Seneca East board reorganizes for the new year

ATTICA — The Seneca East Board of Education welcomed three new members during their meeting Monday night. Eric “Rick” Gillett, Valerie Phillips, and Jay Zeiter all took their oath of office as the newest members of the board.

Daniel Stacklin was elected to serve as board president with Jaimie Beamer elected to serve as vice president. Committee assignments were also made.

Superintendent Laura Kagy said that the district would be celebrating its 50th anniversary on March 15, 2020. Special events are planned at the school from 2-4 p.m. that day. Kagy said that if any community members had something interesting they would be willing to loan that could be displayed that day, they would appreciate any pictures or memorabilia from the past.

Treasurer Laura Brickner said that the district would have an income tax levy on the March ballot. Kagy called this levy “essential” and stressed the fact that it was a renewal and not an additional tax.

Kagy said that she was looking into the wording for a policy for the board to consider allowing EpiPens to be purchased that would not be for any particular student, but for if a student that has not been diagnosed needs it in an emergency.

Elementary Principal Brad Powers said that painting of a mural is underway near the doors where students enter from the buses. The motto of the mural is, Believe in Yourself. Another mural will be added to the wall near the agricultural science department as well.

Director of Testing and Curriculum Laurie Hunker recommended that the district purchase a phonics book system for Grades K-5. This would help students to decode words better as they read. The cost to the district would be between $10,000 and $15,000.

Kagy said that High School Principal Don Vogt was looking into setting up a digital academy within the school. Kagy said that the academy would hold the same high academic standards as the typical high school. “A diploma from Seneca East means something and it has to stay that way,” Kagy said.

The board approved a resolution recognizing Jan. 26-Feb. 1 as Public Education Week as well as a resolution seeking the repeal of the EdChoice voucher program in the State of Ohio. Both of these resolutions were to be shared with the governor, superintendent of public instruction, and state legislators representing the local area.

The board approved the hire of the following employees:

• Jeremy Cornwell –volunteer assistant softball coach

• Frank Lamoreaux –freshman baseball coach

•Todd Kimmet — assistant baseball coach

The next board meeting is to be 6:30 p.m. Feb. 10.