JROTC Drill Competition to be held on Dec. 16 at WHS

Waynesville High School will host its fourth annual Drill Competition with Army, Air Force and Marine JROTC teams competing on Saturday, Dec. 16. The event begins at 8:15 a.m. and will go to approximately 3:30 p.m. in the main gym.

Admission is free and the public is invited to watch the teams during the execution of these drills.

The judges will again be drill sergeants and instructors from Fort Leonard Wood and local recruiters.

Save the date: Route 66 Shootout

The Sixth Annual Route 66 Shootout Pulaski County USA will be held Wednesday, Dec. 20, and Thursday, Dec. 21, at Waynesville High School with five games in two days.

The cost for admission to each day of the shootout is $5 for adults and $4 for students. Athletic passes, senior passes and school IDs will not be accepted for this special event. Waynesville R-VI employees will need to pay to attend these games as well. Game programs will be for sale.

Freedom feeds 1,500 for Family Feast

Freedom Elementary served 1,582 meals to students and their families during the Family Feast Day at Freedom on Nov. 14.

"That is 868 extra meals than on a typical day," said Karen Wracher, director of nutrition services for OPAA. "We could not have done it without the help we received from Jon Dye and his culinary arts students. They are an outstanding group of students."

Wracher also praised Melanie Frye and her team of cooks at Freedom for all their hard work to prepare and serve more than 1,500 meals and Shannon Sisson from East Elementary's kitchen for assisting with the event.

"There are so many people to thank who help make this whole event happen," Wracher said. "Beyond those already named, it takes everyone from the scanners, those collecting the funds to the maintenance and custodial staff to the teachers and principals to make this a successful event every year. It was a great day for members of the community to gather at their child's school and have a Thanksgiving Feast."

Freedom hosted the first family feast this year and OPAA will continue until all of the schools have been served.

NHS Students participate in Special Olympics Fundraiser

Fourteen National Honor Society students from Waynesville High School helped raise funds for Special Olympics on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at Colton's Steakhouse in St. Robert by assisting the Military Police Regimental Association in their annual statewide "Tip a Cop" event.

The goal of the event was to raise funds and awareness for the Special Olympics of Missouri program.

"We had 14 absolutely phenomenal National Honor Society students show up to support our efforts, which included them speaking with the patrons about the program, learning a little about the tiring efforts required to work in a large restaurant and finally supporting a tremendous cause," said Rick Harne, executive director of the Military Police Regimental Association.

Waynesville achieves 95.7% on APR

The Waynesville R-VI School District achieved a 95.7% on the State of Missouri's Annual Performance Report, down slightly from last year's record 97.5%. The APR scores were released to the public today.

"We were able to maintain all of our academic points from last year using the state's hold harmless rule, however, we lost points due to attendance," said Dr. Trish Adkins, assistant superintendent of curriculum services.

While the district's average daily attendance has remained consistently in the 94-95 percentage range over the past five years, it's the state's 90-90 attendance requirement where the district lost ground. The district dropped nearly 4% to 87.1% in the 90-90 attendance category, which requires 90 percent of all students to be in school 90 percent of the time.

"We're disappointed to see the loss in our attendance points and we will be working to ensure we can regain those for next year," Adkins said. "Attendance is calculated minute by minute, so tardies and early dismissals go into that calculation."

For APR, each student's attendance is looked at individually. "If a student has a 90% or better attendance, the district receives full credit for the student," Adkins said. "If a student's attendance dips below 90%, the district receives zero points for meeting the standard - regardless of whether the student's attendance is 89% or 50%. Districts do not receive any partial credit in the attendance category."

In previous years, attendance letters were sent to parents once a student reached three or more absences in a semester; however, the district transitioned to the new eSchoolPlus student information system at the start of the 2016 school year and attendance letters lagged at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year as schools adjusted to the new system.

"This year our systems are all up and running and parents are being notified when their children are absent three or more days in a semester," Adkins said. "Our parents are our partners and beyond the letters, we will be working on an attendance campaign to emphasize the importance of attendance in the State of Missouri."

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education delayed the release of the Annual Performance Report scores until Nov. 15, due to questions in reliability and comparability from year-to-year in Algebra I and English II end-of-course exams.

The state implemented 'hold harmless,' which means a district's APR scores in ELA and math could be based on the highest of points earned from 2014, 2015, 2016 or 2017.

"For the first time, we reached back to use last year's points in ELA (English Language Arts) because districts weren't allowed to count the end-of-course exams from Language Arts 10, which is one of our best data sets," Adkins said.

Missouri has issued three different MAP tests in the past four years, making year-to-year score comparisons difficult. The overall year-to-year comparability, however, does not impact individual student scores; individual scores remain unchanged.

Albrecht encourages at-risk students to build resiliency

Eleven-year United States Army Veteran, Nadine Albrecht, has always felt that volunteerism in the community is important - it's a way of life for her and her family. So choosing, two years ago, to serve as an AmeriCorps Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) member was a perfect fit for her. Becoming an AmeriCorps VISTA aligned with Albrecht's aspirations, desire to serve and knowledge/skills.

Albrecht began her AmeriCorps VISTA service as the college and career coordinator and then transitioned to her current focus area, resiliency for at-risk youth. Creating resiliency curriculum and programing for at-risk youth is something she is passionate about and is a rewarding part of being a VISTA.

A major aspect of Albrecht's VISTA service is to build organizational capacity. Nadine has helped create and strengthen the partnership between the staff and students of Pick Educational & Volunteer Facility and the Fort Leonard Wood Maneuver Support Center of Excellence Noncommissioned Officers Academy (MSCoE NCO Academy). The active duty MSCoE NCO Academy soldiers, who serve as adult mentors, regularly meet to encourage growth and resiliency in at-risk students within the Waynesville R-VI School District.

"This partnership has become an invaluable asset within the educational program at Pick," said Todd Whalen, director of community resources and alternative education.

Albrecht has also coordinated visits from therapy dogs, scheduled meditation classes and created service learning activities for the students at Pick. "Being provided the opportunity to serve at-risk youth has been a highlight of my VISTA service," Albrecht said.

"Nadine goes above and beyond her call of duty on a daily basis and is always willing to lend a hand to others," Whalen said. "Whether she is creating curriculum for at-risk students, mentoring fellow VISTAs, providing leadership or coordinating resiliency training opportunities for staff members within the school district, she is always looking for ways to make positive contributions and to grow personally and professionally. Nadine is in her third year as a VISTA, and we appreciate her loyalty to our program, the school district and the community."

VISTA members can take on one challenge at a time, as Albrecht has with the resiliency program.

"We can only know what needs our communities have if we are serving our neighbors," Albrecht said. "VISTA provides me with so many opportunities to serve, but also to grow as an individual."

The AmeriCorps VISTA Mission is to strengthen organizations that alleviate poverty through volunteering and the mobilization of resources. Poverty can take many forms, which is why VISTA's model is driven directly by communities in need. Whether that need is expanding feeding programs, building tutoring curriculum or writing grants, AmeriCorps VISTA members make a huge impact on the communities they serve and raise awareness of existing needs. AmeriCorps VISTA members help others while gaining valuable skills for their career.

To embark on a life-changing voyage as a VISTA, visit the my.americorps.gov website for additional information or to apply for the paid service opportunities through AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA. For more info, call (573) 842-2250.

Punt, Pass, Kick winners named

For the first time ever, Snack in a Pack presented the Pulaski County Punt, Pass, Kick Challenge on Saturday, Oct. 28. Event participants had to punt, pass and kick their way to victory on the Waynesville High School Tiger Stadium football field. Thank you to all of our participants for braving the cold temperatures and supporting Snack in a Pack!

The winners for each youth division of the Challenge are the following: Rylan Gardner, boys age 6-8; Wesley Dye, boys age 9-11; Charleia Poyser, girls age 9-11; Vincent Breen, boys age 12-14; Contessa Poyser, girls age 12-14; and David Davis, boys age 15-17.

The winners for each adult division of the Challenge are the following: Jason Poyser, men's age 18-39; Charmaine Taylor, women's age 18-39; James Woodson Jr, men's age 40 and over; and Jacqueline Woodson, women's age 40 and over.

Snack in a Pack would like to thank Colton's Steak House & Grill of St. Robert, Culver's of St. Robert, Starbucks of St. Robert and Lowe Chevrolet of Waynesville, for their generous donations to the Punt, Pass, Kick Challenge. In addition, Snack in a Pack would like to thank volunteers from the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence (MSCoE) Noncommissioned Officers Academy (NCOA) and 3rd Chemical Brigade, all of Fort Leonard Wood.

Event proceeds will provide approximately 105 packs to the Snack in a Pack program. Snack in a Pack is an AmeriCorps VISTA program that provides supplemental food packs to approximately 300 students in the Waynesville R-VI School District who might otherwise go hungry over the weekend. Each pack costs approximately $5.00.

For more information on how to donate, volunteer, or host a food drive on behalf of Snack in a Pack, please contact the Waynesville AmeriCorps VISTA program at (573) 842-2651 or send an email to spack@waynesville.k12.mo.us.

Edwards completes Year of Service

AmeriCorps Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) member, Robin Edwards, completed her yearlong term of service on Nov. 4.

"Regardless of the size of the task, we always knew that we were going to get a 100% effort from Robin," said Todd Whalen, director of community resources and alternative education. "She is highly organized and has great attention to detail, which has been a significant contributor to her daily success as a VISTA member. She played a very prominent role in organizing this year's Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, which was recognized at the state level by the Missouri Community Service Commission, and proved to be a great learning opportunity for our staff and students."

As an AmeriCorps VISTA, Edward's primary focus was marketing and communication. Edwards created marketing for the Club TIGER Afterschool Program and for Snack in a Pack (SIAP), wrote various press releases, coordinated the Waynesville School District's Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, distributed district information weekly to incoming military members and their families, coordinated monthly meetings for Pulaski County Community Network and assisted in the coordination of multiple fundraising events for SIAP.

Serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA member has been a great experience overall," Edwards said. "I have seen my community in a whole new light with a fonder respect and appreciation. I have stretched outside my comfort zone, learned new skills and sharpened old ones, networked with multiple organizations, met lots of people and even had the opportunity to serve alongside my niece. I am thankful for this opportunity to serve my community."

During a year of service, VISTA members will experience a wide range of tasks, have opportunities for professional/personal growth, and learn valuable community development skills, all while earning a monthly living allowance.

Visit the my.americorps.gov website for additional information or to apply for the paid service opportunities through AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA. For more specific instructions and information, contact the Community Resource Office (CRO) at (573) 842-2250 and be sure to like us on Facebook at "Waynesville Tiger Way."

Freeman named as MAEOP president

Marie Freeman, transportation secretary for the Waynesville R-VI School District, was installed as the president of the Missouri State Association of Office Professionals (MAEOP) at the Elm's Hotel in Excelsior Springs, Mo., on Oct. 24. She officially takes over the office on Nov. 15.

Freeman also serves as the vice president of the Dogwood Hill Association of Educational Office Professionals (DHAEOP) in the Waynesville School District. Serving as DHAEOP president is Sandra Rickert and treasurer is Heather Ashton.

For her statewide theme, Freeman chose "Change, Challenge and Opportunity." During her speech, she cited the need to embrace change, to invite others to be a part of the organization and to make a positive impact in the lives of others through service in MAEOP.

MAEOP began in the spring of 1940. Others from the Waynesville R-VI School District who have served as MAEOP's president include Carol Dye, Tina Sheldon and Becky O'Riley.

For more information about the organization, contact Freeman at the Transportation Department 573-842-2193.

Waynesville-St. Robert Chamber of Commerce
137 St. Robert Blvd., Ste. B
St. Robert, MO 65584
fax: 573-336-5472