The Wauseon Board of Education could save almost $90,000 through plans to refinance a bond issue passed by voters 10 years ago to fund district improvements.
At a meeting held Monday, board members approved 4-0 a resolution allowing Treasurer Dave Fleming to enter into a refunding agreement for the school district’s share of $43.5 million used to build the present elementary/middle school complex and renovate the primary and high schools. The school district will partner with Baird Financial Advisors of Columbus to refinance the 6.49-mill bond issued passed in November 2006 to support the project.
Board member Stacia Radabaugh was not present for the vote.
Michael Burns, Baird’s director of public finance, told the board the school district can potentially save an estimated $87,949 over the remaining term of the bond. He said refinancing would lower the interest rate by nearly two percent.
During his presentation, Burns said all numbers are still preliminary, but that it’s likely the school district will save somewhere between $75,000-$95,000 through refinancing the bond. He credited Fleming with the idea of refinancing to save the district money.
Burns also praised the school district for its financial acumen. “What the board has done historically, and what your administration has done over the past several years – you’ve had the school district operating in a very efficient manner…You guys have done a great job managing your expenses year after year,” he said.
He also discussed options for financing the district’s proposed new administration building. Burns estimated the cost at about $1.6 million.
The meeting began with an official goodbye to three-term school board member Miriam Frank, who decided against running for a fourth term in November’s election. Frank’s seat was won by Amy Fisher.
“I just felt it was time to step down,” Frank said, citing personal and professional reasons. “It’s been a wonderful experience. We have a great school system, and a dedicated administration and staff that truly cares about our children. And I’m grateful for the education my children received.”
She also encouraged community members to pursue school board seats in the future. “We need people to step up,” she said.
In other business, the following donations to the school district were approved: $50, WHS Academic Hall of Fame, Evelyn Watkins; $200, Wauseon school district for bus window tinting, Dennis Peabody; $100, elementary school food pantry, Wauseon bus drivers; $229.60, $504, and $240.80, respectively, toward primary, middle, and high school reduced student lunches, True North Church; $1,000, high school Student Council, Delta Air Lines Foundation; $50, elementary school Student Council, National Theatre for Children.
A motion was approved to accept the resignation of Beth Dennis, Wauseon Middle School Cafe head cook, effective Dec. 31; and to approve J.T. Hutchinson, Chloe Lane, Olivia Leininger, Kennedy Lillich, Alisa Shelt, and Carter Stump as winter Athletic Department workers.
A motion was passed to create funds for the elementary school food pantry and camps for boys basketball, football, cross country, girls basketball, girls softball, and volleyball.
Motions were also approved for: a $3,266.80 “then and now” certificate for a book fair by Scholastic Book Fairs; modification of the Fiscal Year 2018 Student Activity Purpose Statement; and adopting the Flexible Spending Plan Agreement with American Fidelity to reflect Jan. 1, 2018 insurance premium changes. modifications and supplemental modifications to the Fiscal Year 2018 permanent appropriations and the Fiscal Year 2018 certificate of estimated resources.
In building reports:
• Primary School Principal Blake Young reported that 92 percent of families attended parent-teacher conferences held Nov. 20-21.
He said second quarter report cards will be available by the evening of Jan. 8.
Upcoming events include: a PSS lock-in for students Dec. 15; and second grade awards and a visit from Santa Claus Dec. 20.
• Elementary School teachers Melanie Johnson and Amber Wonderly will attend Crisis Prevention Intervention training at the Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center. The training consists of de-escalation techniques and last resort situations involving students.
Principal Theresa Vietmeier said Career Day speakers for fifth graders have included representatives of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, State Wildlife Officer Josh Zientek, and Dr. Chris Spieles, an orthopedic surgeon.
Upcoming events include STAR mid-year assessments Jan 8-12 and Math Night Jan. 23.
• The Middle School is teaming with the Wauseon Rotary Club to begin a student Interact Club.
Principal Joe Friess also announced the formation of a Spanish Club for both elementary and middle school students.
Friess said the results are in for a climate survey taken by students, staff members, and parents. He said while no negative ratings were received, the survey shows a need to help students in the areas of social media and social/emotional security.
“It’s given us some very specific areas to tackle,” he said.
• High School Principal Keith Leatherman said all sophomores visited both Four County Career Center and Northwest State Community College in Archbold to tour the facilities and learn about career opportunities. Leatherman said the students participated in mock job interviews and submitted online applications.
“We’re just trying to get that (career) conversation started a little bit earlier so that maybe we can do some more advanced things at the junior and senior level,” Leatherman said.
Upcoming events include the Wauseon Rotary/Indian Invitational Speech Tournament on Saturday, Dec. 16, and the Instrumental Christmas Concert on Sunday, Dec. 17, 3:30 p.m., in the high school auditorium.
The board entered into executive session to discuss employment of personnel. No action was taken.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-4010.