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Shady Elementary to close


Johnson County School Board members vote 3-2 to close Shady Valley Elementary at the September board meeting. Photo by Meg Dickens.

By Meg Dickens

The Shady Valley community’s fight to re-establish Shady Valley Elementary as a PreK-6 grade school has come to a head. Previous discussions left the elementary school in danger of closure. The Johnson County School Board met at Heritage Hall Theatre at 6 PM on Thursday, September 12 to discuss the school’s future and voted 3 to 2 to close the school after the 2019-2020 school year.

“Twelve years, I’ve been dreading this vote,” Vice Chairman Kevin Long choked out through tears.

Emotions ran high. Many attendees, including board members, shed tears after the decision. Multiple Shady advocates pled their case and many more declared that this was not over.

“It’s suicide for a temporary problem. You can’t kill this school. Not yet. I won’t let you. I’ll go to Jason Mumpower, Ron Ramsey, and whoever I need to. I’m going to save this school,” said Christopher Mahala. “You all can make whatever decision you want. It’s not the final decision, and I’m not going to accept it as the final decision. We have time, and we can do something.”

Any Shady locals with interest in the building can present proposals during a called meeting in January. The specific date has not been set. Other local schools will absorb Shady faculty and staff. Director of Schools Mischelle Simcox will be in touch with Shady parents to discuss their child’s options. See more details in the Wednesday, September 18 edition of the Tomahawk.