Tomlinson Takes Lead as School District Rolls Forward with “Proposition Lewis”

Watch the Board of Education meeting in full courtesy of the Excelsior Citizen.

November 14, 2022 – For three months Dr. Travis Hux, Superintendent of Excelsior Springs School District has been on paid leave from the School District for undisclosed “personal” reasons. In his absence, Dr. Jaret Tomlinson has been appointed as “Acting Superintendent.” An email sent to faculty and staff from District Communications Director, Mark Bullimore stated, “Dr. Jaret Tomlinson, Deputy Superintendent, is currently serving as the Acting Superintendent. Dr. Tomlinson has prior Superintendent experience, and has served our District for 9 years in administration. We are confident with the leadership and guidance he is providing the District at this time, and are appreciative that he has assumed this role while Dr. Travis Hux is on leave from the District. Any Superintendent related matters should be directed to Dr. Tomlinson’s attention at this time.”

Tomlinson lead the November Board of Education Meeting which included the following Highlights:

Classified Employee of the Month: Elisha Dale

Elisha Dale was recognized as the Excelsior Springs School District’s Classified Employee of the month. Dr. Mark Bullimore said that Dale was nominated by Dr. Katie Andresen who oversees Rockin’ Tiger Club, the District’s before and after school program. Andresen wrote, “Elisha worked very hard when Rockin’ Tiger Club transitioned both leadership and locations this summer. She has taken over a lot of tasks and taken initiative, problem-solving in tough situations. On top of all of this, she’s an advocate for kids and works hard to meet their needs. That’s all we should do,” read Bullimore.

Girl’s Tennis Recognized for District Championship

The Excelsior Springs High School Girl’s Tennis Team was recognized for their first-ever District Championship! Coach Richie Marsh introduced members of the District Champion team which included, Anna Selby, Lana Nunnenkamp, Lauren Mueller, Megan Riegel, Shelby Stodden, and Malaya Tedesco.

Lauren Muller, Shelby Stodden, Malaya Tedesco, Anna Selby, Lana Nunnenkamp, and Megan Riegel (photo Mackenzie Cole).

Holly Days

The Holly Days fundraising event was introduced by Dr. Melissa Miller with a video produced by Dr. Bullimore. Dr. Miller noted the upcoming staff appreciation ‘Holly Days’ event on November 22nd at the high school. The event will be open to staff only from noon-3:00 PM and to the public from 3:00-6:00 PM. The event will include over 50 booths in the gym and several food trucks.

New Career Center Programs

Dr. Tomlinson reviewed Career Center grants that will assist with new physical therapy (Center for Athletic Performance (CAP)) and law enforcement programs. The cost to the District to add the new programs and classrooms will be a net cost of around $1.3 Million. He summarized showing, a document that outlined that the District will spend $1,100,000 in the 2023 fiscal year (FY) and will receive $550,000 in grants in 2023 FY. They will then spend $1,100,000 in the 2024 FY and receive $400,000 in grants in the 2024 FY.

Proposition Lewis

Dr. Tomlinson presented the Superintendent’s Report, which highlighted a “No Tax-Increase” ballot initiative to be placed on the April ballot, “Proposition Lewis” which would allow the School District to build a new elementary school in downtown Excelsior Springs, replacing the aging Lewis Elementary. Tomlinson said the District will need to work hard to communicate with the community to say “Yes we are raising fund one 70 cents, but we’re going to lower fund three by 70 cents thereby keeping the exact same tax rates. Whether [the citizens] pass it or not they’re going to pay the same taxes … so they might as well pass it and get a brand-new building,” said Tomlinson.

A computer rendering included in the Superintendent’s Report shows what a new downtown elementary school might look like.
A computer rendering included in the Superintendent’s Report shows what a new downtown elementary school might look like.

What’s Happening at Lewis Elementary

Lewis Elementary principal, Ms. Kacie Ambrose, and asst. principal, Dr. Jill Comstock, introduced their Student Council members that were in attendance. The students reviewed their service projects: Ronald McDonald House, Good Samaritan Hygiene Collection, canned food drive and Lewis Little Free Library. Comstock also presented a building report which included ELA and Math Data and action steps to help improve those areas, as well as a report on the “Collaborative Climate and Culture” as well as upcoming events.

Survey Says Community Supports a New Elementary

Dr. Tomlinson introduced Mr. Rick Nobles with Excellence K-12 who reviewed the randomly selected telephone survey of registered voters in Clay and Ray Counties who attend Excelsior Springs School District. He reviewed the surveys and their results. The results showed overwhelming support for a new elementary in downtown Excelsior Springs.

Approval of Technology Grant/Computer Purchase 

Dr. Miller noted the additional grant funding that the district received to provide 650 laptop computers to students who are without a personal computer at home. Noting that this grant would provide enough laptop computers (in addition to a previous grant that was granted and utilized), to ensure each student had a Chromebook in grades 6-12. The Board approved the purchase of the laptops with a cost to the district of $34,612. The total purchase amount is $230,750 and $196,317 will be reimbursed via the grant. 

2023-2027 District Communication Plan 

“Dr. Bullimore introduced Ms. Chelsea Lane, Family Advocate at the ECC, and Ms. Paige Colgan, 5th gr. teacher at Cornerstone Elementary; who were a part of the District Communication Committee. They reviewed the 2023-2027 Plan development and process which included the following:  ESSD40 District Communications, What the comprehensive communications plan is intended to do, Stakeholders, The Process, and Details of the 4 Communications Goals.”

Student Services Update 

Dr. Heather Gross presented a Student Services update which included the following:  Panorama Survey Results (funded by the Children’s Fund) Self-Efficacy and Grit; 82.9% response rate, PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention Support): Leadership, Coaching and Training, IEP Students – Transition Services, 80.4%, Pre-Employment services from MU, The next highest in the area is 23%, the addition of a Transition Fair in which 31 Service providers/employers invited and will be geared toward IEP students, but open to all. Gross noted that Middle School and High School IEP sub-group students were not meeting the mark; however, they are now out of ‘targeted status.’ 

See the full meeting agenda on the Excelsior Springs School District Website.

Board Recap Provided by Excelsior Springs School District:

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1 thought on “Tomlinson Takes Lead as School District Rolls Forward with “Proposition Lewis””

  1. What will happen with the Tiger painting on the South Wall of the Lewis Basketball court? That should be preserved somehow.

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