Young principal heading North; two veteran teachers retiring


 The Falls City Public Schools Superintendent Tim Heckenlively Monday  announced the hiring of a new North School Principal and Assessment  Director for the 2014-15 school year.

 Shawn Emerson comes to Falls City after serving the past three years as  7-12 principal and athletic director at South Nodaway (R-IV) in Missouri.

 The District 56 School Board unanimously approved the hiring last night  at its regularly scheduled monthly meeting in the Central Office at FC  Middle School.

 Emerson takes over at North School for David City-bound Ernie Valentine,  who succeeded Heckenlively in 2010 upon the latter’s promotion to  superintendent. Emerson will be the third new boss at North School in the  last 15 years, which falls perfectly in line with the rest of Nebraska, in  terms of tenure. The average administrator tenure in the state is five years in a position.

 “The district is fortunate, not only with administrators, but also teachers, in keeping consistency  in employee tenure,” Heckenlively said. “A primary goal in our strategic plan is to support and  retain a quality faculty in order to provide a strong foundation for student learning. The  experience and tenure of our employees in not only a testament to the quality and direction of  our school district, but also speaks volumes to the quality of life and services the community of  Falls City offers.”

 Emerson, who was recognized last year as the Northwest Missouri Emerging Principal of the  Year, received his Masters in Educational Leadership from William Woods University and a  Bachelor degree in Elementary Education and Physical Education & Health from Northwest  Missouri State University.

Prior to his stint at South Nodaway, he spent seven years as a K-12 PE/health teacher and coach.

“We welcome and look forward to the leadership contributions Shawn will bring to the Falls City Public Schools,” Heckenlively said.

The District 56 BOE last night also accepted the resignations of long-time educators Thomas Weinert (29 years, science at middle school, followed by science at FCHS), and Karen Flynn (30 years, FCMS family & consumer science). The BOE, in addition, approved the employment contract for Susan Findlay as director of the high school and middle school library/media. The former 6-12 media assistant takes over for Julie Frederick, who will replace Weinert in high school science and FCHS family & consumer science teacher Barb Watlington is expected to add the middle school duties upon Flynn’s retirement.

That leaves the District in search of elementary teachers (3-5), a FCMS PE/health teacher (succeeding Don Hogue, who was hired last month as AD at high school), nutrition services director and a library media assistant.

Also Monday, as the USDA continues to implement the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act, the District is required to offer more fresh fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains, and at the same time, reduce the sodium, calories, and fats in school meals. Therefore, in order to help offset these additional expenses as food and milk prices continue to increase, Nutrition Services Supervisor Carol Zimmerman recommended – and the BOE approved – a $.10 increase in breakfast, lunch, and adult prices. Additionally, the price increase will enable FCPS to remain in line with the Federal Paid Lunch Equity requirements that allow the district to receive Federal reimbursement for free and reduced meals, that now accounts for over 50 percent of the meals served at FCPS.

New breakfast and lunch fees for 2014-2015 will be: PCC NC, $2.10; K-5 $1.70, $2.65; 6-8 $1.80, $2.80; 9-12 $1.80, $2.85; Adult $2.20, $3.50.

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