Lutie hires six new teachers
Lutie School District has hired six new teachers for the upcoming school year. Principal Amy Lane told the Times these teachers have been awarded contracts to teach during the 2020-21 school year: Tara Lininger, second grade; Maggie Miller, fourth grade; Heath Treat, high school history; Lauren Weyrauch, K-12 art; Shelby McCoy, K-12 music; and Shelia Sullivan-Myers, K-12 special education.
Former Lutie teachers who resigned following the 2019-20 school year include Daniel Krigbaum, art; Brandon Snow, high school math; Sarah Tucker, second grade; Matthew Tucker, high school special education and music; Mende Thorn, high school history and French; and DeAnna Myers, high school English.
Lane said all positions at Lutie have been filled. Some longtime Lutie teachers will shift positions and subjects to fill vacancies for the upcoming year.
Tara Lininger, second grade
Tara Lininger, the district’s new second grade teacher, graduated from Ava High School in 2007. She attended Missouri State University-West Plains from 2007 through 2009 and then transferred to the Springfield campus, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education.
She is certified to teach physical education to students in elementary, middle and high school, and she is also certified to teach varied curriculum to elementary students in first through sixth grades.
Lininger taught physical education at the Plainview School District 2014-2017.
“I got students excited about moving and introduced them to new games,” she said.
In 2017, she transferred to the Ava school district as a Title 1 paraprofessional and held that job through the last school year.
“I pulled students who were reading below grade level from class for reading intervention. We used an amazing program and were able to help students read on grade level and helped quite a few read beyond their grade level,” she said.
Liniger said she and her husband Jason both have extensive family in Ozark County. “On my side, we’re related to the Friends. On my husband’s side, we’re related to the McConnaughys and Highs,” she said.
Tara and Jason, who have been in a relationship for 10 years and married for five years, live just outside of Ava with their German shepherd Kylo and their 4-year-old son, Jasper.
“Jasper’s outgoing, energetic and has a great sense of humor,” Tara said.
Maggie Miller, fourth grade
Maggie Miller, who will teach fourth grade, graduated from Conway High School in 2005. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in curriculum and development from Drury University in Spring-field.
She has been teaching since 2017.
She taught fourth grade in the Laclede County R-I School District in Conway and third grade in the Forsyth R-III School District. She also served as a paraprofessional in a special education classroom, which included students in kindergarten through fourth grade. She’s worked with the Taney County Children’s Division and with LinkAbility in Hollister, a non-profit organization that works with individuals who have developmental disabilities.
Miller currently lives in Merriam Woods, near Forsyth, and plans to make the daily commute to Lutie in the upcoming school year but hopes to move closer in the future.
She has no local relatives in Ozark County but says she is excited to get to know her students and the community.
Shelby McCoy, K-12 music
Shelby McCoy, who will be Lutie’s vocal music teacher for students in kindergarten through 12th grades, graduated from Mountain Grove High School in 2014. She attended college at Missouri State University-West Plains and later transferred to Missouri Southern State University in Joplin. She was actively involved in the MSSU choral department, the National Association for Music Education - collegiate chapter and the Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honors Society, and she also held leadership roles in those organizations. She graduated from Missouri Southern in December 2019 with a bachelor’s degree and a certificate in ensemble music performance. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in teaching from Missouri State University. This is her first year of teaching.
“I am so happy to teach at Lutie R-VI Schools, and I’m excited to serve the students and families of this community,” McCoy told the Times last week.
McCoy said she was raised in Wright County and doesn’t have strong local ties yet, “but I’m excited to get to know the people of Ozark County.”
McCoy currently lives in Mountain Grove with her parents, Scott and Lisa McCoy, and younger brother Garrett. Her dad works beef cattle on their family farm, and her mother is starting her 35th year as a kindergarten teacher at Mountain Grove Elementary School. The family also has three special pets, a Bullmastiff named Louise and two cats, KC and Clementine.
Lauren Weyrauch, K-12 art
Lauren Weyrauch will be the art teacher for students in kindergarten through 12th grades.
Weyrauch graduated from Ava High School in 2009. She earned an associate’s degree in general studies from MSU-WP and a Bachelor of Science in education with an emphasis on art education from MSU in 2015.
She has taught school for six years, five as a certified teacher and one year as an uncertified teacher at an alternative high school on the Standing Rock Reserva-tion in South Dakota.
After becoming a certified teacher, she transferred to a school in Minot, North Dakota, where she taught middle school and alternative high school art for three years. She then transferred to a school in Wellington, Kansas, where she taught art for the last two years.
Weyrauch and husband, John, have deep local ties to Ozark County.
“He attended Thornfield and then Ava. We only moved away after we were married,” she said.
Some of Weyrauch’s local relatives include her parents, Doy and Amy Porter of Ava. Her husband John’s grandparents are Nada Jo Weyrauch, of Ava and the late Thomas Weyrauch.
Lauren and John own part property off D Highway in Thornfield. They are in the process of moving to the farm with their two daughters, Miya Jayne, 3, and 6-month-old Sunnie Josephine.
“We’re excited to be moving to the Ozark County farm we purchased several years ago. It joins the rest of the Weyrauch farms in that area,” Lauren said. “It’s always been our dream to raise our kids down where John grew up, and we are so excited to have this chance.”
Heath Treat, Lutie high school history
Heath Treat, a lifelong resident of Ozark County, has been hired as Lutie High School’s history teacher.
Treat graduated from Gainesville High School in 2003 and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in history in 2013 from Drury University. He was awarded an American board teaching certificate for American and World History this year.
Treat has worked as a full-time bus driver, bus driver trainer, bus driver safety instructor and substitute teacher for the Gaines-ville school district since 2017. This will be his first year as a teacher.
Treat has a long and varied history of serving the community. He is currently serving his third year on the Hootin an Hollarin Committee and has served as an Ozark County election judge since 2011.
He is the son of longtime Ozark County residents Tim Treat and Brenda Warren.
Tim was employed for 18 years at Baxter International, known locally as Baxter Lab, in Mountain Home, Arkansas. He left his job at Baxter to start a career logging cedar full-time and later worked as a second mate for Ingram Barge Company.
Treat’s mother, Brenda Warren, also worked at Baxter Lab for a while. Her other employment included time at Hodgson Mill, Century Bank of the Ozarks and Giles and Kendall. Brenda and husband Sam Warren opened their own small business, Warren’s Mill, in October 2013. Brenda currently runs the office for Warren’s Mill and is a full-time bus driver for the Gainesville school district, a job she began doing with Heath in 2017. Brenda has also worked with Heath as a Jackson Precinct election judge at Rockbridge for the past three years. She attends Mammoth Assembly of God Church, where she is the praise and worship leader.
Treat’s maternal grandfather, the late Elbert White, and his grandmother, Maxine White, bought the former Standard Station at Highways 5 North and 160 in 1968. There, Elbert worked the store and Maxine waitressed in the cafe. They sold the station around 1972, and Elbert went to work at Bushong Market, where he worked in the store and drove the company truck. He also served as a substitute postal carrier for Fray Duggins. He was an avid raccoon hunter and enjoyed raising his coon hounds. Elbert was also a deacon at Calvary Baptist Temple, and he firmly believed, “The church has a duty to support the widows and the orphans, and if it wasn’t biblical, stay away from it.”
After selling the station, Maxine went to work at Joann’s Cafe and later worked in the pharmacy at Baker’s Drug Store for 10 years. Maxine also worked at Baxter Lab for 11 years, retiring at the age of 62 to take care of Elbert and her grandkids. She was a children’s Sunday school teacher at Calvary Baptist Temple for many years and now attends Mammoth Assembly of God with Brenda.
Treat’s paternal grandfather, Hubbard Treat, worked for the Arkansas National Forestry Service for many years. He also raised hogs and cattle. Hubbard sold vegetables from his garden at a roadside stand.
Heath’s paternal grandmother, Lola Treat, worked for the Big Flat/Tri-County School District in Arkansas as a lunch lady until the school closed in 1993. She then became a cook for the Big Flat Senior Center, a job she held until her death in 2004.
Heath’s Great-Grandpa Elmer High served as Ozark County Western District Judge (now a position titled commissioner) for several years in the 1960s.
Treat says he’s happy to have the opportunity to share his passion for history and current events with the students at Lutie.
“I’m excited to begin this new chapter, and I can only hope to be half the teacher my teachers were for me,” he said in a Facebook post announcing his new position.
Sheila Sullivan-Myers, special education
Sheila Sullivan-Myers, who will be known as Ms. Sullivan to her students, is joining the Lutie faculty team for the upcoming year as a special education teacher for students in grades kindergarten through twelfth grades.
She graduated from Iron County C-4 High School in Viburnum. She holds an associate of arts degree from Mineral Area College, a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from Central Methodist Univeristy, a bachelor of science degree in special education from University of Central Arkansas. She also has been completing master's level coursework in educational technology from Southwest Baptist University.
Sullivan has been teaching school for 25 years in a range of positions throughout the years.
"I have taught everything from kindergarten to boys PE at some point in my career, but most of my teaching has been in special education," she told the Times.
She has taught in schools in Manes, Houston, Branson and Taneyville. For the last 12 years, she's been employed as a teacher at Forsyth School District.
Sullivan says she lives in a small community between Forsyth and Branson. She has one grown child, Joe, who is the father to her grandson 6-year-old Sam. She also has a 16-year-old daughter who is a junior at Forsyth High School.
Sullivan says most of her family lives in Taney County.
"I lost my dad several years ago, but I am still blessed to have my momma" she said. "I also have two brothers, one sister and my pride-and-joy, nine great nephews - who call me Sheesha!"
Sullivan says she is excited to join the Lutie school district this year.
"I love being a teacher, and I feel like special education is my calling. When I decided to make a change this year, as scary as that was, I stepped out in faith knowing God would lead me where he wanted me to be. The path, through a little winding, brought me firmly to Lutie, and I couldn't be more excited to be a Lutie Indian."