Second Asst Superintendent, two Principals, & Board Secretary to say farewell
By Paul Thompson
Grandview C-4 said both goodbyes and hellos last Thursday, March 10 at their regularly scheduled meeting.
The district announced their list of retirees last week, and it was revealed long-time employee and assistant superintendent Debra Nelson would be among those retiring. With the recent announcement that Barbara Tate is retiring as well, both of the district’s assistant superintendents are leaving this school year.
“It was time. I’d been in this business 39 years, and it was time to retire,” said Nelson last Friday.
Nelson was given a warm sendoff at the board meeting, as district staff recorded heartfelt goodbyes that were played on the projector. She also left with some presents from the Board of Education, delivered with great zest by board member Allen Meyer. Meyer also presented outgoing board member Elliot Threatt with tokens of appreciation from the board.
Nelson, reflecting upon her tenure, acknowledged that she would miss parts of her job.
“I’ll miss those relationships I’ve developed that have turned into friendships. But friendships don’t go away, so I’ll still have that,” Nelson said.
While Nelson’s listed final day was supposed to be last Friday, March 11, the stack of papers on her desk indicated that it would be a little longer until she could ultimately leave her post.
“It was supposed to be today, but as you can see, I’ll be back,” said Nelson with a laugh.
Along with Tate and Nelson, Martin City principal Barbara Schell and Conn-West principal Mary Moore will also be retiring this year. They will be replaced by Johnny Dodge and LaTanya Franklin, respectively. Dodge has been with the district for 16 years, while Franklin is a transplant from the Center School District. Both of the new principals were introduced during the March 10 school board meeting.
Franklin said she was happy to be moving to the Grandview School District.
“I made the decision to pursue another district that would provide more support and more guidance,” Franklin explained. “I feel like I’m moving into another great district.”
Dodge said he was looking forward to getting to get his shot in the district where he’s built years of experience.
“I’ve been here for 16 years and I’m glad that you’ve given me an opportunity to take on Martin City,” said Dodge enthusiastically. “We’ve already started looking at next year.”
Aside from principals and administrators, another notable change has occurred with the position of Secretary to the superintendant. Vicki McGraw, who has been the long-time secretary, will be retiring as well. Filling her shoes is a familiar name within the district, former school board president and real estate agent Kathy Meyers.
“I served on the board for twelve and a half years. I still have a passion for the district, and I recognize that there is a bit of void to be filled,” said Meyers about her new position. “It’s a good time for me to contemplate other business options. It was the right timing for both the school district and for me. I’m excited about it.”