School Board disappointed, must work with state
By Matt Echelberry
Galion Board of Education held its monthly meeting on Nov. 8. It was the first meeting following the election, in which the tax levy for the district failed by a landslide.
Superintendent Kathy Jenney said she was disappointed by the failure of the levy. Now the district will submit a financial plan to the state, and members of the state auditor’s office were at the school campus earlier that day to go over the process.
Another levy will appear on the ballot for the primary election in May of 2013 (the district is required by the state to do this to see if more local dollars can be brought in, otherwise the state may have to step in to help cut costs). Jenney asked the Board if the levy should be changed or kept the same as the one that failed.
Treasurer Terri Day noted that, due to the new property valuations from the County Auditor’s office, an 8 mill levy may not be enough. Board members decided to request more information from the auditor so they could make an informed decision on how many mills the district needs.
If the levy does pass, no collections will be made in 2013.
Before the meeting’s regular business, the golf team was recognized for qualifying for the Northwest District Golf Tournament: Connor Campbell, Evan Huggins (alternate), Clayton Kendall, Eric Powell, Spencer Reynolds and Seth VanDine.
Head Coach Bryce Lehman, who was at the meeting, said the team placed second in the NCC and finished the season with a record of 10–2.
Day offered her financial report for October 2012. She explained that, overall, the month’s expenditures exceeded revenues.
In superintendent updates, Jenney reminded Board members there will be a special work session on Nov. 29, where they will set goals and prioritize initiatives for the district.
In other reports, minimum wage increases 15 cents ($7.85) in January of 2013. Jenney said the Board will need to approve the increase at the December meeting. It will also need to consider if other pay levels should increase as well.
Dr. Sandy Powell, director of curriculum, explained a new factor that the Ohio Department of Education is using to rate school districts called Combined Percentile Rankings. CPR’s will be used to determine the level of financial support each school will receive. According to Powell, Galion City Schools currently receive medium support.
Board President Dennis Long brought up another item of business: Hosting community meetings on a routine basis. He said he felt there is a need for more communication between the administration and the community. His idea was to hold informal, open discussions about every other month, where anyone would be welcome to attend and comment or ask questions, and representatives of City government as well as state legislators could be invited to participate too.
“There’s a lot of good stuff going on in the schools, we have to get it out there,” Long added.
In superintendent recommendations, the Board approved the employment of Nancy Rolsten as a tutor at St. Joseph’s School, funded by Title 1 funds and Auxiliary Service Personnel Funding; approved Amy Johnson to conduct speech/language screenings for students at St. Joseph’s School, paid from IDEA-B Federal Grant money; and approved Cheri’ Laughbaum as fall drama advisor.
The Board also approved the employment of two new cooks and several substitute personnel, as well as extra-duty assignments (see box). It also accepted the resignation of technician Jon Haas.
The Board approved the first reading for an addition to the curriculum called “21st Century Skills,” and changes to math intervention/enrichment for grade 5. There will be a set of 21st Century Skills for students in grades 3–5, as well as a set for grades 6–8.
Powell explained that soft skills such as leadership, listening skills and public speaking are incorporated into the new policy.
The final item the Board approved was a transportation agreement for eligible students to Mansfield St. Peter and the Richland Academy of Arts. The costs will be split between Galion, Colonel Crawford and Crestline school districts.
The Board then entered into executive session to consider the appointment, employment, dismissal, discipline, promotion, demotion or compensation of a public employee, with no further action to be taken.
It’s next regular meeting is Dec. 12 at 6:30 p.m., in the Middle School computer lab.
The following extra-duty assignments were approved by the Board of Education:
Colby Bright — JV Boys Basketball Coach
Jordan Hatcher — 8th Grade Boys Basketball Coach
Chris Hatcher — 7th Grade Boys Basketball Coach
Michelle Harmon — H.S. Winter Cheerleading Co-Advisor
Jena Opperman — Head Softball Coach
Josh Barnett — Middle School Wrestling Coach
Ted Maglio — Freshman Boys Basketball Coach