Iron County C-4 Central Office
Iron County C-4: Building on the Past for Excellence in the Future
by Deron Gibbs - Superintendent
The 2012-13 school year is underway. Our students have settled into the daily routine and our staff members, having completed planning and preparation this summer, are welcoming students into their classrooms for the onset of what will be a year full of learning experiences. A sense of excitement seems to be prevalent in the community. I would surmise there are several reasons for the heightened anticipation. First, each year our new teachers generate a degree of excitement, especially this year considering three of our new staff members are Iron County C-4 graduates. This year we are pleased to welcome Mr. Joe Bozic Fifth Grade Teacher, Mrs. Rachel Martin Vocal Music, Ms. Kim Huff Jr. High English, Ms. Gretchen Hill High School Counselor, Ms. Sara Yanske Jr. High Science, and Ms. Jamie Warden High School Business/Computer Applications. Finally, we welcome Mr. Clay LaRue as our new high school principal. Second, the Blue Jay Commons Area is a project that has generated a great deal of anticipation and œcommunity buzz as well. With just a couple minor exceptions, the project is complete and looks awesome! What began as a vision more than five years ago has come to be reality. The transition from vision to reality required support in both financial resources as well as œsweat equity from many community members and stakeholders. To those who gave through financial means or through œsweat equity, we owe and offer a big œThank You for the beautiful setting our students now enjoy every day. First, we will recognize our local Doe Run Company for the financial donation they gave to make the project possible. We would also like to thank Great Southern Bank for their donation toward the purchase of the flag poles and flags that now fly above our school. We need to recognize our own grounds and maintenance staff who put in numerous hours of work during and beyond the work day toward its completion, and we must recognize an army of community members who volunteered their Saturday to plant shrubs, trees, grass¦etc. Tom and Sharon Miles of Miles' Signs provided a nice touch with a sign that decorates the mine car that has been placed in the Commons as a symbolic tribute to the connection between our community and the mining industry. Finally, I would like to thank Mr. Tyler Juliet and his company, JV Contracting based in Potosi, MO. JV's favorable bid toward the concrete work made it possible to complete the project this summer, rather than extend it into the summer of 2013. In addition to this, Mr. Juliet and his crew offered suggestions for enhancement related to the stamping and coloring of the sidewalks, and provided the stamped effect at no additional cost. The final result far exceeds even our initial vision for a setting that provides our students with a peaceful and pleasant environment during lunch, during outdoor classes, and during outdoor social events. While driving by this past Friday night, the vision was truly complete as I observed several of our students, staff, and community members enjoying the area while participating in a back to school social event. It is our hope that this addition to our campus will continue the process of generating and strengthening a sense of pride in Iron County C-4.
There are many other exciting things taking place at our school that are not as visible as the Commons Area. First, due to the collective and relentless efforts of our teaching staffs, we have seen significant improvement in our student performance assessment data. Second, we are in line to receive A+ designation this year which means that the graduating class of 2013 will be our first class eligible to utilize A+ scholarship money toward the payment of tuition to Missouri junior colleges and post secondary career/technical schools. This is exciting news and I hope all parents and students recognize the magnitude of what this means. Let me repeat. Beginning with this year's seniors, our graduates will be able to access scholarship money for the costs associated with tuition to Missouri junior colleges and post secondary career/technical schools. Time is of the essence for this year's senior class. The deadline for enrollment in the program for this year's seniors is Wednesday, September 26th. There are requirements including fifty hours of mentoring/tutoring, so enrollment as soon as possible is encouraged. Please see our high school principal, Mr. Clay LaRue, or our high school counselor Ms. Gretchen Hill if you have questions related to this opportunity offered through A+.
Third, in addition to A+ designation, our students who attend the Arcadia Valley Career Technical Center are now able to pursue interests in the area of Agriculture and participate in Future Farmers of America (FFA). Along with this, we have included Agricultural Science as an interactive television course offering for our freshmen and sophomores. The idea to include agriculture studies as a part of what we offer was first suggested during last year's school improvement community meeting. We are pleased with the ability to take this suggestion and make it an opportunity for our students.
In conclusion, I join the community in sharing the excitement and anticipation for the 2013 school year. I am glad to report of progress our school is making but remain committed to future growth and improvement. One of my favorite quotes comes from Benjamin Franklin who said, œWithout continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning. As the Iron County C-4 School District looks forward, we are challenged to continue the process of improving our school. I firmly believe that one common characteristic found in schools of excellence is the willingness to build on past successes, while at the same time, passionately seek new and better ways of doing business that promote the consistent pursuit of improvement.
In a recent conversation with Mr. LaRue, he expressed his pleasure with our students, stating, œWe've got a great group of kids here. I have now worked in Iron County C-4 for twenty years and share the same sentiment. We do have great kids here. I know I speak for the Iron County C-4 Board of Education as well as the entire staff when I say we take the responsibility of working with our community's greatest resource very seriously. We are committed to doing all we can to make our school a school of excellence. I welcome the opportunity to speak to parents and District patrons who have questions, concerns, or just want to talk about our school. I can be reached by phone at (573) 244-5422 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit our website at www.ironc4.k12.mo.us or œlike our school on FaceBook at Iron County C-4 School District.