Board receives

Goverance Award

The Independence Board of Education received the Missouri School Boards’ Association 2014 Governance Team Award. The district was one of 22 districts of the more than 500 school boards statewide to earn the recognition. The Goverance Team Award signifies the board’s outstanding commitment to ongoing professional development and their commitment to regional and statewide leadership.

Award recipients also met the following criteria:

• All seven school board members obtained essential CBM certification from MSBA. • At least two board members attained the advanced CBM level of certification from MSBA. • At least one board member attained the master’s level of certification. • A quorum of the board and superintendent attended MSBA’s 2013 Annual Conference. • A quorum of the board and superintendent attended either MSBA’s 2013 spring or fall regional meetings. • The district was represented at MSBA’s 2014 legislative forum in Jefferson City.

Independence School District board members are Ann Franklin, president; Jill Esry, vice president; Denise Fears, treasurer; Matt Mallinson, Blake Roberson, Ken Johnston and Greg Finke, directors.

Mechanic places first in competition

Jeff Putnam, an Independence School District maintenance mechanic, took first place in the Missouri’s Best Competition for Maintenance Technicians at the Missouri Association for Pupil Transportation Conference in Springfield earlier this month. Putnam now qualifies to compete in the National Association for Pupil Transportation Summit in Kansas City this November.

At the MAPT competition, Putnam had to complete a 50-question exam covering diagnostics, routine maintenance and repair relating to school buses.

“The written exam mimicked ASE style questions,” Putnam said.

Also, he participated in several hands-on skill evaluations, such as diagnosing and repairing specific automotive parts. Putnam said he was judged on personal safety, proper use of diagnosing problems, accuracy in diagnostics and the quality of repair.

“It was harder than I expected,” he said about the MAPT competition, “but it wasn’t necessarily difficult.”

Putnam said he has been a mechanic for the district for over two years. Prior to that, he worked for General Motors and various car dealerships and shops. He said what’s different between working on regular automobiles compared to school buses is that it’s very “safety-oriented.”

“The work on buses is very thorough,” he said. “Maintenance is a priority.”

Students attend summer band camp

Autumn Farmer and Maureen Hennessy, both from Independence, participated in the 2014 Central Methodist University Band Camp at Fayette, Missouri.

The band camp drew a record 90 campers from across Missouri to Illinois. The musicians, all of them either entering high school or middle school this upcoming school year, spent four days in early July at the university learning from experts, playing and rehearsing and listening to some music from Missouri’s finest ensembles.

“We work hard to make the camp as educational and fun as possible,” Vandelicht said. “They learn new things about their instrument, get an opportunity to take lessons with an expert on that instrument, and play in both large and small ensembles.”

– Brandon Dumsky