Van Buren Community Members, 

I hope everyone is having a great start to their summer! My family is in the height of summer with travel baseball, family barbecues, river days and enjoying the outdoor amenities here in the Ozarks. At Van Buren R-1, we are staying busy to ensure we have a successful start to the 2021-2022 school year which will officially begin on Wednesday, August 25. We will have additional back to school information posted at a later date.  

We recently wrapped up summer school and were excited to see an increase in enrollment from previous years. We hope our students found it a fun way to start the summer. Thank you to the staff that gave up a few weeks of their summer break to make it a fun and enriching experience for our kids.

Our school’s Beta Club recently returned from Orlando, Florida from the BETA National Convention. We had two students who placed in that national competition: Lauren Pool placed 6th in photography and Trevor Cravens placed 10th in woodworking. Congratulations on your success! 

We have also had many athletic activities on campus from basketball shootouts to early morning cross country runs. Coach Peyton Padovono and the cross country team recently completed the “Skyline Challenge” which made a 9 mile loop starting at Big Spring, running up Peavine Rd to Skyline Drive and back down Hwy 103 to the starting point at Big Spring. This event has a lot of potential to be a tradition for Van Buren Cross Country and will help our already successful Cross Country team be ready to compete this fall.

Coach Hogland will be hosting a youth baseball camp for ages 7-11 from 9:00 am - Noon the week of July 12. For more information, contact Coach Hoagland. 

The Board of Education has also been busy this summer working with myself and our administration team to begin looking at long term planning for campus capital projects. On June 9th, VBR-1 held a special board meeting to approve asphalt bids for our campus. We will be overlaying and resealing our parking lots mid July. The Van Buren R-1 Board of education has also approved the bid process for replacing the roof on “The Pitt.” Other potential upgrades in the future to this building are lighting, ceilings, and HVAC units. 

Our grounds and custodian crews have also been very busy stripping and waxing floors, mowing grass, and detailing the inside of buildings. The 4-6 grade hallway is receiving minor facelift with new lighting and flooring in the hallway and a few classrooms. 

Several months ago, Mr. Roger Sisler and myself completed the DERA admissions grant towards the purchase of a new school bus. That grant of $22,500 was awarded to the district. The Board of Education has approved the purchase of a new school bus which has been ordered and should arrive prior to school starting.  

On June 23, the Board of Education approved the proposed budget for the 2021-22 school year. Due to conservative fiscal spending along with increase in revenues and grants, I’m pleased to report that the Van Buren R-1 school district is in great fiscal standing. We want to continue the conservative management of the budget and long term planning so that we stay financially sound for years to come. 

On a personal note, my family and I just returned from Utah and Colorado. We took our children to see the Rocky Mountains and just a few of our country’s beautiful national parks. Finishing my first year of superintendency through what most would consider a crazy year, it was nice to turn my phone off, reset and spend quality time with my family. After spending time away and reflecting on this past year, it has reminded me of how blessed I am to live in such a beautiful place and most importantly, be part of the Bulldog family.

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend. Thank you to our local veterans and active military personnel for their service and allowing us to freely celebrate the July 4th holiday.

If you ever have questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at the Van Buren Central office. Our summer hours are 8-3, Monday through Friday. Have a great second half of your summer! 

Dr. Clay LaRue
Superintendent of Schools
Van Buren R-1 School District 
Phone: (573) 323-4295 ext. 7