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Marquette Messenger

The news site of Marquette High School

Marquette Messenger

The news site of Marquette High School

Marquette Messenger

MHS students should expect a change in lunch schedules for the 24-25 school year. Next year, instead of four lunch shifts, there will be three. “I like the three lunch shift idea because on A-Days there is such an imbalance of classes and we always end up doing something in fourth hour that the other classes don’t get to,” Sen said.
MHS Alters 24-25 Lunch Shift Schedule
Aubrey Lacavich and Claire LowderApril 19, 2024

MHS alters 24-25 lunch shift schedule Students should expect a change in lunch schedules for the 2024-2025 school year: instead of four lunch...

Celebration of Life Held for Student Soren Roeseler
Celebration of Life Held for Student Soren Roeseler
Elliott Jorgensen, Associate Producer • April 18, 2024

On Wednesday, April 17, a Celebration of Life was held for Senior Soren Roeseler. Fire effect: "https://www.vecteezy.com/free-videos/grill"...

MHSNews | Science Bowl Team Buzzes Competition
MHSNews | Science Bowl Team Buzzes Competition
Jack Favazza, Executive Producer • April 15, 2024

The Science Bowl team recently qualified for the national championship after winning the Missouri regional competition. The team, sponsored by...

After Spring Break, mirrors in MHS bathrooms were moved or removed. This is a way to protect students privacy since bathroom doors are now being propped open, Freshman Principal Kyle Devine said.
Bathroom Mirror Removal Frustrates Students
Morgan Siegel and Samantha PerzApril 11, 2024

Racquel Borland, sophomore, wakes up at 5:30 a.m. every morning to begin getting ready for school before she leaves to catch her bus at 6:40...

Staff Concerned About Support-Staff Shortages

50 teachers attended a February Board of Education meeting wearing red to demonstrate their frustration over continued support-staff shortages
Teachers+associated+with+RNEA+attend+the+Board+of+Education+meeting+on+Thursday%2C+Feb.+22%2C+to+emphasize+need+for+more+support+staff+in+the+district.+
Media by Willem Hummel
Teachers associated with RNEA attend the Board of Education meeting on Thursday, Feb. 22, to emphasize need for more support staff in the district.

Laura Fanaei, art teacher at Kehrs Mill Elementary, spends on average two hours to clean her classroom and so far $300 out of pocket on cleaning supplies.
“I cry on the way home because I am just exhausted and overwhelmed,” Fanaei said. “And I would like to spend some time with my family too because I have two kids at home who need me as well.”
Fanaei said there are parts of her curriculum she is unable to teach because the projects would require too much cleaning such as a plaster project.
“I realized just from that one project, I was going to have to go ask for a mop because my countertops; there is no one to clean them,” she said.
Fanaei and approximately 50 other teachers associated with the Rockwood National Education Association (RNEA) appeared at the board meeting on Thursday, Feb. 22, to bring attention to the support staff shortage.

“We are not getting acknowledged. They are not even saying thank you for picking up the slack, which we have been doing since September. We want to feel valued and respected.”

— Laura Fanaei

“We are not getting acknowledged. They are not even saying thank you for picking up the slack, which we have been doing since September,” Fanaei said. “We want to feel valued and respected.”
Tim Abney, high school director on the RNEA executive board, said teachers went to the meeting to show that more needs to be done.
“We want the board to know that we consider this an important issue, that we can not go on indefinitely understaffed in all these key areas,” Abney said. “Are we actively recruiting? Is there more we could do to reach out to people who might otherwise not know we are looking for staff in various areas? I am not interested in assigning blame so much as saying, ‘are there other avenues we can explore?’”
Abney said he first noticed this shortage during the COVID-19 pandemic and  said staff from District Food Services have even gone into the school cafeteria to fill in. MHS is currently short seven lunch service staff.

“We want the board to know that we consider this an important issue, that we can not go on indefinitely understaffed in all these key areas. Are we actively recruiting? Is there more we could do to reach out to people who might otherwise not know we are looking for staff in various areas? I am not interested in assigning blame so much as saying, ‘are there other avenues we can explore?’”

— Tim Abney

Custodial staff members are coming in on the weekends trying to finish the job that they simply can not do during the regular work week,” Abney said.
Jaime Bayes, board president, said the board’s role is strictly governance, in that they approve the hiring of employees, but recruitment and advertising is done through the communications department and human resources.
“There is some research going on among the communications department into whether or not radio or television ads would be beneficial,” Bayes said. “There is a group effort of filling in those gaps, and we know in the board that that is tiresome, but we also know a lot is being done to fill those positions in every way possible.”
Bayes said this is not a permanent fix to the problem by any means.
“Everyone is trying to find temporary solutions to what we hope is not a long-term problem, but we don’t necessarily know,” Bayes said. “We have a nice employee incentive of $1,500, that if our current employees help recruit and retain some staff to fill these positions, they receive that one-time incentive.”
Bayes said she has always appreciated everything staff members do for students.
“I understand their fatigue and frustration,” Bayes said. “I am not sure what else to say other than we greatly, greatly appreciate everything they are all doing.”
Stacy Neely, human resources coordinator, said there are initiatives in place to try to address under staffing like recruiting students, utilizing social media, going to job fairs and offering a referral program.

Harris Ellington

Neely said the job market is far smaller than in the past, but the district has a robust benefits plan and has made efforts to retain staff already employed by giving snow day benefits and increasing paid holidays. She said district wages are above the mid range of wages in the area. Increasing wages depends on the budget.
“We are a public entity so our revenue is very defined,” Neely said. “We are funded by taxes and state departments.”
Thomas Cook, RNEA president, said he keeps in touch with other district NEA presidents, and Parkway has reported similar problems with custodial staffing shortages.
“I recognize that no one has a magic wand, and it’s not going to be fixed overnight, but teachers just want to feel heard,” Cook said. “They want the district to recognize the issue.”
Cook said his role as RNEA president and motive for appearing at the school board meeting is to make sure the administration and the school board know how teachers feel and how teachers are impacted by the issue.
“Teachers are worried about what next year is going to look like,” Cook said. “Of course they are always willing to help out in emergencies, but they don’t want them cleaning their own classrooms to be the permanent solution.”

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About the Contributor
Willem Hummel
Willem Hummel, Co-News Editor
Willem Hummel, Senior is a News Editor for the Marquette Messenger. This is his third year on staff, he has been involved in the Track Team, and Cross Country team for four seasons and Wrestling team for one season. He also has been playing Trombone for Marquette in Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble.
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  • F.B.Apr 19, 2024 at 1:39 PM

    I’m glad I stumbled upon this article. The topics included in this article show the perspective of teachers and their struggles with teaching, during a time when pay is small and teachers feel unheard.

    Reply