Mt. Gilead Schools to invest in new technology plan
By LeAnne Gompf -
Mount Gilead schools will be making a major investment in technology to replace a system they believe is outdated.
The board of education voted to accept phase one of the technology plan, as presented by Ryan Curtis at their November board meeting.
The mission of the technology department is ‘to provide a stable, reliable and up to date infrastructure in which to support and enrich the education of students in the district.’ The board says the current infrastructure is flawed and cannot begin to accommodate the growing needs of the district.
The cost of implementation for the overall technology plan will be approximately $150,000 — 180,000, according to district treasurer, Trevor Gummere. The majority of the cost expended will be to rebuild and make current the server infrastructure, which provides the foundation for all computers and network systems throughout the district. The approved replacement plan for the district’s server infrastructure will replace “standalone” servers with a virtualized server farm.
According to the proposal, “A virtualized server infrastructure will maximize hardware utilization; provide redundancy and real time resource allocation. The resultant system will have a much higher level of scalability.”
The district will replace all standalone servers with three Dell PowerEdge R620 servers and begin using VMware software. This software allows the servers to virtually host embedded server software. The cost of the new software comes with a three-year maintenance plan. The cost of implementing phase two was not discussed or approved at the November meeting but includes a consultant to assist with the implementation of the new system; Citrix licenses and lab computers; and monitoring software. According to the Technology Plan virtualization delivers a more uniform and reliable student experience. For more information on the technology plan you may access the proposal which can be found in its entirety on the school’s website.
The board of education also gave ample meeting time to Transportation Supervisor, Brenda Legros for her presentation and recognition of winners during the fall bus safety program which was October 22-26th. She presented a short video that highlighted events held in promoting bus safety and then introduced first year bus driver, Stephanie Park.
Stephanie started by telling the board that as new driver she thinks she is more aware of what is happening around her in an effort to protect the students she transports on her route.
“I have a new respect for bus drivers now,” she said. “I know more and see more that I did as a casual driver. People are impatient and the ‘common’ behavior of the average driver threatens the safety of our students. As part of the bus safety week I wanted to make the community more aware of what we do to protect their children.”
As a result, the transportation department created an awareness program, which included students in all grade levels. The theme for Bus Safety week was “I see the driver and the driver sees me.” The elementary students participated in a safety drawing competition. The winners were treated to a pizza party with their principal.
Winners were Kindergarten were Kimberely Staley and Cody Baer; 1st Grade — Levi Lawhorn and Elijah Chafin; 2nd grade – Colt Hedrick and Maddison Hursey; 3rd grade – Nancy Linn and Jason Linn; 4th grade – Jackie Morhart and Autumn Reeves; and 5th grade – Danika Powers and Macy Atherton.
At the middle school level held a locker poster contest. The entries were judged and awards presented to the winners during the board meeting. Winners in this division were; 1st place Carolyn Wayne, 4 tickets to Fort Rapids; 2nd place Tyler Clark, $50 cash from James Madison Insurance and 3rd place Heather Emberg, 4 tickets to Splatter Park from Dale Doty of D and D Lawn Care.
The high school students participated by writing essays. Sophia Friesen wrote the winning essay. In part she stated, “When you see the warning lights blinking… do you stop like a responsible citizen or go straight through? There aren’t any kids around anyways. Countless drivers must make this choice everyday. Many of them stop. Others take their chances and pass through with no consequences. We must do whatever is necessary to prevent these most definitely preventable accidents.”
For her winning essay she received $100 cash from James Madison Insurance. Brianna Snow, who won 4 tickets to Fort Rapids, wrote the second place essay; 3rd place was Tim Williamson, winning a sports bag from Embroidery Warehouse and 1 year membership to the Morrow County Community Center and 4th place was Taylor Whitt, who won 3 tickets to Splatter Park from Dale Doty of D and D Lawn Care.
During administrators’ comments, High School Principal Debra Clauss recognized long-time announcer and “voice” for the district’s football games and school board member Keith Rogers with a lifetime pass for all MOAC for his continued support and commitment to the district’s athletic programs.
In further board business, the board approved the employment of the following individuals; Melissa Barnhart, Home Instruction Tutor; Mark Boone and Charlene Niner, Substitute Teachers; Mike Wilson, Full-time Bus Driver. Supplemental contracts were awarded to Mike Blanton, Middle School Wrestling Volunteer; Susan Delaney, Auxillary Services; Tom Faux and Ben Saunders, High School Wrestling Volunteer; Gerry Harttman, Girl’s JV Basketball Coach. Resignation was accepted for Dianna Stevens, full Time Bus Driver and Robyn Meinking, Girl’s Varsity Basketball Coach; and leave without pay was approved for Lisa Ramsey for Friday, January 18, 2012.
Due to the recent storm, hurricane Sandy, the Middle School trip to Washington, DC had been postponed and was approved fro November 27th – November 30th. Additionally an overnight trip was approved for the Spanish students for their trip to Spain in April of 2014.
Superintendent Jeff Thompson recommended (and were approved by the board) the following items of interest; MG District Administrative Fringe Benefits package which will have all administrators responsible for any increased cost they may incur with regard to health care; administrative salaries effective January 1, 2013; cafeteria supervisor salary effective January 1, 2012 and the job description for the Director of Operations. This position will be a redistribution of assignments by employees currently in the system and will not be an additional cost to the district.
The next board meeting will be Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 7:00 pm in the board of education office. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.