Richmond Community Schools soon will begin the search for a board member after one is returning to work for the district.

Stacy Mopps, who served as RCS’ chief human resources officer from 2019-2021 after serving as a Test Intermediate School principal and science teacher, is returning to Central Office as a human resources officer as of Aug. 14. 

RCS’ board approved Mopps’ hiring as part of its personnel decisions at the July 26 meeting. Mopps abstained from the vote.

Mopps was elected in November 2022 for an at-large seat. Any resident of the RCS district at least 21 years old who has lived in the district for at least one year is eligible. Candidates can’t work for RCS or have a felony conviction that hasn’t been expunged.

RCS board members review applications and often conduct interviews before making these appointments. More information is forthcoming about applications.

A few district leadership positions are in transition. Resignations from Dawn Sonsini, newly appointed director of co-curricular/preschool after serving as assistant superintendent, Casey Dodd, district director of technology, and Patrick Crouch, Dennis Middle School’s assistant principal, were among those approved. Retirement for Glen Slifer, director of facilities, was approved at the board’s July 12 meeting.

Brent Baker, new director of student achievement, said the district is in “such a better place than last year” in terms of human resources. Fewer than five certified teaching positions were still open as of the meeting, but most of those positions had multiple applicants and the hiring process was underway.

Most open positions are extracurricular or coaching roles.

Mark Fowler, new chief of secondary education, said he’s been meeting with principals and he’s encouraged to hear them say that they see positive differences from last year in terms of staffing, momentum and moving their teams forward.

In other business

  • Each RCS student is eligible for a free breakfast and a student lunch this year.

    Board member Brad Walton said the combination of free meals and book fees is an “amazing opportunity” for families, and Aaron Stevens noted those offerings help provide equitable opportunities for all students.

    However, students must pay for additional food or beverages. The board approved an updated price list for some a la carte items that are mostly available at the high school.
  • The board approved a revised Richmond High School student handbook, which can be read on the board documents section of RCS’ website.
  • Agreements and memorandums of understanding were approved with several community partners, including YMCA for latchkey care, mental health services from Centerstone, site coordinators from Communities in Schools, and the fire and rescue course with Richmond Fire Department.

    Centerstone provides a wide range of mental health support, including seven master level therapists and 18 family support specialists who will be housed throughout RCS at the elementary, intermediate and high school levels.
  • The board approved a contract with Kevin Honeycutt, described as a well-known and respected speaker in education, to kick off the school year Aug. 4 with an inspirational message. He will be paid $8,000 plus travel expenses not to exceed $1,500.
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A version of this article appeared in the August 2 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.