Former superintendent to fill vacancy on Cape Girardeau School Board

Thursday, June 17, 2010
Don Call

When the Cape Girardeau School Board considers its budget later this month, a fresh face will be weighing in on the decision.

Don Call, a former superintendent, will continue more than 30 years in education with his work on the board. He was selected by the board during a special session meeting Wednesday afternoon to fill a vacancy.

Call's selection was based on a group interview during a meeting Tuesday. According to district policy, board members interview and vote on replacements in separate meetings.

In a meeting that lasted just over five minutes, the board selected Call. Board members agreed to a series of votes and tiebreaker beforehand but came to a majority on the first vote. Call received five of the six board members' votes. Deneke' Murphy received one vote from board member Tony Smee.

Call and Murphy, a parent-teacher association president, applied for the spot along with three other candidates, Jerrie Heisserer, David Goncher and Jerry Siemers.

"The four other ones were good candidates, and they all signed up for the right reasons," Call said.

A 1966 graduate of Central High School, Call was an administrator and educator for more than 30 years. He spent about 20 as superintendent, starting in Advance, Mo., and leading three other districts in southwest Missouri. Call now works part time as the director of the Rural Consortium for Educational Technology, which helps provide technology training for teachers.

He will be sworn in during the work session of the June 28 meeting when the board will also consider the district budget. Preliminary versions of the $42.8 million budget factor in attrition, state cuts and frozen salaries.

While dealing with the challenges of the economy, Call said the district should focus on keeping staff levels high so student services do not suffer.

"This is nobody's fault," he said. "The people in the private sector are hurting just as bad."

While the district faces a tough budget year, he said, the economy will help projects funded by the bond proposal that passed in April.

The district received favorable interest rates, and he said he hopes the trend will continue when project bids come in. As an administrator, Call said, he oversaw the implementation of several bond proposals.

He will serve the remainder of Dr. Steve Trautwein's term, which lasts until April. Trautwein resigned from the board in April to move near family out-of-state.

Call ran for the board in the April election and has been a regular at meetings since filing. He received 23.4 percent of the vote and came within 900 votes of the top vote-getter, board president Paul Nenninger. Phil Moore was also elected to the board in April's four-way race with 26.8 percent of the vote.

abusch@semissourian.com

388-3627

Pertinent address:

301 N. Clark Ave., Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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