Mohawk board hears why kids like therapy dog

Angie McGinnis and Luna perform for the Mohawk Board of Education.

SYCAMORE — Mohawk Board of Education heard testimony from elementary students as to why the district should have a permanent therapy dog like Luna, who was a therapy dog in training this past year. They cited Luna’s ability to calming anxieties, forming emotional connections with individual students, and reducing angry outbursts.

Angie McGinnis, elementary guidance counselor and Luna’s handler, said she had worried about allergies but this was never an issue. She shared experiences she witnessed of students improving their behaviors and attitudes.

Luna is to be returned to ADAI tomorrow and will be assigned permanently to another school. Another dog in training is to be placed in the school next fall.

Rhonda Feasel, board treasurer, advised the board she was proposing temporary appropriations due to anticipated changes in employment. She expects to have permanent appropriations for the board to approve by July.

Maintenance supervisor Tim Davidson outlined possibilities of drilling a second well behind the school. The EPA suggests the district should have a backup well. The district’s water supply is checked daily by the district and three times per week by an EPA approved technician. Installing a second well would be a proactive step to ensure a reliable water supply.

“The project could take up to a year to complete because of all the EPA paperwork,” Davidson said.

Superintendent Mark Vehre summarized the district’s wellness policy, which encompasses nutrition, parental involvement, physical education and lifelong habits.

Chip Dietrich reviewed the successes of the athletic teams.

“Mohawk is to remain Division 7 and is the second-smallest school in the conference,” he said.

The board took action to:

• Accept the resignations of Anna Gile, Chila Tijerina and Carrie Lortcher.

• Issue teaching contracts to Becca McConnell and Danielle Stansbery.

• Issue non-certified contracts to Lisa Snyder, Robert McDemott and Andrea Nye.

• Approve supplemental contracts for athletic positions.

• Accept foreign exchange students from Sweden and Germany.

• Set junior and senior high school class dues as $20 and K-8 technology fee at $10.

• Adopt junior and senior high school student handbook, athletic department handbook and technology handbook.

• Approve an agreement with BGSU for the placement of field experience and student teaching. • Approve a contract with Seneca County General Health District for $47,600.

• Transfer $875,000 of pipeline money to the Bond Retirement Fund.

• Approve a senior class trip to Orlando in April 2020 and FFA trips in June and July.

The board adjourned to executive session to discuss a parent complaint.