On Thursday, May 2, the Rural Schools Partnership and the Community Foundation of the Ozarks invited educators, administrators and students to Thomasville, Mo. for the fourth consecutive year to celebrate rural schools and those who continue to help them thrive.
The keynote speaker was Dr. Arthur Mallory, a longtime state education official and rural schools advocate. Like many educators, Dr. Mallory is a noted storyteller, and he didn’t disappoint. Among the anecdotes he shared with the gathered teachers (and future teachers) were memories negotiating rural Dallas County school politics with his father, D.A. Mallory, who was recognized on two occasions in Time magazine for his work in the area. Dr. Mallory was presented with a copy of one of those magazines, as well as an
eight-page article about the Mallorys by former CFO President Dr. Gary Funk that was specially printed for this year’s Rural Schools Rendezvous.
The afternoon agenda featured Springfield educators Dr. Judy Brunner and Dr. Karen Scott, who spoke primarily to the members of the Ozarks Teacher Corps. They presented best practices for everything from classroom management to safety in a crisis situation, drawing on their extensive classroom and administrative experience to help prepare the OTC’s crop of teachers-to-be for their looming jobs in the classroom. The 2013 class of the Ozarks Teacher Corps was also introduced; look for photos on this site later this week.
Finally, the Rural Schools Partnership awarded $70,000 to six organizations as part of the 2013 Coover Place-Based Education grant round, a partnership with the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation Regional Grantmaking Program of The Commerce Trust Company.
This year’s recipients are:
• Aurora Youth Empowerment Project: $2,500 to expand on programs and partnerships to help fight the growing poverty problem in Aurora and Lawrence County.
• Clinton Christian Academy: $9,162 to help fund Project Conserve, through which students take a hands-on role in environmental education and sustainability practices with the goal of being better environmental stewards.
• GLADE (Green Leadership Academy for Diverse Ecosystems) and Logan-Rogersville R-II Schools: $9,250 to expand their mission to bring effective environmental education strategies to area schools and train teachers to recruit and mentor GLADE students for community conservation activities.
• Placeworks Arts Initiative: $30,000 to expand into more schools and offer new programming — including, for the first time this fall, musical and theater arts projects — to teachers across southwest Missouri.
• Reeds Spring R-IV School Foundation: $9,695 to expand the district’s In-Vessel Food Waste Composting Program.
• Willard R-II School District: $9,393 for technology and transportation costs associated with natural resource studies and expanding the school’s 21st Century School initiative.