BOE Meeting Recap

August BOE Meeting


The Board met on Wednesday, September 27, for their monthly meeting. Here is a recap of the meeting highlights. You can view the complete agenda and supporting documents at


New Staff Meet and Greet: The Board had an opportunity at 5:30 p.m. to meet our newest staff members and learn more about them and what brought them to Lawson. Our Board members also shared a little about themselves and their love and passion for our community and school district. 


Tax Rate Hearing: The Board conducted our required Tax Rate Hearing at 5:50pm. They were presented with the updated Operating and Debt Service figures.



Prior Year Ceiling                                                      $4.7072

Loss of SARRU Adjustment                                     $0.0449

2023 Operating Levy                                                $3.8021

2023 Debt Service Levy                                           $0.9500

Total Levy Allowed for 2023-2024                        $4.7521                                


The regularly scheduled Board meeting began at 6pm.




September Board Spotlights: The Board had the opportunity to celebrate and spotlight two amazing groups during this month's meeting.

The first spotlight was on the Lawson Choir Department under the direction of Mrs. Amanda Covey; Mrs. Covey was excited to share the accomplishments of 3 of our students who have excelled as vocal performers as members of MCDA Summer Honor Choirs. Emerson Yarbrough (7 years), Allison Hochwender (6 years), and Lila Tucker (6 years), each of these students have fantastic talent and exhibit the best of a Lawson Cardinal. 

The second spotlight was on our Maintenance and Custodial Department for their dedicated work ensuring our school community has top-notch facilities to serve our students. Those pictured are L/R Deon Grigsby Outdoor Maintenance, Brent Baker, District Maintenance Director, Mike Roth High School Custodial Staff, Scott Green Elementary Custodial Staff, Justin Uptergrove, District Maintenance, Mitchell Dameron High School Custodial Staff, Wilma Curtis, High School Custodial, Samantha North Middle School Custodial Staff, Carol North Middle School Custodial Staff. Those not pictured are Anna Seba Elementary Custodial Staff, Wendy Wells Elementary Custodial Staff, and Ed Duncan, Outdoor Maintenance. The Board also expressed their gratitude to our custodial and maintenance staff members as they were recognized for National Custodial and Maintenance Staff Appreciation Day, which is annually on October 2nd.


Items for Discussion:

Surplus Items List: The Board approved an updated list of Surplus Items. The complete list can be found using the agenda and board documents link above.

2023-2024 Budget Adoption: The Board approved adopting the 2023-2024 budget as presented. This is a standard operating procedure to account for revenues and expenditures modifications made after the preliminary budget is adopted in June of each year. The adopted budget will guide financial decisions for the District throughout the remainder of Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24 July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024). The District's adopted/working budget is operating with a forecasted deficit of $438,616 in a worst-case scenario. As we advance through the fiscal year, we will continue to adjust the budget as corrections are warranted, and we anticipate ending the year in a balanced position. 


Items for information:

MSHSAA Activities/Athletics Report – Mr. Kevin Keeton, District Activities and Athletics Director, updated the Board on Fall 2023 student participation numbers and an overview of his plan to build a greater sense of community within our sports programs.

Career Education Expansion Update – Mr. Daniel Petet, High School Principal, provided the Board with an update on the District's Strategic Plan Goal #7 (Establish a plan to update curriculum offerings to engage students in career exploration). In his report, Mr. Petet noted we have been working with the Missouri Department of Agriculture Education to set up a District visit to gather interest levels from students regarding the expansion of career education in the Lawson R-XIV School District to include Agriculture Education. The date for the onsite visit has been scheduled for Wednesday, October 25th. As a part of the visit, we will host an informational meeting for parents and community members that evening. The time and location of the discussion has yet to be determined.

Early Childhood Programming Update – Mr. Miller, Students Services Director, Mrs. Christina Cross, Elementary Principal, and Mrs. Ida Kemper, Assistant Elementary Principal, provided the Board with an update related to the District's Strategic Plan Goal #9 (Explore expanding Early Childhood Learning Opportunities for 3 and 4-year-olds). In their report, they informed the Board that we have been working on the expansion of our Early Childhood Special Education Program from the current half-day program to a full-day program. This change will take effect starting on October 3, 2023. The team also shared information about a recent survey they had shared with the school community to gain interest in expanding preschool learning opportunities in the Lawson R-XIV School District. The early results show a need for developing 3 & 4-year-old preschool programming. The team will continue to work on what such a program can look like and how to bring the program from idea to reality. They intend to provide an additional update to the Board in October.

Superintendent Update: Dr. Stephenson updated the Board on a plethora of topics. Two topics were directly connected to the District’s Strategy Plan Goal #4 (Prepare for the long-range facility needs of the District).

Long Range Facilities Planning – Dr. Stephenson updated the Board on the work we have been conducting with the assistance of Incite Design to finalize a potential list of facility improvement projects. The list is being constructed based on the analyses provided by Incite Design and input from staff members and the Board. We will seek community input over the coming weeks to help formulate the list to construct an initial 2 phase approach to project completion. This plan will require the Board to approve ballot language to take to the voters for a no-tax-increase bond extension. We will have an Incite Design representative with us next month to update us on the process for coming to a final plan. We are planning a 3-phase approach, with Phase 1 in Spring 2024 through Winter 2025 and Phase 2 beginning in Spring 2026. We would begin the planning for Phase 3 in the Winter of 2025 with a plan to execute the phase in 2029.

District Bonding Capacity – Capital Improvements – Dr. Stephenson updated the Board on the work we have been doing with our investment representatives to look at our current and future bonding capacity to allow us to continue to move the district forward through the use of capital improvement dollars while protecting the Districts operating fund to enable us to continue to make progress in teacher salaries and the services and programs we offer our students in PreK through 12th Grade. We find ourselves in a favorable position and would have the potential of bonding up to 8 million dollars in the spring of 2024 and 16 million dollars through the spring of 2030. We will have a representative from our investment partner, Stifel, with us next month during our October Board meeting to explain what a no-tax-increase bond initiative would look like for the School District moving into the Spring of 2024.

Closed Session Announcements:

2024 Summer School Director: The Board approved hiring Mr. Kevin Keeton as the 2024 MS Summer School Director.

2023-2024 Extra Duty Hires: The Board approved hiring Mr. Beau Brinkley as the 9th-grade Boys Basketball Coach for the upcoming season.


Additional Announcements:


The October Board of Education meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, in the Lawson Library Media Center at 7pm (Please note the meeting time change from 6pm to 7pm to avoid conflict with our scheduled Parent Teacher Conferences being held that evening).


Please contact Dr. Stephenson with 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.