Princeton Board of Education considers sixth graders for junior high sports

2023 Princeton R-V or (R-5) School District website
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During the Princeton R-5 Board of Education meeting on June 10, a community member requested that the board and administration consider allowing sixth-grade students to participate in junior high school sports.

The Missouri State High School Activities Association approved the eligibility of sixth-grade students three years ago, however, Princeton has not yet adopted this policy.

The decision has been based on concerns regarding physical requirements and potential dangers. Additionally, there have been concerns about the age, physical and mental abilities, maturity, skills, and preparedness of sixth-grade students for competitive sports at the junior high school level.

Due to a decline in enrollment and participation in recent years, the athletic director is evaluating anticipated participation numbers for the fall season. This reassessment aims to ensure all students have an opportunity to engage in athletic activities while maintaining safety and competitiveness.

The board also reviewed a recommendation from school administrators to implement a process for random drug testing of students. The district reports it is committed to deterring and preventing student drug use.

Under the proposed program, students in seventh through 12th grades would be required to consent to random drug screenings as a condition for participating in extracurricular activities. Students who test positive for drugs or violate the screening process may face suspension or exclusion from those activities.

Princeton R-5 notes that the sanctions in the proposed policy focus solely on limiting opportunities for participation in extracurricular activities. Any violations of the district’s discipline policy regarding drugs and alcohol will be subject to the consequences as outlined in the policy.

The board will continue to review additional information to discuss and assess the proposed drug testing program. Community input is encouraged during the evaluation period.

In other business, the board approved a bid for banking services from Farmers Bank of Northern Missouri.

The district was also approved for five electric school buses at no cost. A grant will cover 100% of the expenses for the buses and necessary infrastructure materials. It is possible the buses could be delivered in mid to late 2024.

Princeton will collaborate with the Grundy Electric Cooperative to implement the infrastructure for the installation of charging stations.

The district’s annual financial audit is scheduled to start on July 26.

The district will hold an online surplus auction for a limited number of items. The auction can be accessed on, with an estimated closing date of July 5.

After a closed session, the board took action regarding employees.

The board approved the retirement of Junior High School and High School Art Teacher Becci Shew.

Additionally, the board approved Rafaela Johnson as the junior high and high school art teacher, Angie Stockman as the junior high and high school math teacher, Cody Demoss as the junior high and high school business teacher, Riley Moreno as the preschool paraprofessional, and Bill Goodin as the special education paraprofessional.

Approval was also given to Payton Goodin and Mike Schmidli as the girl’s junior high basketball coaches, Bill Goodin as the cross country coach, Louis O’Brien as the interim varsity head football coach, Scott Ussery and Troy Malone as varsity assistant football coaches, Bill Goodin as the junior high and high school track assistant coach, Merideth Ussery as the junior high cheerleading coach for basketball and football, Tina Holt as the varsity girls golf coach, Dale and Kaylyn Bagley as the National Honor Society sponsors, and Rafaela Johnson as the yearbook sponsor.

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