I attended the April 11, 2022 School of the Osage Board of Education meeting at 6:00 p.m.
The Board members present were Dale Law, BJ Page, Alison Schneider, Kathy Vance, Mary Whitman, and Darrick Steen.
This meeting was held in the Osage High School Fieldhouse and the desks were once again set up in the standard U-formation so the members faced each other and not the audience. No microphones were used. Good luck listening to the video of this meeting without headphones.
Dale Law discussed the Approval of Bills which included the payoff of a 2014A Full Call Bond for $9,150,250.
The election results were certified with Darrick Steen and Stacy Neal winning seats on the Board of Education.
Dale Law was then given a Certificate of Appreciation by the Board as he stepped down after 3 consecutive terms on the Board.
Stacy Neal and Darrick Steen said the Oath of Office and assumed their seats on the Board.
The next agenda item was for the Election of Officers.
BJ Page was nominated for President and elected.
Darrick Steen was nominated for Vice President and elected.
Alison Schneider was nominated for Treasurer and elected.
Kathy Vance was nominated as MSBA Delegate and elected.
Todd Miller was nominated in absentia for the alternate MSBA delegate and elected.
The Board designated the President, the Treasurer, and Kathy Vance as the Alternate to sign checks on behalf of the District.
It was hard to not notice that Stacy Neal, the newest member, was not nominated for anything. I can only assume that the Board members didn’t want to overwhelm their newest member with the added responsibilities of a position. How nice of them.
The next agenda item was the Board Member Ethics Statement. President BJ Page stated that they hadn’t seen this Ethics Statement in a while, so she read it out loud.
Page then asked Stacy Neal and Darrick Steen to sign the Ethics Statement and give the signed copy to the Board Secretary.
Stacy Neal asked Page if they were going to discuss the Ethics Statement. Steen responded that since this was not an item they would be voting on, he didn’t think there was much to discuss.
Apparently, he was mistaken.
Neal said that she had a few questions. She had looked back at the Board meetings from 2019-2021 and she had never seen this item on those agendas. She said she had asked if she could get a copy of the last time the Ethics Statement had been signed by a Board Member and she didn’t receive an answer. She wanted to know if signing the Ethics Statement was new and she was curious where this was coming from.
Page said it had been in the Board’s policy since 2005. According to Page, she had been reading through the Board’s policies and she remembered doing that years ago when she was on the Board. They all hadn’t “done it in a while” and she thought it was important that they all got a reminder.
Stacy Neal said that she had also been reading through the Board’s policies and she placed a huge policy book on the table. She thought there were other things in the policies that were also really important like:
- Policy DA Fiscal Responsibility,
- Policy BBFA Board Member Conflict of Interest and Financial Disclosure
- Policy BGB Staff Communications to Board Must Be in Writing Through the Superintendent
- Policy JHG Reporting and Investigating Child Abuse and Neglect that ensures Board members know they are all mandatory reporters.
Neal asked why they just don’t acknowledge that they have read the all of the Board’s policies and they are going to comply with them as opposed to specifically pulling out the Ethics Statement?
Page replied that it was just because the Board had a new member and it would be “nice for us all to be reminded.”
Page said she was the one who had asked for it [to be placed on the Agenda].
Stacy Neal said she would prefer to sign something that said she was aware all of all of the policies and not just this specific policy. Neal said the Board Members need to be aware of all of the policies and not just the Ethics Policy.
Steen stated he didn’t disagree with what Neal said, but he felt this particular policy was “foundational” to most of the other policies. He stressed the importance of this particular policy. He stated that signing this policy wasn’t necessarily required or should be required. He said it’s the Board President’s privilege to ask Board members to sign it if members choose to do so. He stated, “You sign it or you don’t sign it. I’m going to sign it.”
Stacy Neal did not sign it.
They then appointed Lana McPheeters as the Board Secretary.
The final agenda item was the Legacy Ad Hoc Committee. They’re looking for members.
The MSBA Region 8 Meeting will be at School of the Osage on April 19. Osage and Camdenton will be presenting programs for Best Practices. They will also be recognizing Nancy Masterson.
The Board then went into closed session for Personnel, Records Protected from Disclosure, and Legal Actions.
And that was that.