A ribbon was cut, a choir sang, and speeches were made during the grand opening Monday of the Wauseon Board of Education’s new headquarters.
Following a final inspection, the doors to the school district’s new administration building at 930 E. Oak St. were opened for a 5 p.m. ribbon-cutting and tour. The two-level facility totaling 9,554 square feet is adjacent to the school district’s elementary/middle school complex. It houses the offices of Superintendent Larry Brown and staff, a Board of Education meeting room, and a room to hold the board’s executive sessions.
Visitors crowded into the meeting room to hear the Wauseon High School Chorale sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and brief comments by Brown, Wauseon Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bill Drummer, and Sandra Griggs, longtime school board president.
“I’m very proud of what’s been accomplished in the number of years I’ve been here. This is a great facility,” Griggs said.
Ground was broken for the building March 12. Rupp-Rosebrock Inc. of Liberty Center oversaw construction. The school district entered into a lease purchase agreement with Branch Banking and Trust Co. of Charlotte, N.C., which passes ownership to the district after the building is paid off. The final cost of the building has not been determined.
As the board meeting opened following the festivities, members accepted a $1,500 donation from Walmart for food supplies for the middle school’s after school program.
In personnel matters, board members accepted the resignations of Travis Cooper as varsity head football coach, effective Dec. 3, and Marlo Hank as a preschool aide, effective Dec. 21; approved the reassignment of Jean LaFountain from a high school six-hour sweeper to eight-hour sweeper; and approved students John Eckman, J.T. Hutchinson, Levi Krasula, Grace Leininger, Marin Miller, and Alisa Shelt as Athletic Department workers for the current school year.
The board also approved: modifications and supplemental modifications to the Fiscal Year 2019 permanent appropriations and certificate of estimated resources; a request from high school student Kaylei Satkowski for early completion and inclusion in the class of 2019 commencement; and the board’s 2019 organizational meeting, scheduled for Jan 14 at 5:30 p.m. Griggs will act as president pro tempore.
In building reports:
• Primary school principal Blake Young said students participated in the National Fire Safety Council Show sponsored by the Wauseon Fire Department.
He said 94 percent of families attended an October teacher-parent conference.
Teacher evaluations are finished for the first semester.
• Elementary school parent-teacher conferences have recorded attendance by parents in the 80th and 90th percentiles.
Principal Theresa Vietmeier said results from the Third Grade Reading Guarantee released on Monday will be reviewed to determine where adjustments and improvements should be made, “and get every student where they need to be.”
She said the school is participating in PAX educational strategies which help students learn self-management. She said some elementary teachers are receiving PAX Heroes training, which focuses on extreme classroom behaviors and managing atypical students.
Vietmeier reported that fifth grade students are receiving Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) training during their guidance time.
The school participated in a safety mass casualty drill, and students attended a presentation on all aspects of safety.
Upcoming events include STAR mid-year assessments – which monitor student academic growth – the week of Jan. 7; finals for the Fulton County Spelling Bee the week of Jan. 14.
• Middle school students who participate in the “Friends of Rachel” group are collecting stocking stuffers to donate to a Knights of Columbus Christmas program.
Principal Joe Friess was selected to work on the Educator Standards Board of the state Board of Education as a school administrative representative. The standards board makes recommendations for approval of new legislation and proposals made by the state board.
• First semester high school exams will be administered Dec. 18-20.
Principal Keith Leatherman said end-of-course testing finishes this week, primarily for seniors a few points shy of graduation requirements. The results will be available Dec. 19.
He said the state Board of Education is again offering seniors “alternate pathways” this and next academic year to help facilitate graduations. Some changes being made include a necessity in 2020 to have at least a 2.5 grade point average during both junior and senior years. A capstone project will also be mandated.
Leatherman reported that sophomores visited Four County Career Center to get information about possible career choices. They also visited Northwest State Community College to learn resume and job interview skills.
The Wauseon Rotary/Indian Invitational Speech Tournament will be held Dec. 15. The school’s Instrumental Christmas Concert will be held Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. in the auditorium.
A teacher in-service will be held at all school buildings Jan. 18.
The board entered into executive session to discuss employment of personnel. No action was taken.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.