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(West Plains) – The West Plains R-7 Board of Education met Tuesday, February 21for their regular session meeting for the month.

After preliminary proceedings, the school board unanimously voted to approve the 2012-2013 calendar. The first day of school has been set for August 16, 2012 and the last day of school is set for May 16, 2013. The district calendar can be found online at

It was also announced that South Central Career Center Director Brenda Smith, a 29 year veteran of the West Plains School District with 33 years of teaching experience, will be retiring from her positon. Smith has most recently served as the Director of the South Central Career Center for the past 5 years. Prior to that, she served as the Assistant Director/Adult Coordinator for 5 years and as a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher for 19 years. She is currently a member of the West Plains City Council.

Mrs. Smith was asked to return in a part-time role as the Adult Coordinator for the 2012-13 school year and she has agreed to do so. Josh Cotter, the current Adult Coordinator, will be transferring within the district to fill needed administrative vacancies.

It was also announced at the meeting that Jim Laughary, current West Plains High School Principal, will be transferring at the end of this school year to fill the vacancy left by Brenda Smith. Laughary has worked closely with the South Central Career Center as principal in both the West Plains and Bakersfield school districts. Board members were pleased to hear Brenda Smith will be able to serve as his mentor during this transition since she will be returning in a part time role.

The next board meeting has been scheduled for March 27 at 5:30 PM.

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