Jackson and Cape school districts fill vacant positions

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Local schools will have plenty of new faces at the head of classrooms and in administrators' offices for the 2004-2005 year.

In Cape Girardeau, there are 20 new teachers spread throughout the district as well as a new assistant principal at Central High School. Jackson has 18 new teachers and a new principal at R.O. Hawkins Junior High School.

Both districts replaced around 5 percent of teachers and principals this year. The process of filling vacant positions begins in January, when contracts are renewed for the next school year.

"It takes a lot of planning," said Dr. Rita Fisher, assistant superintendent in the Jackson School District.

Most of Jackson's vacancies for the coming year were at the elementary level, where nine positions were open. The district also hired two social studies, a language arts and a math teacher at Jackson High School.

"We have't been doing a lot of hires with the budget crunch, but this year's number is up from last year," Fisher said. "In comparison with other years, though, it's more of an average."

The new teachers will undergo four days of orientation and training in August before the start of school.

"We try to make them feel like part of the system," Fisher said.

The vacated position of principal at R.O. Hawkins Junior High School has been filled by Cory Crosnoe, who resigned this year as assistant principal at Central High School in Cape Girardeau.

Scott Kuse, a science teacher from Wellston High School in north St. Louis County, was hired to fill Crosnoe's position at Central. Central principal Dr. Mike Cowan said Kuse was chosen from four finalists by a panel of adminstrators, parents, students, teachers and other staff.

"First and foremost, Scott is a proven classroom teacher," said Cowan. "Second, Scott comes with a resume replete with cocurricular involvement and thus has proven that he is very much a student advocate who will support our firm cocurricular commitment to educating the whole student."

cclark@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 128

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