Board president resigns at March Highland BOE meeting
By Randa Wagner …
The Highland Board of Education went into executive session immediately after their March 14 meeting began and, when they resumed proceedings, Supt. Dr. Bill Dodds announced Board President Dave Gleason’s resignation. No reason was given for the action, and Board Vice President Eric Thacker was designated as acting president until a replacement could be appointed in 10–30 days. Dodds said a vote on the new appointment selected by board members will be taken at the next regular board meeting.
Eric Thacker offered a few words regarding Gleason’s resignation.
“We will miss Dave,” Thacker said, noting Gleason’s ‘long-term dedication to the kids, athletic association, HYO and to the board.’ “We’ll miss his dialogue and we wish him the best.”
During public participation, Food Director Debbie Hart shared upcoming changes in the food service department.
“There have been many changes in the menu,” she explained, “especially the ala carte items and beverage sales — due to the Ohio Senate Bill 210 (Healthy Choices for Healthy Children Act), which set down new nutritional standards. Basically, it says the elementary and middle school can sell only 100 percent fruit juice, milk and water. The high school has a few other options.”
A nutrition education webpage now appears on the Highland Schools website.
She said session 205 of the reauthorization act deals with equity in school lunch pricing.
“The intent of that is to insure that sufficient funds are provided for the food service account for paid lunches,” Hart said. “This requires schools to raise their lunch prices whether we want to or not, to stay in compliance. Highland has not had an increase in lunch prices since 2008–2009 school year.”
Hart recommended to the board they consider a 25 cent increase for the 2012–2013 school year ‘due to the formula to help us be in compliance.’
“If you don’t raise it a quarter, you’ll have to raise it ten cents every year to be in compliance, and I’d rather do it once than three years in a row,” she explained. “Hopefully that will be sufficient for three years.”
A decision did not have to be made at this board meeting, so the board will review the issue and vote on it before next school year.
Hart plans to send a letter out to the community explaining the reason for the increase.
Also during public participation, Chris Miller addressed the board, asking to conduct a study within the high school and middle school to determine the level of interest in a fall sports soccer program.
“What I’m requesting is three days during the week to gauge the interest in eight through eleventh graders, then report back to the board if there’s a high enough level of interest to go to the next step of building a team at the school,” Miller said.
Thacker said Mr. Dodds would get in touch with Miller to establish a time and date to obtain the information.
Enoch Adkins addressed the board concerning schoolchildren who are picked up at the former Highland West Building in Marengo.
“When Tri-State Youth Academy takes over the Marengo school, where will those students be picked up?” Adkins asked.
“We haven’t talked about that but if Tri-State moves into that building, there would not be a problem,” Mr. Dodds said.
“But you’ve got troubled students in that building,” Adkins said. “You’ve got young grade school kids hanging around waiting on the bus.”
“We have not had that discussion,” Dodds responded. “I was not aware that Tri-State was going to occupy [that building].”
Board member Galen Chapman reported he attended the opiate education program held at Highland High School and was impressed by the attendance, information presented and representation by law enforcement and public officials.
Supt. Dodds recognized two students for their recent achievements. Fourth grade student Madeline Lyon competed against 30 fourth and fifth grade students to become the Highland Elementary Spelling Bee Champion. Also recognized was Brandon Sipe, for qualifying for the state spelling bee.
Employee of the month Mickey Walker was not present will receive his award at the next meeting.
On March 22 there will be a public meeting about the Utica Shale and becoming a member of the Morrow County Landowners Association.
On March 20 the Mt. Vernon News All-Star game will be held in the gym.
The annual FFA banquet was to be held at the high school March 15.
Treasurer Jon Mason gave an update on the school’s wind project.
“It’s progressing slowly,” he said. “We’re still in the document phase, equipment is ordered and we’re working through the details and the financing.”
Elementary Principal Shawn Winkelfoos reported they kicked off their Scot Pride Reward program for grades 3 – 5. Mrs. Mosher and Mrs. Rinehart are starting a Pennies for Patients Fundraiser, part of the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society, with a goal to raise $900, which is approximately a dollar per student. A ‘Dollars and Sense’ assembly was scheduled for March 19 for students, and the school is preparing for Ohio Achievement Assessments.
Middle School Principal Rob Terrill said they started Scot Pride Reward program (held Tuesdays and Thursdays after school) about two weeks ago. He said about a hundred students were invited to participate in that, and expressed a ‘huge thank you’ to the bus drivers, who load up the students on the elementary buses.
“This is about the fifth year we’ve done it and it allows out students to get extra help as we gear up for the Ohio Achievement Assessments,” Terrill noted. “We’re doing our NWA online assessment testing of students starting next week. We use the data from the first three nine-weeks to measure growth and to assess how we can help our students on the achievement test.”
He also commented the school has a good turnout of students for middle school track.
The board accepted the resignations of High School Social Studies teacher Jennifer Appelfeller; Elementary Physical Education Instructor Susan Byler; Educational Assistant Marci Hammond; and Administrative Assistant Madolyn Moreland.
The board approved a return from parental leave for Jennifer Hooper. Board members declined a leave of absence for Elementary Intervention Specialist Erin Porter. Supplemental contracts were approved for track assistants Caleb Duncan and Scott Pauley. Sarah Whitford was employed as a High School Agricultural Educator and Michelle Hull was employed as an Educational Assistant.
The board approved an amendment to their Retire/Rehire contract, namely:
1. The Board may elect to hire Highland teachers who are retired under the State Teachers Retirement System. Such teachers shall be granted a one year limited contract only, which shall be automatically non-renewed, without following the evaluation process, further Board action or notice to the teacher. If the Board intends to rehire said employee in same position for additional year(s), posting of the position will not be necessary.
2. Retired teachers shall be placed in the BACHELOR column at STEP 4 on the teachers’ salary schedule. If rehired for a second or subsequent year, they shall remain in the BACHELOR COLUMN at STEP 4.
3. Teachers hired under this section shall be eligible for all insurance benefits provided in Article IX C.
4. Teachers hired under this section shall not accrue seniority nor retain credit for seniority previously accumulated, and in the event of a reduction in force shall be deemed the least senior in their areas of licensure. Rehired teachers shall begin with a zero sick leave balance.
5. Teachers hired under this section shall be members of the teachers’ bargaining unit and shall be governed by and eligible for all benefits provided in the Agreement, except the following provisions shall not apply to retired/rehired teachers:
Sequence of Contracts, paragraphs A — I
Evaluation • Additional College Training • Leave of Absence
Unpaid Leave of Absence for Professional Reasons
Professional Leave for College Entrance Exams
Assignment of Displaced Certified Employees
National Board Certification
Nonrenewal of Limited Contracts
Salary and Supplementals, except Section D
Not eligible for employee sick bank
It is expressly agreed that any statutory rights which are comparable to those provisions listed in this paragraph which have been made inapplicable to retired/rehired teachers are also specifically superseded by this section.
SECTION 2. That this Memorandum of Understanding expressly supersedes all statutory provisions inconsistent with its terms under authority of R.C. 4117.1 O(A).
SECTION 3. That in all other respects, the Agreement between the parties shall remain in full force and effect in accordance with its terms.
The board approved a contract with Cardington-Lincoln Schools to share the services of the Food Service Director.
The next regular Highland School Board meeting will be held April 11 at 7 p.m. in the high school cafetorium.