The Rolla School Board recently honored several educators and students for their work in and out of the classroom. Dr. Monica Davis was recognized for her recent award, along with Mrs. Tonya Heavin and the students who were selected to represent RHS at the annual Youth Art Month Capitol Exhibit.

Tonya Heavin was recognized for being selected as the district’s representative for the Regional teacher of the Year Contest, and was nominated by Mrs. Harris, from the Rolla Public Schools District. The board also made sure to recognize the other teachers in the district who were nominated. These teachers were Rachael Drabczyk, Jessika Zinc, Rhonda Koppelman, Amanda Jarrett, Rick Pilkenton and Maggie Ogden.

The students representing RHS at the Youth Art Month Capitol Exhibit were Ethan Bias, Rosie Bolyard, Mercedes Carpenter and Shawna Harris.

Following these recognitions, the board discussed the ongoing long-term facility improvement plans for the districts. The discussion focused on Truman Elementary, leaving only Wyman Elementary and the Early Childhood and PAT facilities to be discussed at the next meeting.

The needs for Truman Elementary included what the facility planning committee’s presentation described as “significant issues,” with the original design of the building, specifically the “pod” design implemented. There was also mention of the need to relocate the main office to enhance security and improve functionality of the administration services, as well as counseling and nursing services. Relocation would potentially provide more space for these to function, according to the presentation.

Kitchen and cafeteria upgrades were also included in the discussion, including the desire for additional square footage, improved work space, a walk-in refrigerator and freezer, improved dry storage  area and the installation of a new ceiling and new cafeteria tables.

The current library in Truman Elementary was designed with no walls, and is located in the center of the building. The library is currently surrounded by eight classrooms, creating constant traffic and making student learning in the library “very challenging,” according to the presentation.

After making a final review of Wyman Elementary and the other facilities, the committee will develop a final draft of their recommendations for improvement. As of now, they are scheduled to present their final recommendations to the school board on May 10.