Mohawk board talks gas leak ties

SYCAMORE – After a lengthy executive session to discuss employment matters, Mohawk Local Schools Board of Education met Monday evening. Opening the meeting was Superintendent Kenneth Ratliff, handing out information about new district goals. Also mentioned was the Hall of Fame meeting Thursday, at which the 12 member committee voted on three inductees.

Tim Davidson, head of maintenance, brought news of the recent McCutchenville gas leak to the discussion, as the school district owns property adjacent to the gas station. Because the district owns the property, it had to give those involved in the clean-up permission to test the area, and the district has been cooperating with the effort. The EPA requested documents from Mohawk that show where old fuel tanks had been buried on the property, though they were removed in 1994. Unfortunately, patches of soil on the school property were found to be saturated with fuel, so containment and clean-up are the next step. Davidson believes a well may be set up in the area to be able to routinely check the water on the property until it is given the all-clear.

Also of concern was if the well that provides water for the district’s baseball field had been affected, and the clean-up crew said they would be checking to ensure safety.

Beth Margraf, board vice president, asked who was responsible, financially, since it was on school property, and Davidson said the gas station owner is responsible.

Ratliff thanked Davidson for keeping the district safe, clearing snow and working with those in McCutchenville.

“We haven’t had the same problems as other area schools with our buses not starting because of Ken and his crew,” he said.

Duane Coldiron, board president, expressed his appreciation for Eric Baker, head football coach and athletic director for more than 10 years, and Virginia Shellhouse, an educator for more than 30 years, who had their resignations accepted at Monday’s meeting, and the board thanked them.

Nelle Nutter, elementary principal, discussed the recent parent teacher organization meeting. The PTO decided to raffle off donated items to offset the costs of the sixth grade Camp Glen trip. They also are working with the librarian to put a mural in the reading area of the library. An artist already has drawn up several ideas. The PTO plans to pay for everything except the primer, which Nutter said likely is to come from the principal’s fund.

The Ohio Department of Education is extending Measures of Academic Progress testing to four weeks instead of three, which is to allow for more preparation time. The tests begin in March.

Brett Graham, junior high and high school principal, mentioned the good turn-out for the parent/teacher conferences Thursday, largely because it also was the ninth-grade orientation night as well as a meeting to discuss dual enrollment with Heidelberg and Tiffin University.

Graham recently held a pizza party for the top students in the junior class after one student asked why good students who aren’t recognized for extra cirriculars never get special treatment. He also met with all juniors to discuss the importance of taking Advanced Placement courses such as AP English and AP calculus to improve ACT scores to help with college entry.

Ratliff talked about the technology in the works to create an identification system for the public to use the Mohawk field house. Users must be residents of the Mohawk school district and are to have to sign a waiver to use the facilities. If there are issues with public usage, it will go back to being just for student athletes.

Coldiron said the district has made up three of its missed days online and still have two more to make up if it does not have more cancellations.

Upcoming events:

Email shareholders meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at Mohawk Community Center.

Ohio Graduation Test testing is March 10-13.

The musical has been pushed back to March 14, 15 and 16.

March 17 board meeting has been moved to March 24.

Grade cards are to be sent home March 27.

Make-up days were scheduled for April 17 and 21.