BOE Meeting Recap

The Board met Wednesday, February 15, at 6 pm for their regularly scheduled monthly meeting. Here is a recap of the meeting highlights. You can view the complete agenda and supporting documents at:

Celebrations: Our February student "Board Spotlight" was on several students. To begin, the Board spotlighted Lawson Middle School students Kaydence Hyatt and Caitlyn Cline for their state-qualifying FCCLA State Star Event presentation, “Road Safety.” Next up was Lawson Middle School students Josie Holman, Mariah Jones, and Ella Ripley for their FCCLA state-qualifying “Stand up and Speak Out” project.  Our final student spotlight of the evening was on Lawson High School students Kadance James and Allison Hochwender for their state qualify FCCLA Star Event, “Every Penny is Hope.” We also celebrated Lawson HS/MS Media Specialist Mrs. Katie Berger for her selection as an MFA Oil Foundation Grant recipient. Mrs. Berger plans to utilize the funds from the grant to add new books to our district library collection.  The Board of Education congratulates our February spotlight recipients for their accomplishments and for representing the Lawson community with class.

Items for Discussion:

Surplus Items List: The Board approved the listing of approximately 1100 Linear feet of 6ft tall chain-link with poles and wooden bumper poles. The complete listing with pictures will be found on

Pupil Transportation RFP: The Board approved issuing a Pupil Transportation Request For Proposal (RFP) beginning on February 16, 2023, with the final submission date of proposals being March 10, 2023. The final award will be decided on March 15, 2023, during the March BOE meeting. When selected and approved, the new pupil transportation contract will go into effect on July 1, 2023.

2023-2024 Salary Schedule: The Board approved a certified staff base raise of $750.00, moving our certified base for teachers to $39,500.00. The base increase plus step movement averages a 2.8% increase for the 2023-2024 school year. Additionally, the Board approved a 2.8% increase for classified staff with additional adjustments to Columns H, I, J, and K. These changes bring all hourly wages in the district equal to or above the $12.00 Missouri minimum wage. The approved 2023-2024 Salary Schedules assist the district in meeting our stated Strategic Plan Priority: Recruiting, retaining, and supporting staff through competitive compensation, benefits, and development programs.

Items for information:

SW FEMA Building Update: Mr. Schmitz provided the Board with an update on our project and informed them that we are continuing to work through delays caused by supply chain issues with the HVAC system for the building. He also informed the Board that we are completing the civil engineering for the layout of the new roadway and parking lot that will be on the north side of the new building and anticipate putting this portion out to bid in soon. The expected completion date for the entire project is June 20, 2023.    

Budget Update: Superintendent Stephenson updated the Board on our current financial standing, given that the approved $0.87 Operating Levy has gone into effect. We see our projected revenue increase on track with an approximate increase of new local tax money at $850,000.00. As promised to the voters in April of 2022, this new money has been invested into salaries for our certified and classified staff. Over the last 18 months, the Board has approved increases in salary and benefits totaling approximately $837,114.00, or an overall increase of 10.43%. These numbers include salary and benefits.   

Library Media Center Update: Superintendent Stephenson updated the Board on changes to Public Library Hours that are going into effect starting Feb. 21. The new public library hours will be Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 3:30-6:30pm. New Summer Hours will begin May 23, 2023, run through June 29 and operate on Tuesdays and Thursdays from Noon-6pm. *The library will be closed during July to allow summer cleaning maintenance.

HS Principal Update: Mr. Petet gave the Board an update on the new VAP detection technology we are exploring for implementation in the district. Vaping is a persistent concern, and we are looking for ways to educate our students about the dangers while also seeking to reduce the number of students vaping in our buildings. Over 2.5 million middle and high school students reported that they had vaped in the past 30 days in 2022 in the United States, and our schools are not immune.

Superintendent Update: Mr. Stephenson updated the Board on several noteworthy items. He reported that the district has recently shared the Board-approved Strategic Plan with the school community through email and social media and is working on scheduling a community meeting to provide an opportunity for Q&A regarding the plan. He also informed the Board that the Lawson Chamber of Commerce will host a Board Candidate Meet and Greet on Thursday, March 2, from 6:30-8:00pm in the Lawson Middle School Commons.

Closed Session Announcements:

Middle School Assistant Principal / District Activities Director Recommendation: The Board approved Mr. Kevin Keeton's hire for the Lawson Middle Assistant Principal and District Activities Director position. Mr. Keeton is currently a teacher and coach at Benton High School in St. Joseph, MO. Mr. Keeton’s teaching experience consists of 14 years of 9-12 Science and 9 years of Physical Education, and he has over 23 years of head and assistant football, track, and wrestling coaching experience.  

Please contact Mr. Stephenson if you have questions or concerns regarding any information provided in this recap or other district matters. He can be reached by email at or by phone at (816)-580-7277.