Princeton Board of Education hires new Tiger varsity football coach, approves numerous hires

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Princeton High School has hired Bolivar Middle School teacher and varsity assistant football coach Thomas Hotmer as the new head coach of the Tigers varsity football program.

Hotmer, at Princeton, will replace John Goodin, who resigned his position as head football coach earlier this season.  Hotmer is currently employed in the Bolivar Middle School’s At Risk program, and has been an assistant for the Liberators.  At Princeton, in addition to his football duties, Hotmer will be a junior and senior high physical education teacher.

Hotmer will take over a Princeton program that has slumped with numbers and on-the-field success in recent years, but is hoping to make positive strides in 2016 as the Tigers go into an expanded Grand River Conference that will include regular season games against Gallatin, Polo, South Harrison, and Maysville, in addition to GRC newcomers Trenton, Putnam County, and Milan.

In other news coming out of this week’s Princeton Board of Education meeting, resignations were accepted from Special Education Director Debbie Thogmartin, Special Education teacher Justin Collins, sixth grade science instructor Slade Kenagy, and extra duty assistant football coach Scott Ussery.  The resignations are effective at the end of this school year.

The Princeton Board of Education extended a tenured contract to preschool teacher Kelsey Allen, and approved all probationary teachers as recommended for next school year.

Ranae Shahan was offered a contract as an elementary teacher.  She currently teaches at South Harrison in Bethany.  Ashley Moore was offered a job as a junior high science teacher.  She is currently a paraprofessional at North Mercer.  Kimberly Parsons will be a junior high and high school special education teacher at Princeton.  She is currently a special ed teacher at Newtown-Harris.  Rachel Sticken will also be a special ed instructor at Princeton’s junior and senior high school levels.  She is currently a paraprofessional at Princeton.

Drew Smith of Bolivar has been hired as a special education paraprofessional at Princeton.  He has a degree in exercise science from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar.

The Princeton Board of Education has agreed to allow certified staff to move on the salary schedule for experience and education.  The board did not take action regarding the base salary until more information is received.  Extra duty stipends and health insurance coverage also have not been finalized.

A bid from GRM Networks of Princeton was approved, to improve the wireless system in the school district.  The action is pending final approval for funding from the federal E-Rate program.  The wireless system’s cost is about $50,000.  The Princeton District is expected to be responsible for about 20% of the expense, with about 80% covered by E-Rate.  The bid presented by GRM Networks was the lowest among those following the bid specifications.  There were three bidders.

Work is continuing on the Princeton District’s long-term goal of overall improvement.  The Board is considering the purchase of a van of SUV to provide more economical travel for small numbers of students and/or staff.  The purchase of a lawn mower is also under consideration.  Currently, the Board of Education seeks bids each year for mowing services.

Superintendent Jerry Girder indicated there are many ideas to improve efficiency and provide better instructional support for the district.  The Board is to continue discussing them in the future.

August 24th has been approved as the first day of classes at Princeton R-5 in the 2016-2017 school year.  It was noted that is three days after the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia concludes.

The Board also viewed a presentation regarding the district’s no-tax increase bond issue proposal.

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