New Riegel district has positions to fill

NEW RIEGEL – The New Riegel Board of Education Monday evening approved the resignation of three teachers.

Language arts teacher, ninth grade class adviser and Power of the Pen adviser Brian Backur accepted a position near Canton at a private school. Backur and his wife originate from the area.

Resignations also were approved for Spanish teacher Amanda St. John, who accepted a full-time position with the Elmwood school district, and teacher Michelle Yeakle. Stephanie Depinet and Joyell Zamudio resigned as co-junior class advisers for the upcoming school year.

Superintendent Elaine Nye shared with the board that grades 3 through 8 scored above the benchmark of 75 percent in Ohio Achievement Assessment testing. She noted grades 7 and 8 did much better than they have in the past.

Nye is to attend a seminar in Findlay Monday with district treasurer Jane Schalk to hear a presentation on the school funding formula. The district received $12,832 as part of the state Bureau of Workers Compensation rebate program enhanced by Gov. John Kasich.

Schalk presented a financial report for the board’s review and a vote in August. She noted revenue has fallen 2.5 percent and expenditures rose 3.2 percent between last year and this year. Last year, the general fund was $288,000 ahead, but was only $79,000 ahead this year.

At her request, the board voted to make an annual transfer of $10,000 to the lunchroom fund to balance the budget. She stated that if not done, the cafeteria would only have $13,000 on hand, with more than $11,000 being paid over the summer in salaries. This would leave little for ordering food for the upcoming school year. The board also voted to increase lunch prices, with students pre-kindergarten through grade 8 paying $2.30, grades 9-12 paying $2.55 and adults $2.80.

Board vice-president Jeff Hohman said his communication with the public indicated sixth- through eighth-graders are going away from lunch “hungry.” Schalk said the portion size is generated from federal guidelines based on nutrition and other factors.

Board president Jennifer Theis asked for clarification on the protocol for students utilizing hand-held electronic devices. She raised a concern on the opportunity for students to misuse the devices.

Nye said that for students to get online with the school Wi-Fi, an access code has to be entered on each device on a daily basis. Students sign a paper to avoid misbehavior with their devices. This does not preclude for students to use their own phones to get online, and members of the board believed the majority of students have smartphones.

State legislation which would change the makeup of joint vocational school boards by replacing JVS board members from individual school districts with community business members was discussed. Board member Mary Reinhart told the board it should contact state senators to disagree with the action.

In other action, the board:

Suspend the transfer of funds per month from general fund to health insurance liability fund until January 2014.

Approved non-certified one year limited contracts for lunch monitors Amy Kramer and Traci Elchert.

Employed Julie Heiserman as resident educator mentor.

Approved actuarial services with Findley Davies for $2,000.

Approved a non-certified salary schedule for the next three school years.

Set the pay for activity cashier at $500 each.

Supplemental contracts for this school year for the compensation of assistant boys and girls basketball were approved for Travis Kinn and Mark Theis. The junior varsity title was changed previously to assistants in the event there is no JV team so they still would be employed, according to Schalk.

Gregg Hughes was approved for varsity baseball.