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Hall of Fame to be added at Jackson High School

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Former Jackson High School athletes will soon be honored in a new hall of fame program approved by the Jackson R-2 School Board during its monthly meeting on July 13.

Matt Roethemeyer, who serves as the activities director and assistant athletic director at the high school, said they plan on implementing the new program this coming school year.

“We do have some awesome athletes who have played here at Jackson, and a lot of the schools around us have been doing this for a while,” Roethemeyer said.

Roethemeyer presented the hall of fame’s constitution and by-laws at the board meeting, which he said was put together after looking at similar programs at Cape Central, Sikeston and Wentzville.

Jackson High School athletes will not be eligible to be inducted into the hall of fame until five years after they graduate. At that point, athletes may be nominated for the award and be considered by a new hall of fame committee.

Athletes can be eligible through receiving individual honors such as “All-American” and “All-State” or by being a member of a team that placed in the top four in state. They can also be recognized in the hall of fame for outstanding athletic achievements made at the college, professional or Olympic level after leaving Jackson.

“Not only would we be looking at our athletes, but also our coaches and outstanding teams that we’ve had like the 1934 basketball team that won a state championship,” Roethemeyer said. “We missed the ball on getting them inducted before most of them, if not all of them, have passed – but I’d like to see us be able to add them as one of our first people in the hall of fame.”

Whole teams can also be nominated if they place in the top five teams at the state level. All state championship teams will automatically be nominated.

Jackson High School coaches, past and present, can be nominated for the hall of fame – as can individuals who have given “meritorious service to the athletic program at Jackson High School.” The hall of fame committee also has the right to grant the honor to any other individual they deem appropriate.

Nominees will have to receive a two-thirds vote from the hall of fame committee to be inducted. The committee will include up to 15 members, including the current JHS principal, the current JHS athletic director or assistant athletic director, at least one member appointed by the Tribal Council Booster Club, current JHS coaches, former JHS coaches and alumni of Jackson High School.

Most committee members will serve three-year terms, with the ability to serve up to two terms. The committee does not have to award the hall of fame recognition every year, and there is no restriction of the number of inductees selected in one year.

“Right now, we are looking at placing the Hall of Fame in the JHS Commons,” Roethemeyer said, adding that all athletes selected to receive this honor will have a plaque put on the wall with their name, graduation date and the sports they participated in while at JHS.

Roethemeyer added that there are also plans to honor the hall of fame recipients with a dinner before a home football game, as well as lifetime passes to JHS athletic events for themselves and their spouse.

Jackson R-2 School Board President Brian Thompson thanked Roethemeyer for his work putting this together, calling the hall of fame “well overdue.”

In other action:

• Dr. Scott Smith, who took over as superintendent for this District this month, said he was looking forward to the district continuing to grow over the next several years. He thanked the board for their support and said it was going to be a great year.

“I’m excited to be here,” Smith said. “It has been fantastic to be a part of the District since July 1. The first few days have been wonderful and I’ve gotten to work with some great people.”

• The Board approved two Board policy changes, updating the location of the School Board meetings to the Ignite Center at the high school and adding Smith as the District’s custodian of records. The District’s list of credit card holders was also updated to include Smith and other new District staff.

• The Board approved the 2020-2021 budget amendment and fund transfers to end the previous budget year Chief Financial Officer Terry Gibson said the changes were mostly due to COVID-19 activities related to purchasing supplies and the use of more substitute teachers. Gibson added that despite these changes, the District did come in under budget overall.

• The Board approved the Free and Reduced Price School Meal form, which will be sent to Jackson R-2 families. While all students will receive lunch and breakfast meals for free this coming school year due to a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program, families will still be asked to fill the form because some school funding is tied to free or reduced meal eligibility.

“Hopefully our parents will fill out the application,” said Dr. Keenan Kinder, associate superintendent of safety and district operations. “We have switched to totally online this year, making it an easier and smoother process.”

• Kinder announced that the construction at the high school’s “C” building, including a new roof and new windows, was completed. “We had a humongous rain over the weekend and we had no leaks,” Kinder said. “That’s the first time the ‘C’ building hasn’t had a leak in a while.”

Kinder said the construction at the junior high is currently scheduled to be completed by Aug. 1.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past four years. He can be reached at cbjedit@socket.net.

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