1/9/2018 2:52:00 PM New Year begins with good news for Wellston District Oath of office delivered for new and returning board members
Pictured (seated from left) are new board member Jennifer Ousley-Pittman, Betty Jenkins who is starting her seventh year, and vice president Gretchen Crabtree who is starting her 13th year. Shown standing from the left are Treasurer Tami Downard, board member Brian Kilgour who is beginning his third year, President Terry Gill who is in his 13th year, and Superintendent Karen Boch. (Telegram Photo By Phillip Buffington)
The first meeting of the Wellston City Schools Board of Education for 2018 was a very positive one, with Superintendent Karen Boch sharing a great deal of good news regarding the achievements of students and staff.
During the board comments portion of the Monday night, Jan. 8 meeting, Gretchen Crabtree expressed pride in the fact that the Wellston High School (WHS) football team was recently ranked eighth in the State of Ohio for overall grade-point average (GPA). Further, Boch announced that WHS football team member Connor Bates was recently selected to the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association's Academic All-Ohio Team for his individual GPA and for being a standout athlete.
In addition to this news, Boch stated that the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools will be recognizing one teacher from each of the districts in the area. In order to determine who would be chosen from Wellston City Schools (WCS), Boch explained the district's teachers made nominations, with a total of 12 being made. Out of those 12 individuals, another round of voting was conducted throughout the district, with Robin Murray ultimately being chosen.
Murray will now be recognized at a ceremony in the morning hours of Wednesday, Jan. 24 in Zanesville. Boch also stated Murray will be recognized locally by the board at a meeting in February or March. She said the WHS football team will be honored around that time as well for their collective academic achievement.
In other news, Boch told the board that the Ohio Education Association's Ohio Schools Magazine will soon be featuring an article on WHS Environmental Biology teacher Jim Sutter and the work he has been performing with his students. Boch explained Sutter has been performing a number of tests with students in relation to climate change and its effect on local ecosystems. Boch said the article sheds a positive light on Sutter's work and is "another example of the great things happening at WCS that often go unnoticed."
During a recent legislative visit, Boch said a total of five legislative aides, including Taylor Stepp who works alongside Representative Ryan Smith, visited Bundy Elementary as well as the Intermediate/Middle Schools, and that they were "very impressed" with what they saw. Boch said the individuals asked a number of in-depth questions regarding work with literacy interventions in the district and were "in awe" of the district's Book Room. Overall, she said the group had positive, candid conversations with district officials about many of the challenges facing the district.
The board's first meeting of 2018 also saw 13-year school board veterans Crabtree and Terry Gill continue on in their respective roles of vice president and president. The two were also sworn in along with newcomer Jennifer Ousley-Pittman.
A resolution proclaiming January as School Board Recognition Month in the Wellston School District was also presented by Superintendent Boch. She thanked each board member for being advocates for not only the district, but for public education.
"You guys do a lot of important work collectively as a board," Boch stated. "You guys work hard and wear many hats, and it's a pleasure to work as a part of a team that has a common goal, and that's to do what's best for our kids. Thanks for the countless hours and dedication."
In other business
The board announced that meetings in 2018 will once again be held on the second Monday of each month beginning at 7 p.m.
A resolution was adopted establishing a service fund for members of the board in the amount of $5,000, which is meant to cover the expenses incurred while performing official duties.
The board accepted a Universal Breakfast in the Classroom Grant totaling $66,733.44. Boch explained that, in order to be eligible for these funds, a district must have provided free breakfast to all students for at least three years. She further said the money cannot be used to purchase perishable items, but can be used for equipment purchases such as food trays, carts and the like.
Eric Bauman was approved as an after-school attendance/achievement/Virtual student tutor on an as-needed basis for the 2017-18 school year.
The board approved Hilary Nichols for a supplemental position (varsity volleyball) for the 2018-19 school year.
An amendment to the agreement between the district and the Prime AE Group, Inc. was approved. The amendment pertains to the addition of the company providing full-time construction observation services during the Intermediate/Middle and High School Roof Remediation Project. The total cost of this amendment is $35,540.
The board approved membership into the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy for the 2017-18 school year.
A special meeting of the board has been set for Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 5 p.m. at the Administration Office on Broadway Street, Wellston, to discuss remediation options for the WHS Track Project. The next regular meeting has been set for Monday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m.