• Fort Osage district pulls together for injured principal

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  • There is one thing that Buckner Elementary Principal Patrick Farnan would want for his students, and since the long-time educator was injured in a motorcycle accident last month, Fort Osage staff are making sure they get it.
    “There is nothing more that Mr. Farnan would want than to make sure students are in school every day and learning to the best of their ability,” said Stephanie Smith, public information director for the Fort Osage School District. “And our staff are making sure that happens.”
    Farnan was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident Oct. 20 in Eureka Springs, Ark., and an update was given on his condition during Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting.
    The accident left Farnan in intensive care for a couple of weeks in Springfield, Mo., recovering from broken bones and a head injury. He has been moved to a rehabilitation center in Overland Park, Kan.
    A Facebook page, Prayers for Patrick Farnan, has been created to give updates on his progress. In a post made by his wife Dee Farnan on Wednesday, Farnan has started talking steps and walked 50 feet with a walker.
    Smith said the district is continuing to support Farnan and his family through the recovery process. She said because there is no indication as to when he will return, district officials are making tentative preparations to fill his role at Buckner until the end of the year.
    “Right now Jan Davis (retired assistant superintendent for human resources) is serving as interim Buckner principal,” Smith said. “But she can only work 550 hours a school year (because of retirement system guidelines), which will expire in February.”
    To accommodate for Farnan’s absence, other district administrators are being shuffled around. Robbie Shepherd, assistant principal at Osage Trail, will move into the principal role at Buckner Elementary Jan. 3. Andre Montgomery, the current education coordinator and director at McCune School, will become the assistant principal at Osage Trail. McCune, Which is operate by Jackson County Courts, is closing at the end of the year.
    The Fort Osage community is also stepping up behind the Farnan family and has scheduled several fundraisers for Farnan’s medical treatment. The Yogurtini franchise at Independence Center, owned by a Fort Osage alumnus, is hosting a “Benefit for Patrick Farnan” every Wednesday in November. The event is from 5 to 8 p.m. Nov. 21 and 28, and 15-percent of the proceeds from those nights will be donated to the family for medical costs.
    Fort Osage staff also had a jeans day last week and raised more than $4,000 districtwide for the Farnan Family. A fund has been set up at the Bank of Weston in Weston, Mo., where the Farnan family lives, for his medical expenses.
    “The students and staff at Buckner are doing great,” Smith said. “Buckner Elementary is really a family, and they all have pulled together during this time.”
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