SE learns JVS seat may be eliminated

ATTICA – Weeping and gnashing of teeth was prevalent at the Seneca East Board of Education meeting Saturday morning.

Board president Jamie Beamer reported to the board that the Legislature is to vote on a bill this week that woukld effectively eliminate the local school board’s representation on Vanguard-Sentinel joint vocational board. House bill 59 is a finance bill, she explained, with verbage hidden away that would require any local school board recommend a businessperson from the community to serve on the regional JVS board.

Now, each school district has one member from its school board serving on the JVS board.

She added a board member cannot serve even if they are a businessperson from the community. It also takes away the ability of a board member, also a businessperson, to serve as a representative from another school district. Beamer said Gov. John Kasich does not like joint vocational schools, adding, “It will not be good if this happens.”

Superintendent Michael Wank said “this will really dilute the local voice”. Beamer said if approved the bill would become effective the first of 2014.

The board voted to end sponsorship of Bridges Community Academy in Tiffin as of June 30. Wank explained that Seneca East sponsored BCA for the past nine years, and has a student attending there. The Ohio Board of Education will assume sponsorship. He said the academy has done a good job in educating students who might not have performed well in their own schools.

Middle and high school principal Don Vogt reported that the middle school and high school fees were ready for the board’s vote, and that he has worked to update the school’s safety plan which will be forwarded to state Attorney General Michael Dewine’s office.

Wank added that the safety plan is constantly evolving, with additional cameras added to the school facility to cover weak areas, and software has been upgraded. He added that access to the cameras will be on the web in real time, available to those designated by the district including the county sheriff’s office.

Elementary principal Brad Powers reported on successes with the elementary reading programs. The Project More program has been extremely effective, he said. Originally set up for special education students reading program, it now includes other students who are not reading up to their grade level. He added that seven teachers have registered to work towards K-12 reading endorsements.

The voted to recognize and congratulate student athletes who placed in the state track meet, including Ben Hahler, Ashton Daniel, Jason Willman, Kevin Moore, Cory Depinet and Zach Gregg.

Other motions approved included:

* Seneca East Public Library budget for 2014;

* Contract with NCOESC for various services 2013-14;

* Agreement with Seneca County Board of Developmental Disabilities for 2013-14 school year;

* Staff handbook;

* Fee schedule for 2013-14 school year;

* Membership in state principals and superintendent associations for upcoming school year for Brad Powers, Don Vogt and Michael Wank.

The board approved one-year contracts for Gail Rogier and Cathy Say, half-time Reading Recovery, at the agreed upon retire-rehire rate and Kevin Keaton, bus mechanic. One-year limited contracts were approved for Denise Kummerer, speech therapist; Susan Beidelschies, Reading Recovery and reading intervention; Courtney Warner, high school English; and Sarah Budde, high school Spanish teacher.

Vogt said Warner and Budde will be “good ones”. He said Warner is coming from Fremont St. Joseph where she taught senior English for 10 years. Budde comes from Bowling Green, has spent two years abroad and is on a seven-week excursion to Peru.

The next board meeting is scheduled at 7 p.m. July 15 at the board office.