Thirteen new hires for Wauseon schools were introduced Monday to the Board of Education.
At a meeting held in the middle school cafetorium to allow for social distancing, Superintendent Troy Armstrong welcomed the following employees: Shaina Baldwin, elementary school teacher aide; Sabrina Bethel, fifth grade teacher; Michael Drenning, high school sweeper; Garrett Grime, seventh grade math instructor; Sarah Leslie, high school teacher aide; Susan McLeod, elementary school playground aide; Hannah Miedema, grades 2-5 speech language instructor; Laura Nafziger, primary school librarian; Linda Piasecki, middle school teacher aide; Nikki Przepiora, middle school cook; Derek Rupp, high school science instructor; Trent Sauber, assistant maintenance supervisor; and Andrea Valdez, high school teacher aide.
The meeting began by approving a resolution that adds the Ace Hardware store in Wauseon to the 2020 Ohio School Boards Association’s Business Honor Roll, citing the store’s support for the city’s public schools. “Your work has aided this community in focusing on the goal of providing the best public school we can for every child who attends them,” the proclamation read.
Next, Wauseon Virtual Academy (WVA) coordinator Mark Britsch and high school assistant principal Ryan O’Dell presented a look at the program. Britsch said currently 121 students have opted this year to learn full-time through WVA due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the potential for a total of 140 students. “It’s off the charts right now,” he said.
Last year, the academy began with 15 full-time students, reaching 42 by year’s end.
Britsch said full-time WVA students who decide they’d like to switch back to traditional classes must complete the first semester, then may discuss the change with a guidance counselor.
He said parents of young WVA students must act as a guide through their process of learning to read and write. He said the process is no different than through traditional classroom teaching.
“The parent is probably going to spend as much time on the computer as the student is, because someone has to teach these kids how to read and write,” Britsch said.
In other business, donations approved for the school district included: two exercise bikes valued at about $1,620 from the Tomahawk Wrestling Club to the wrestling program; four touchless thermometers from OhioMeansJobs; 225 logo face coverings for employees from Fulton County Job and Family Services; personal protection equipment from the Bureau of Workers Compensation; $2,053 from the Wauseon Athletic Boosters for football press box media curtains; and $500 from the Wauseon Rotary Club to the district food pantry.
The board approved motions to: create the Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund and the Coronavirus Relief Fund; rescind suspension of board policies regarding school board meetings and sick leave for administrators, certified staff, and classified staff for purposes of flexibility during COVID-19, now rendered moot by the Coronavirus Relief Act; approve NEOLA bylaw policy additions Title IX Regulations and Post Issuance Compliance for Tax-Exempt and Tax-Advantaged Obligations and replacement OTES 2.0; and approve the 2020-21 remote learning plan as presented.
Board members also approved a motion to revise these administrative titles: Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment to Director of Instructional Services; Director of Special Education to Director of Student Services; Technology Coordinator to Director of Technology; Assistant Technology Coordinator to Assistant Director of Technology; Building and Grounds Supervisor to Operations Supervisor; Maintenance Assistant to Assistant Operations Supervisor; and Athletic Director to Athletic Administrator.
They also voted to purchase a $97,000, up to 84-passenger school bus that was bid in the spring through the Ohio Schools Council. The bus will be funded through a $53,990.22 grant from the State of Ohio School Bus Purchase Program and the district’s general fund.
In personnel matters, the board approved the following items: Rachel Wixey and Associates Substitute List; a three-year administrative contract to Eric Sauber as maintenance supervisor, retroactive to July 1; a one-year limited certificated contract to Sabrina Bethel as fifth grade teacher; one-year limited classified contracts to Michael Drenning as six-hour high school sweeper, Linda Piasecki as middle school teacher aide, and Lisa Rupp and Mark Bontrager as bus drivers; extended medical leave for Jean LaFountain from Sept. 1-28; the resignations of high school cook Sabrina Hartson and primary school playground aide Lacey Felix, both effective Aug. 5; and one-year supplemental contracts to Tara Tedrow as seventh grade volleyball coach and Dylan Nicely and Tristan Barajas as junior high wrestling coaches.
Approval of some positions listed is dependent on clean background checks.
Board members entered executive session to discuss consideration of employment. No action was taken.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.