The Wauseon Board of Education was told Monday that the school district has saved taxpayers approximately $1.8 million in debt service due to bond refunding.
During a brief presentation, David Tiggett, Director of Public Finance for Fifth Third Securities, reported that the school district saved an average of $123,250 annually over the next 20 years.
According to Karen Dameron, the school district’s treasurer, about $17.8 million of outstanding debt was refinanced over the past two years. That included bonds issued in 2004, which were issued originally in 1996 for the primary school on Leggett Street. The district also refinanced 2007 bonds that were issued for the Ohio School Facilities Commission project, which consisted of the present elementary/middle school complex and renovations to the primary and high schools.
“It was a very, very good outcome,” Tiggett told board members. “These are very, very strong numbers. I can’t stress that enough. These are really, really good savings for the district.”
In additional financial news, the school board approved a resolution for a proposed emergency levy renewal. The five-year 4.2-mill operating levy has been continuously approved by voters since 1991. It maintains a generated amount of $835,000 annually, and expires in 2016.
The information will be forwarded to the Fulton County Board of Elections for approval on the March 15 ballot.
In other business, board members approved: the resignation of Shannon Storrer as a Title 1 substitute teacher; the retirement of Carol Rorick as a primary school Title 1 teacher; a one-year limited classified contract to Trina Fry as a middle school two-hour cook during the 2015-16 school year; Christine Sauder as a middle school Title 1 substitute tutor at approximately 25 hours per week for the rest of the current school year, at $25 per hour; and Glenn Coblentz as a volunteer high school wrestling coach pending receipt of a pupil activity permit; Audrey Thatcher as a student pool worker; and Ethan Baker, Brady Kinnersley, Ty Leininger, Jacob Raabe, and Josh Whitcomb as student Athletic Department workers.
“Then and now” certificates passed by board members included: $561.50 to the Wauseon Athletic Boosters for concessions; $54 to Dwight Township for FFA hypnotist tickets; $36 to Concept Printing for FFA fruit sale forms; $370 to Archbold Equipment for mechanical parts; $88 to Tomahawk Printing for fall play posters; $795 to Camfel Production for a Camfel assembly; $50 to National Catholic Forensic League-Cincinnati for Speech 2016 NCFL registration; $50.04 to Concept Printing for FFA printing fruit sales; and $188.96 to Fulton Lumber for lumber for the high school fall play set.
And the panel approved the first reading of a motion to approve NEOLA bylaw policy additions, revisions, and replacements. They included revisions to policies on evaluation of teachers, conflict of interest, use of school premises, and emergency situations at schools. Neola provides board policy for school districts.
In building reports:
• Primary School Principal Blake Young said over 60 people attended Title Reading Night, and came away with strategies for reading they can use with their children.
An informational music performance by students will be held for parents of kindergartners April 18-22 and those of first graders Feb. 29-March 4.
The school’s math team is meeting with company representatives to review new math series.
• Theresa Vietmeier, elementary school principal, said third grade students completed their fall reading and American Institutes for Research (AIR) English Language Arts testing Dec. 2-3. AIR has replaced PARCC as Ohio’s Common Core provider.
Fulton County Western District Court Judge Jeff Robinson appeared as a guest for fifth grade students, speaking on goals and career ambitions. The students receive a community guest speaker on the first Friday of each month to speak about careers.
Some fifth grade girls and their parents attended a self-defense class hosted by the Ruling Our eXperiences (ROX) program.
And the elementary students voted in a 2015-16 Student Council.
• The National Junior Honor Society, the Student Council, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter of Wauseon Middle School provided about $1,500 to purchase Christmas gifts for local families. The students shopped for and wrapped all the gifts.
Thirty-six NJHS students were also among the volunteers that worked the Christmas Towne event at the 180th Fighter Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard at Toledo Express Airport. They helped children make toys, frost cookies, and send letters to active-duty soldiers.
And eighth graders visited Four County Career Center in Archbold.
• At the high school, retesting for end of course tests in algebra and English 1 will be conducted Jan. 5-6. Other testing dates include: April 19 and 21, English Language Arts 1 and 2; April 26 and 28, American History; May 3 and 5, algebra, geometry and government; May 4 and 6, biology.
Principal Keith Leatherman reported that, as of Jan. 1, current juniors and seniors responsible for passing the Ohio Graduation Test are permitted to take one of the tests. If they prove proficient, they can replace that section of the OGT with the test results.
“There’s not a lot of districts that are doing that. We just feel that it’s important to give those kids every opportunity to pass that test as possible,” Leatherman said.
He also reported that Ag Business students assisted with the Toys For Cheer program at the Fulton County Fairgrounds Dec. 9-10.
The meeting had begun with a Primary School Choir presentation, and a motion to recognize McKayla Campbell for her fifth place finish with the Women’s Cadet World Wrestling Team at the world championship in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The school board also approved:
• A Memorandum of Agreement to deposit public funds with First Federal Bank, Farmers and Merchants State Bank, Huntington Bank, and State Bank and Trust for a five-year period beginning Jan. 1.
• A motion to approve an FFA overnight trip to the 212/360 Leadership Conference Jan. 16-17.
• A motion to approve modifications and supplemental modifications to the Fiscal Year 2016 permanent appropriations, including $19,186.27 to the 96 Bonds Fund and $3,300 to the Wauseon Primary School Student Activity Fund.
• A motion to approve annual membership totaling $5,128 to the Ohio School Boards Association.
The school board entered into executive session to discuss employment of personnel. No action was taken.
David J. Coehrs can be reached at 419-335-2010.