Zac Acheson, a sophomore at Cassville High School and Mary Hayse, a senior at Cassville High School participated in the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Legislative Shadowing Project on Wednesday, February 5-6, 2019. Samantha Cosper is the local chapter adviser and accompanied the students to Jefferson City. Sponsored by the Missouri Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), the program provides an opportunity for junior and senior high school students to spend a day with their state representative, senator, or other public official at the State Capitol. The students observe hearings, meetings, and other public duties. Zac had the privilege of shadowing John Ashcroft, Secretary of State while Mary had the privilege of shadowing Senator Bill White. Both students were able to spend some time with recently appointed State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick
The Legislative Shadowing Project, now in its 19th year, is conducted by Missouri FCCLA, the Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) for Family and Consumer Sciences Education. A reception and opening session was held for participants on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 Tours of the Governor’s Mansion, State Capitol and Supreme Court Building also were provided.
The Legislative Shadowing Project allows students to connect their interests in law, public service, civic issues and the political process with their education. The event is designed to help students develop a better understanding of the political process and its impact on citizens.
FCCLA attempts to match students with officials from their local school districts wherever possible. The students prepare for the event by becoming familiar with their official’s responsibilities and current issues. If matched with a legislator, the student becomes knowledgeable about the bills introduced and committees on which the legislator serves.
FCCLA is a nonprofit student organization for young men and women, grades 6-12, in family consumer sciences education. Missouri FCCLA has more than 9,500 members in nearly 330 local chapters, making it the fifth-largest FCCLA state association in the nation.
On January 30, fourth and fifth grade students competed for the title of Cassville Intermediate Spelling Bee Champion. Students competed for a chance to participate in the 42nd Annual Joplin Globe Spelling Bee on Monday, March 18.
Paul Mounce (pictured on left), son of Travis Mounce of Cassville and Abigail Mounce of Cassville, was named Cassville Intermediate Spelling Bee winner.
Ayla Roberts, daughter of Chris and Geneva Roberts of Cassville, earned the alternate spot.
The Cassville R-IV School District is leading the way in preparing future quality teachers with the newly formed educational internship opportunity for Cassville High School graduates who are currently pursuing a teaching degree through Crowder College and Missouri State University, Cassville campus.
Through this internship program, the district will provide a hands-on, practical educational experience in an active instructional environment to students who intend to pursue employment in the field of education. The intended outcome is for future educators to better understand the field of education through the daily process and procedures within a school system.
”We are very excited about our new Cassville Educational Internship Program and the impact it will have on future teachers,” said Traci Mitchell, Director of Learning for Cassville R-IV. “The district has already been working diligently to provide hands-on, practical educational experiences for future teachers through our high school Teach-and-Train Program. We wanted to extend those opportunities by creating additional pathways and a bridge for students as they move into higher education.”
After sending letters to Cassville alumni enrolled in the education program at Crowder and MSU, Cassville campus, an informational meeting was held to determine interest. Chad Howerton, Collin Pearman and Payton Varner all three expressed interest and were selected to take part in the program.
“I am elated to see these three young men return to our district,” said Amy Stephenson, Cassville R-IV Director of Special Education. “They are here not only to gain experience, but to enhance the services that we can provide for our current students. Knowing these impressive young men for numerous years, it makes me proud to be a part of the development of such a program. I look forward to this program expanding and having quality individuals returning to serve our future Wildcats is exciting.”
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While the internship is a paid position, the district is also currently developing a proposal to MSU requesting college credit for the internship hours from Missouri State University as well.
“The goal of the program is to give future teachers a better understanding of the daily process and procedures within a school environment by working directly with students and current teachers to give them life readiness opportunities beyond high school graduation,” stated Mitchell. “Chad, Collin and Payton are piloting the program and they are doing an amazing job! We are very excited about the impact they are having on our students and staff members and hope they might someday come home to teach full-time at Cassville.”
The Knights of Columbus, Council 8865 with the St. Edwards Catholic Church located in Cassville, have donated $750 to the Cassville R-IV Special Education Department.
The Knights raised the donations through their annual Tootsie Roll drive.
In an effort to serve Cassville R-IV students that have qualified for speech and language therapy, DotCom Therapy services are now available for preschool through eighth grade students at the district.
“It is a very exciting time to be an educator,” said Traci Mitchell, Cassville R-IV Director of Learning. “Through the advancement in technology, we are now able to offer more opportunities for our students than ever before.”
DotCom Therapy provides face-to-face, both audio and visual real-time instruction through teletherapy from a certified Speech-Language Pathologist. Depending on services needed, students utilize the technology once or twice a week for 30 minute sessions.
In addition to teletherapy, students will continue to receive services from the district’s Speech-Language Pathologists Sheryl Fuchs or Kami Willis. Fuchs or Willis are also on site to oversee therapy sessions with the DotCom therapist as well.
“We are blessed to currently have two speech pathologists on staff,” said Mitchell. “However, they are extremely busy and we have been looking for ways to help support them and their services to our students. MSBA in partnership with Dot.com Therapy has provided a way, through video conferencing, to have access to another speech pathologist who can work in conjunction with our staff without having to travel to Cassville. In all honesty, we were very skeptical about this type of program and were on a trial basis at first. Our technology department has worked very hard to make sure our students have a clear and consistent connection with the therapist and we truly appreciate everyone who has strived to bring this together.”
Students at Cassville that benefit from this service receive therapy from Aliece Barklage, M.S. CCC-SLP. Barklage has been a therapist for over 10 years and strives to ensure each child receives the most innovative and individualized services available.
“Our students are loving the new platform and we are extremely happy with their engagement and excitement while learning,” stated Mitchell. “This is another opportunity for us to put kids first.”
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