Galion Board welcomes new member, tackles large agenda at first meeting

January 14, 2014

Matt Echelberry

The Galion Board of Education held back-to-back meetings on Jan. 14, in order to conduct beginning of the year organization and regular business.

First Heath Watkins, new to the Board this year, and incumbent Jennifer Kuns were sworn in. Returning members are Dennis Long, Brian Owens and Bob Zeisler. Long and Kuns retained their positions of board president and vice president, respectively.

After several other organizational items, a public hearing was held for the 2014-2015 school calendar and then approved as a first reading. Superintendent Mark Stefanik noted some major changes with the calendar.

Effective July 1, 2014, a new state law shifts the tracking of the school year from days to hours. Also, there will no longer be Calamity Days. Instead, schools must make up any hours missed due to a closing, in order to meet the minimum required hours.

Stefanik informed the Board that the minimum requirement is 1,001 hours, and about 1,180 were built into the district calendar. “We should be fine unless we have the worst winter in the history of Ohio,” he joked.

The regular meeting opened with the administration entering a 90-minute executive session, for an Audit Conference with representatives from the State Auditor’s office. A final audit report will not be available to the public until later this spring.

Treasurer Terri Day gave a financial report of the General Fund for December 2013. The total revenue was $1,032,463. Foundation money consisted of $907,128 of that and open enrollment revenue was $85,938, but Day noted the state is still adjusting the formula.

Monthly expenditures were $1,351,522. Payroll consisted of $583,570 of the expenditures and purchased services was the next highest category at $375,974 (includes utilities, professional services and maintenance).

Expenditures for the month were $319,059 over revenues. Day showed a graph comparing it to December of 2012. “It’s very similar to this time last year,” Day concluded. “But we’re on target for where we should be.”

It was also an evening for recognitions. The 2013 Varsity Football Team was recognized for its achievement as North Central Conference Champion. No one representing the team was in attendance, but Stefanik praised them anyway.

“This is the second year in a row the Tigers have claimed this honor,” he noted. He also read the certificate each player and coach will receive, which congratulates them for “an outstanding performance” and commends them for “the honor you have brought to the school and the sportsmanship you have exemplified.”

Art teacher Linda Wilson was also recognized. In November, she was honored as the 2013 Ohio Art Education Association’s Outstanding Art Teacher for the North Central Region. Wilson was also unable to attend the meeting, but Stefanik said she would be presented with the certificate in front of one of her art classes.

January is School Board Recognition Month, so each Board member was also presented with a certificate.

Superintendent recommendations

The Board approved Krista McKibben to teach dual enrollment classes (advanced math and calculus) in cooperation with North Central State College. The resignation of Josh Riggle as a member of the District Leadership Team and Building Leadership Team was accepted.

The Board approved Matthew Clum as co-assistant varsity wrestling coach, Kyle Burris as middle school wrestling co-coach and Sara Lutz as a home instruction tutor.

A contract with Apex Learning was approved. Dr. Sandy Powell, director of curriculum, explained this is a digital program for credit recovery at the high school. The district is doing a pilot program this semester paid through Title I grant funds, then the administration will revisit credit recovery options this summer.

The following committee appointments were established:

Legislative Liaison – Dennis Long

Delegate and Alternate to the Ohio School Boards Association Annual Conference – Jennifer Kuns (Bob Zeisler alternate)

Student Achievement Liaison – Jennifer Kuns

Galion Area Betterment Commission – Heath Watkins

Pioneer Career Technology Center School Board – Dennis Long

GEA Labor Relations Committee – Bob Zeisler and Brian Owens

OAPSE Labor Relations Committee – Jennifer Kuns and Dennis Long

Galion Advisory Group for Education – inactive

Audit Committee – Jennifer Kuns (Bob Zeisler alternate)

The Board of Education 2014 meeting dates were set for the third Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. (see box).

Special meeting dates were also set for Feb. 6, April 10, Aug. 7 and Oct. 2. All begin at 6:30 p.m. A records commission meeting will be held Feb. 20 at 6 p.m.