri law.

As of today (Saturday, March 9, 2013) approximately 2/3rds of the State’s 183 LLOs have been retooled and can no longer process licenses or CCWs (by directives of the DOR). If the three offices were in fact restructured on Friday, March 7th, as planned (Memphis, Carthage and Ironton), there remain 63 local license offices that can still process your CCW and/or driver’s license with the old equipment (not scanning any documents).  According to what we have been told citizens may renew expiring licenses up to six months in advanceof the actual expiration date.  So if your birthday is between now and September 10-30, you can travel to any remaining license offices to renew before they are retooled.  We do not have a schedule for these remaining 63 offices, so you should call any office to confirm everything before traveling.  You will be able to find addresses and phone numbers by going

All LLOs are scheduled to be retooled and scanning by April 1st, 2013.  Here are the locations not yet retooled:

Kahoka                        Sarcoxie                      Salem

Monticello                   Joplin                           Viburnum

Palmyra                       Neosho                        Rolla

Hannibal                      Pineville                      Waynesville

New London               Cassville                      Lebanon

Monroe City                Branson                       Hartville

Shelbina                      Forsyth                        Nixa

Macon                         Lakeview                    Ozark

Moberly                       Crane                           Ava

Paris                            Monett                        Gainsville

Bowling Green            Aurora                         Thayer

Elsberry                       Mount Vernon            West Plains

Louisiana                     Republic                      Alton

Vandalia                      Springfield                  Willow Springs

Mexico                        South Fremont            Mountain View

Linn                             Glenstone                    Eminence

Hermann                     Marshfield                   Cabool

Troy                             Buffalo                        Mountain Grove

Montgomery City       Bolivar                        Houston

Owensville                  Osceola                       Licking

Keytesville                  Gallatin                       Malden

 

Late To The Party

Are you planning to vote on Tuesday?

Here is a link to a sample ballot that we found on Cape County’s site.

The sample ballot looks like it includes all the items that will be voted on in all the cities and school districts in the county.  Looks like pretty standard stuff except the Proposition A for Fruitland and Jackson.

Sadly, as involved as I am, I did not know that Jackson was preparing this ballot initiative.  I must have missed it as I read the last 12 issues of Jackson / Mayor Lohr’s monthly Town Crier.  I also don’t recall seeing it in the bi-annual mailer from the school district, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t there.

h/t http://jacksonkidsfirst.org

The first I noticed was when the signs appeared all over town to Keep Jackson Kids First.  I was disappointed that the site listed ‘class size’ as an aggravating factor but didn’t list any details regarding the students/classroom.

I’m curious about your thoughts on the issue.

My knee-jerk reaction is to question the need for a brand spanking new $16,000,000 building with all the bells and whistles.  There is a downturn in the economy if you haven’t heard – 8% unemployment / 15% real unemployment.

My children were at IC when the tornado hit.  Guess what.  They learned quite well in the trailers that were brought in to the site while the damaged building was replaced.  It is far past time in this country to be less concerned about how nice the building looks on the outside and stay focused on what happens inside.

How about we downsize this into a $5,000,000 project of modular / pre-fab buildings that can be easily expanded.  I’m betting with the quality teachers Jackson seems to attract, students will learn just fine inside those buildings no matter how they look on the outside.

But, alas, I’m too late to the party.