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story.lead_photo.caption Incumbent Amy Reinhard, middle, and newcomer Rebecca Wall, right, are sworn in by Superintendent Nicky Kemp during the North Callaway R-1 Board of Education meeting Thursday night in the high school media center. Photo by Ryan Boland / Fulton Sun.

The North Callaway R-1 Board of Education unanimously approved the addition of competitive wrestling and intramural volleyball at the middle school in Auxvasse starting with the 2021-22 school year during its regular meeting Thursday night in the high school media center.

The board made its decision after a presentation by North Callaway Athletic Director Kevin O'Neal. The estimated startup costs for wrestling is $18,290 including mats and $8,290 without; for volleyball, the estimated costs were $9,255.

Wrestling will be open to both boys and girls in the winter, while volleyball will be played in the spring, O'Neal said.

"(High school wrestling) Coach (Jake) Vitale is all for it, to get it up and going," he said. "(High school volleyball) Coach (Paulette) Eichman wants to give these girls an opportunity to experience volleyball, to see if they like it and give them a jumpstart going into high school.

"Our concern (playing) in the fall is that we don't want to hurt the softball program," O'Neal added.

While conducting its business Thursday night, the board went through the process of reorganizing. Since there were only two candidates for two positions on the board and an election wasn't necessary, according to state statute, incumbent Amy Reinhard and newcomer Rebecca Wall were sworn in.

Sandy Lavy and Reinhard were also appointed to another term as board president and vice president, respectively. Dr. Tim Safranski was appointed as board secretary.

Also in new business, High School Principal Brian Jobe updated board members on a change to the high school's cell phone policy. With a shift to a 1-to-1 learning initiative for the upcoming school year, where each student will be equipped with a Google Chromebook, Jobe stressed that cell-phone use will be prohibited during academic time.

Jobe added that students will be allowed to access their cell phones between classes, at lunch or before and after school.

"We're looking at trying to curb an epidemic and bring back some rigor and structure in our classrooms," Jobe said. "This will be the perfect opportunity to move away from distracations."

The board authorized a 10-cent increase for breakfast and lunch prices for the 2021-22 school year. Breakfast will now cost $1.85, while lunch will be $2.45 at the elementary schools and $2.70 at both the middle school and high school.

Board members also heard a preliminary financial analysis from Chairman/CEO Larry J. Hunt and Assistant Vice President Neil Branham of LJ Hart & Co. in Chesterfield.

The company serves as North Callaway's municipal bond underwriter. It reviewed the district's existing debt structure and studied the opportunities for no-tax-increase general obligation bonds and lease certificates of participation to fund capital facilities needs.

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