Mohawk discusses parent panel

SYCAMORE – The Mohawk Board of Education discussed establishing a parent advocacy committee during its Monday meeting.

The idea was suggested by resident Kit Shellhouse, who proposed the committee as a liaison between the board and parents. The committee would bring concerns to the board from parents who aren’t comfortable addressing the board directly.

District Superintendent Ken Ratliff offered that there already is a system to move concerns through proper channels. Ratliff plans to discuss the idea further with Shellhouse.

The board approved a resolution to oppose any legislation moving public funds toward support of private education. The resolution addresses Gov. John Kasich’s proposed biennial budget, which greatly expands the number of publicly funded vouchers for students wishing to attend parochial or private schools. The resolution will be forwarded to Kasich’s office and members of the Ohio General Assembly.

The Mohawk school district has gained open enrollment students, according to district treasurer Roy Swartz. Changes in open enrollment and the increase has brought about $100,000 into the district. He plans to present a five-year trend analysis at the board’s next meeting April 8.

High school Principal Brett Graham will be starting a digital academy to operate until the end of this school year, evaluating its effectiveness with about two dozen students and others who need credit recovery to meet graduation requirements. If successful, he hopes to include all students in the future. The program uses Ohio’s core curriculum and follows state standards. Graham said options should be given to help students finish high school.

The board accepted the retirement of long-time educator and elementary school principal Carl Long. Long also was interim high school principal in 2012 as the district awaited the return of Brett Graham from deployment in Afghanistan. Long’s retirement will be effective June 30.

Retiring at the end of May are kindergarten teacher Kathy Lundy, media center director Karen Dininger, and special education teachers Annette Covert and Beverly Paolella.

Other personnel items include:

Five-year teaching contracts beginning in the fall to Kathy Green, Chila Parlier and Phil Nave.

One-year teaching contracts to Rose Hartschuh, Brittany Pettry, Jennifer Shuck, Mindy Walton and Julio Rendon.

Rendon’s contract upgraded to 100 percent.

Continue teaching contracts for Jan Hall and Amanda Banta,

One-year substitute teaching contracts for the remainder of this school year to Sarah Criswell, Tara Kiser and Christy Biller.

One-year substitute cafeteria worker agreement with Lois Hawley.

Salaries for softball assistant coaches Rodney Clinger and Bo Trusty change from two-thirds to one-half contract, Ray Wagner from two-thirds to one.