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Riverside hires new treasurer

Riverside Board of Education members approved during their Tuesday evening meeting the hire of a new treasurer, Jennifer Blackford, and a transition plan for her to work with outgoing Treasurer Paul Carpenter.



Ms. Blackford, a Sidney area resident, was extended a contract that is effective from Oct. 15 through July 31, 2015, at a salary of $59,000 per year. She has been employed at the state auditor’s office for the past 15 years.

For the first several months of her contract, Ms. Blackford will serve in an assistant treasurer position because she is currently undergoing school treasurer licensing requirements through the Ohio Department of Education.

During this time, she will be mentored by Mr. Carpenter, who is working with Riverside on a part-time, interim basis following his official resignation at the end of August.

Until Ms. Blackford receives her school treasurer license, Mr. Carpenter will serve as the official treasurer of record for the district.

In other personnel matters, the board also approved the hire of a new kindergarten teacher, Angela Godwin. Administrators noted that the district has experienced an influx of kindergarten students this year, and another kindergarten staff member was needed to help reduce class sizes.

During the treasurer’s report, Mr. Carpenter presented the five-year forecast, which predicts a year-end balance for the current school year of $288,538, and next year with a balance of $78,190. Deficit balances are predicted in the final years of the forecast.

However, he noted that the financial document includes very conservative figures and estimates.

“I’m convinced that we’re going to end this year better than shown. I’d always rather err on the side of caution.

“We’re still watching our money and tightening our belts to keep an eye on the district’s finances.”

The interim treasurer noted that Riverside will be losing its $220,000 in Education Jobs federal funding that it received last year.

He also related that the state has not yet released its new funding formula for schools, which also may impact the district’s budget at any given time.

“As always, this (forecast) is a work in progress. It’s our best guess for right now.”

Andy McGill, junior high and high school principal, and Mason Bryan, elementary principal, reported on a new effort that will pair third-graders with high school “reading buddies” on Wednesdays during intervention times.

The initiative is being put in place to address the passage of Senate Bill 316, which has been dubbed the “third-grade reading guarantee.” Beginning next school year, third-grade students will not be able to advance to fourth-grade if testing determines that the student is not proficient in reading.

In addition, the bill requires school districts to perform diagnostic testing for students in grades K-3 each year prior to Sept. 30.

Superintendent Scott Mann said he also met with third-grade teachers recently to discuss additional reading intervention that will be implemented.

The principals reported that during professional development time this week, staff members will work to develop plans for “blizzard bags,” or materials that students will be able to use to make up school work in the event of a calamity day.

In other action, the board:

• extended a one-year limited teaching contract to Angela Godwin;

• extended supplemental contracts to Chuck Stevens and Chad Kean, co-freshman boys basketball; Darek Zook, eighth-grade boys basketball; Rod Yoder, seventh-grade boys basketball; Derrick Purtee, high school boys basketball coverage; Becky Robison, high school girls basketball coverage;

• approved volunteer coaches Becky Rappold, cross country, and Tim Walls, assistant varsity boys basketball;

• approved Billie Yoder to serve as a second-year resident educator mentor to teachers Melanie Eastman, Derrick Purtee, Stephanie Smith and Gregg Johnson for a stipend of $200 to be paid at the completion of teaching duties;

• accepted the resignation of Mike Wallace as the Riverside trustee to the Logan County Education Foundation and approved Mark Osborne to finish Mr. Wallace’s term ending in 2013;

• approved members of the Riverside FFA to attend National Convention in Indianapolis in October, with the Riverside FFA providing the cost of the bus transportation to the event;

• accepted a donation of $200 from J&G Demolition to the junior class, and a donation of $500 to the Riverside FFA from the DeGraff Country Fair committee;

• approved Angel Allen as a Thursday/Saturday school monitor at the rate of $15 per hour;

• approved a tutoring contract with Marie Baughman at the rate of $15 per hour for up to five hours per week of instruction time; and

• approved a severance payment of $22,725.63 to Joni Bodell.

The next meeting is 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the school library.

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