All 3 Evergreen schools will have new principals in 2022-23

Talks on fifth grade move to EMS continue

By Drew Stambaugh - [email protected]

The Evergreen Board of Education this month approved two resignations and the hiring of a new principal. The resulting changes mean that each Evergreen school building will have a new principal in the 2022-2023 school year.

At its April 18 meeting, the Board accepted the resignations of Evergreen High School Principal Dan Curtis and Athletic Director Derick Stoup, both effective July 31. Curtis has accepted a position with Maumee City Schools and Stoup a position at Whitmer High School.

Brady Ruffer will take over as principal at Evergreen High School. He is currently the Evergreen Middle School principal.

The Board offered a two-year administrative contract to Sheryl Brown to serve as elementary principal. The contract is effective Aug. 1.

Brown is replacing Jane Draheim, who is retiring.

In other personnel business, the Board offered Alexis Howell a one-year limited teacher contract to serve as agricultural teacher next school year. They also approved Diane Pickering and Shane Bergman as summer school coordinators and Joe Blystone as summer custodial worker.

The Board also approved a three-year agreement with the Ohio Association of Public School Employees (OAPSE) as recommended by the Board’s negotiation team and ratified by the association. The agreement includes a 3% increase on the base salary in 2022-2023, a 2.5% increase on the base salary in 2024-2025, and a 2% increase on the base salary in 2024-2025.

It also provides a cap for future insurance premium increases to limit the employer’s share of the cost to provide health, vision, and dental insurance.

The superintendent and treasurer were authorized to accept the best bid from Cardinal Bus Sales & Service for the purchase of three new 72-passenger diesel buses. The cost is $288,717. The district will be paying about $150,000 due to a grant.

Discussions on moving the fifth grade from the elementary school to the middle school are continuing and Superintendent Eric Smola gave an update and some history.

He said there are multiple reasons why the move is being considered.

“There have been space concerns at the elementary,” Smola said. “We’ve seen that from administration, teachers, as well as the surveys that we put out to the parents.”

A move would bring more parity to enrollment of the three buildings. Currently, there are about 550 students in elementary, 250 in the middle school, and 350 at the high school.

He said there are also some program limitations. It can be difficult to put on programs that apply to both a kindergarten student and fifth grade student.

Smola mentioned potential benefits of a move including additional time for math and language arts, more STEM and STEAM options, elective classes, better serving gifted students, and leadership opportunities.

He said when they began looking into a move, they wanted to see if it would benefit the fifth grade students.

“If there’s not more opportunities for them, then it’s not worth pursuing,” Smola said. “And we see a number of benefits that a move would open up.”

There are still areas to address such as bell schedule, classroom locations, electives, and recess or flex time.

The earliest a change would be made is the 2023-2024 school year.

A change would not be made as a cost savings move. And Smola added that no positions would be eliminated.

One question that has been brought up is the space at the middle school. The superintendent said there is enough space to move the fifth grade.

“We look at the historical numbers from when the middle school was the high school, the numbers were larger than they would be with the fifth grade,” he said.
Talks on fifth grade move to EMS continue

By Drew Stambaugh

[email protected]

Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010

Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010