District 32 School Board selects new president

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There were a few changes made to how the district will function this summer and to the board itself at the latest Perry County School District No. 32 board meeting June 9. The rather full house of patrons were there to listen to the decision on the COVID-19 mitigating procedures during the 2021 summer session.

The board held a special meeting on May 18 at the Perryville Elementary School gym, but the final decision on whether masks would be worn in summer school classes lacked some clarity.

“It was not clearly understood by all what the mitigating procedures were,” Board vice-president Mary Bauwens said. “Some thought that it meant keeping masks in place when social distancing was not available. Others thought it meant that all mitigating procedures would be in place except for masks. This is on the board that it was not clearly stated during the meeting.”

They offered some clarity and resolution to the matter.

The Board of Education voted to remove the wearing of a mask as a mitigation procedure during summer school, which ends June 25. Beginning Thursday, June 10, staff and students are not required to wear a mask even when physical distancing is not possible. However, all students and staff are welcome to wear a mask when they choose.

“I was the one back at the earlier meeting who made the motion for the mitigating procedures,” board member Rich Dix said. “I wanted to maintain mitigating procedures, but was unaware that it included masks. I apologize for the confusion.”

While there was one change on campus concerning COVID-19, the board also saw a change as they nominated and elected a new board president.

This came just a few days after the resignation of Ashley Geringer and the board was reorganized at the meeting. Jamie Robinson was elected as president of the board and Mary Bauwens will continue to serve as vice president. The board also set the process and timeline to select a replacement for Geringer.

The board will review all applications during an open-session board meeting at 7 pm Thursday, June 24, outline the process for selecting finalists if they receive numerous applicants, and outline the process for choosing the replacement. The interviews will be conducted at 7 pm Wednesday, June 30. The replacement will be selected on that date. The new board member will take the oath of office at the Wednesday, July 14 regular board meeting. Those who are interested in applying for the vacancy are asked to complete the application at

https://www.perryville.k12.mo.us/o/district-32/browse/219220 and return it no later than noon on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 to the District 32 Central Office, or they can return it by mail to 326 College St., Perryville, MO 63775; or in person to Board Secretary Dodi Thieret at 400 Edwards St., Perryville, MO 63775 (this is the “Old Senior High” building). You may also request a paper copy of the application from Dodi Thieret at the central office.

The meeting continued with the approval of multiple bids including groceries that will be provided by Kohl’s Wholesale, milk by Prairie Farms and the gas and diesel bid by Midwestern Gas.

Ozark Gas was awarded the welding gas and rod bid, while Mid America Rehab was awarded the physical therapy bid for the district and its athletes for the next two years.

The theme of athletics continued as Perryville Athletic Director Justin Dreyer provided update on sports physicals. Perryville had decided locally to have a single physical be good for an athlete for two years, but decided to switch that back to each physical be good for just one year.

“We found that as we were getting sports physicals back that doctors were putting down that they would only be good for one year,” Dreyer said. “A lot of schools are going back to allowing physicals to be good for one year. We want to make that change so that there is nothing missed if the kids are having them every year.”

Dreyer also specified that he will coordinate a “sports physical night” with St. Vincent for later this summer.

Dreyer clarified the issue with homeschool students and now those participating in the “Pirates at Home” program amid COVIS-19 and how that will affect the student’s ability to participate in sports. There were 150 students that participated in that program last school year.

“As long as students that participated in Pirates at home were enrolled in all their classes, they could participate in all our sports,” Dreyer said. “After a year of doing that we decided to make it cohesive with the homeschool school students, so that Pirates at Home students would need two hours of actual seat time in classes. It allows us to keep a better pulse on those students.”

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