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‘The Leader in Me’ to be implemented

Examiner Staff Writer

Site completion bid awarded

Principals from three Bellefontaine City School District buildings presented information at Monday evening’s board of education meeting about a grant program being implemented at their respective schools that encourages children to practice positive leadership traits.

Also during the meeting, members accepted a low bid of $1,160,650 received from R.D. Jones Excavating Inc. of Harrod for the site completion package at the school construction site along Ludlow Road.

The site completion package includes installing landscaping, sidewalks and other finishing work for the district’s new elementary school and middle school.

R.D. Jones Excavating previously was selected as the pre-site work contractor for the Ohio School Facilities Commission project and also was contracted to complete intersection updates at Ludlow Road and Lake Avenue to make way for the new schools.

Relating to the new grant program, the Bellefontaine buildings were selected among the 60 grant recipients in the U.S. for “The Leader In Me” initiative through the Steven Covey Institute.

Together, Northeastern and Southeastern elementary schools will share a $55,000 grant, while Western Intermediate School received a grant totaling $49,211.

The program curriculum is based upon the books The Leader In Me by Steven R. Covey and 7 Habits of Happy Kids by Sean Covey, and emphasizes concepts such as the importance of being proactive, forming a plan and goals, prioritizing, and synergy, or “working together is better.”

Staff members at each of the buildings went through training during the summer to prepare for the five-year commitment to the program.

Interest in the project began several years ago, when Northeastern Elementary School Principal Krista Adelsberger first went through training. She then helped to implement the program in a classroom at her school.

Mrs. Adelsberger said her students in the program were met with much success, so she recommended the leadership initiative as one to be implemented in each classroom at her building and also at other schools. 

“It seemed to me like it really had something positive to bring to our schools,” she said.

As far as measuring the impact of the program, staff members will be tracking discipline referrals, test scores, attendance rates and survey results over the next several years.

In other action, the board:

• approved the following appointments: Sara Metzler, Kim Rister and Connie Rose, food service; and Darin Vermillion, educational aide;

• approved a change in time status for Tami Johns, food service, to three hours per day; and

• approved the non-resident monthly tuition rate of $328.62 for grades kindergarten through 12.

The next meeting is 6:30 p.m. Monday at the board office.


Appropriations slightly more than last year

Examiner Staff Writer

Levy committee chairman named

Indian Lake school board members at a regular meeting Monday approved total appropriations for fiscal year 2013, a treasurer for their levy committee and heard from a registered district voter skeptical about the upcoming ballot issue.

Total spending allocations for this fiscal year total $22.3 million, Treasurer Coleen Reprogle said.

“This is a slight decrease of about 1 percent over last year’s expenditures due to reductions in staff through attrition, wage and benefit concessions by the staff, and receiving fewer federal funds,” Mrs. Reprogle said.

General fund appropriations for the year are $15.9 million, which represents less than a 1 percent increase over last year.

“This slight increase is due to projected market-driven costs such as utilities, gas and maintenance costs,” Mrs. Reprogle said, “the cost of which we can’t control.”

Gabe Wickline, a 1997 graduate of Indian Lake High School, was approved by the board to serve as treasurer of the committee tasked with generating community support for the 7.35 mills levy the district seeks to get passed Nov. 6.

The name of the committee is Citizens for Indian Lake Schools, Superintendent Pat O’Donnell  said, adding the group’s motto is: “The future is now.”

Resident Mike George, of Huntsville, addressed the board with his concerns about the need for the levy. Armed with stapled packets of information regarding current levy rates still on the books and administrator’s salary information from the Ohio Department of Education, Mr. George said he believes the community already adequately supports its school financially and hinted that school administrators may make too much for this area. The 13 highest-paid administrators have a median salary of about $70,000 per year, Mr. George said. He also talked about 32.5 mills of taxes Indian Lake residents pay for the permanent operation of the school and for the bond issue that paid for the new buildings.

“That’s in the 90th percentile of median pay for (Ohio school employees),” Mr. George said, citing the $72,752 annual salary of former high school media specialist Betsy Shoffstall.

The board accepted Mrs. Shoffstall’s resignation for the purpose of retirement in April and her position was not filled after she retired, Mr. O’Donnell said, adding, “We don’t even have a librarian right now.”

The exchange was cordial and board members and Mr. O’Donnell thanked Mr. George for attending the meeting and for his concern.

“We appreciate your taking an interest and we understand your concern,” board president Mark Wahl said. “We all live in the district and pay taxes and we don’t like it any more than you do, but we’ve exhausted all other options and this is what we have to do.”

The district has cited increased healthcare, fuel and maintenance costs coupled with steep reductions in state funding as the primary reasons for requesting new money.

The 7.35 mills levy would cost a home valued at $100,000 an extra $225.09 annually — about 62 cents per day.

The net annual increase in tax is $53.59 per year after the board allows an existing 5.6 mills levy to expire in January 2015.

In other action, the board:

• replaced four-hour bus driver contracts, with five-hour-per-day-agreements for Misty Satterly and William Shaffer;

• hired Donald DeWeese as a four-hour per day bus driver;

• Robert Gates and Barbara Shahan as substitute bus drivers;

• approved Thursday/Saturday school supervisors Erin Miller, Greg Tuttle, Melissa Rice, Susan Lengerich, Troy Shively, Chris Anders, Christi Warnecke, Amy Fatone, Morissa Sweeney, Dana Clune, Don Bauer, Matt Steinbarger, Lisa Seeley, Kristen Grillot, Jenifer Ignarski, Pam Elder, Amanda Strayer, Brian Tidwell, Michael Hunter, Valarie Rapp, Joyce King and Misha Monnin;

• approved supplemental contracts for: John Newland, junior varsity boys basketball; Jennifer Ramsey, varsity cheerleading; Jessica Tussing, volunteer sophomore class adviser; and Bobby Moldovan, volunteer high school cross country; and

• approved classified substitutes Ryan Holycross, Jennifer Snipes and Amby Wallace, food service; and Jennifer Snipes, secretary.

Board member Rick Clark was absent from the meeting. The board meets again Oct. 15.BE


Getting ‘SMART’

Examiner Staff Writer

Electronic white boards to be installed in each high school class

Benjamin Logan officials continue to move ahead in the technology world to afford students the most up-to-date learning tools by integrating electronic white boards into each high school classroom.

In his report to the district’s board of education Monday, Technology Coordinator Jason Smith shared plans to have some 30 white boards, also known by brand name SMART Board, installed by Christmas.

He said donors got the ball rolling by funding the purchase of two SMART Boards that were implemented prior to the end of the last school year. The district is looking at a more economical version to complete the project.

Superintendent Lori Lytle affirmed the district’s commitment to moving forward with technology and said of this project, “We are moving at lightning speed” to stay ahead of the educational curve.

The board approved the permanent budget for fiscal year 2013 in the amount of $20,959,523.33, with $15,709,788.86 in the general fund.

Also approved was the five-year forecast through FY 2017 that projects a $2.239 million cash balance deficit by 2017. As bleak as that may sound, it should be noted that because of unpredictable state mandates and circumstances, most all

financial forecasts appear as such, because there is no way to predict accurately what revenues and expenditures will be five years out.

Treasurer Robert Kuehnle noted the district is losing about $800,000 with the loss of some unrestricted and restricted state grants and forecasted decreases in tax values. On the flip side, the district is saving nearly $500,000 in salaries through attrition and creative job consolidation.

Ongoing efforts to keep its fleet current, the board approved the purchase of two 2013 84-passenger buses from Myers Equipment Corp., at a combined cost of $160,792 after trade-ins.

The board accepted the certified supplemental contract resignations submitted by Nancy Forsythe, middle school Builders Club; Matthew Green, assistant varsity football coach; and Art Stormer, JETS, full contract; along with that of Jerry Allford, girls varsity bowling.

Mr. Stormer, along with Alex Melton, will serve as JETS advisers under half contracts. Other contracts were awarded to: Alison Spriggs, middle school Builders Club, half contract; Amy McCormick, Global Gateways and middle school Ohio Model United Nations; Joslin Lee, high school technology assistant; Tony Grant, head weight room coordinator; Kevin Butler, Carleton Cotner and Jeff Fay, assistant weight room; and non-licensed: Dona Vida, Builders Club; and Nate Stierhoff and Doug Titus, assistant high school football.

In other matters, the board authorized, accepted or approved:

• the amounts and rates as determined by the budget commission, certifying them to the Logan County Auditor;

• salary schedule advancement of Kevin Butler and Matthew Green to master’s +15;

• Suetta Conley as a bus aide;

• the deduction of two salary days for Tammy James for personal reasons;

• a list of classified and certified substitutes as presented by the Logan County Educational Service Center;

• Susan Corwin and Dawn Gibson as home-bound instruction tutors;

• payment of $22 per hour as a test proctor to Diana Neer;

• SRI training pay of $24 per hour for Kay Dudgeon, Bobby Gill, Julie Karg, Theresa Krock, Lori Matthews, Polly Pohlable, Stephanie Rader, Allison Reule, Angela Shappie and Jackie Thompson;

• $30 stipend of after school detention monitors, $22 per hour for study tables and $60 for Saturday school;

• $24 per hour to Title I parent involvement meetings for Alecia Myers, Paula Naragon and Jackie Thompson;

• tentative early graduation for a list of 19 students;

• various service contracts with the Logan County ESC and Urbana City Schools;

• overnight field trips for FFA, girls and boys golf;

• permission for Darrin Brogan to shoot fireworks at the Sept. 28 homecoming football game;

• tuition amounts set at $4,654.51 for the 2012-13 school year;

• a student placement agreement with Nancy J. Knight School of Nursing and Ohio Hi-Point Career Center;

• service agreement with Works International for Web-based safety and regulatory compliance;

• medical services in the amount of $1 to Dr. Robert Anderson;

• the donation of school supplies for each building from Farm Credit Services and United Way and to the middle school by the Middleburg Mrs. Club; and

• two $500 Logan County ESC grants to Donna Miller and Ginny Hostetler.

No action was taken following a brief executive session to discuss the employment of personnel. The next regular meeting is at 7 p.m. Oct. 15.

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