It’s hard to believe the second week of school is already here. 

As approximately 15,000 Christian County students get back into the swing of early mornings, after-school activities and evening homework, the Headliner News holds on to the memory of the last week of summer, the school buildings quiet as employees hurried to make sure everything was in order for the first day. 

In the second installment of this back-to-school series, the Headliner News shares all things books, board meetings and communications between educators and families. 

TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS

Ozark School Board President Jeff Laney has a big role. On top of his title as partner at Springfield-based law firm Haden, Cowherd and Bullock, LLC—where he has practiced since 2002, according to the Ozark School District website—Laney works closely with Superintendent Chris Bauman year-round to take care of any and all school-related needs. 

He finds the start of the school year especially invigorating. 

“The beginning of a school year is exciting,” Laney told the Headliner News, “because we get to focus on supporting and welcoming back staff, students and parents as they start the new year.” 

ENCOURAGING BIBLIOPHILIA

Clever High School librarian Jeffery Lawson, as it should be expected, is a lover of words and reading—what’s also known as a bibliophile—so it’s no wonder that one of his favorite tasks in the last week of summer is opening and processing new books. 

“I know not everyone would consider this exciting, but I am a librarian,” Lawson said. “What can I say? That’s like unwrapping birthday presents for me.”

Lawson’s other back-to-school responsibilities are similar to teachers’: preparing work spaces for students, decorating bulletin boards and attending building and district-wide meetings. 

“On the other hand, I have some work that is unique to me as a librarian at the beginning of each year,” Lawson said. He names tasks such as checking shelves to make sure each book is where it belongs, coordinating teachers’ schedules for class library visits, planning reading promotion activities and more. 

Lawson this year also took care of more tedious chores, switching out his computer hardware and rearranging the way he uses his work space in the library. 

“In contrast to that kind of mundane work, I am serving as a mentor to a teacher who is new to our district this year,” Lawson said. While she is an experienced teacher, she has a lot to learn about the Clever School District’s policies, procedures and traditions, and I have the privilege of helping her navigate through those things.”

COMMUNICATING CONSISTENTLY

There’s a lot of information that comes out of a school district, and someone has to make sure it falls into the right hands. Denise Golubski is the Clever assistant superintendent to Superintendent Benjy Fenske, and she also acts as the district’s communications director. 

“Since this is a new position, we have been doing a lot of work on a communications handbook, as well as creating surveys to help us better serve our community,” Golubski told the Headliner News the last week of summer. 

Her duties leading up to welcoming back students also included taking staff photos and creating ID badges, updating and managing the website, creating and managing social media profiles and supporting teachers and secretaries with Clever’s student information system. 

MORE TO COME

This story still isn’t finished. The Christian County Headliner News received so many responses regarding school employees’ back-to-school responsibilities, we needed to split this story into segments. For last week’s story, featuring a school resource officer, a custodian and several teachers, visit our website. For more reading, look out for the third and final installment in next week’s edition on Aug. 28. 

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