It was a workaday session Monday for the Wauseon Board of Education enhanced by a commendation.
Middle School Principal Joe Friess announced the school was awarded the 2016 Momentum Award by the Ohio Board of Education. The award recognizes schools across the state that received A’s on all value-added measures on their state report card.
The middle school is one of two schools in Fulton County to get the honor.
In a letter, Ohio BOE President Thomas Gunlock noted the middle school’s students made better than expected progress in reading and math.
“This is especially commendable because you no doubt have a diverse array of students whose educational backgrounds and learning needs vary. (Y)ou are part of a group of schools that is showing that children of every background and ability level can achieve,” the letter states.
“We’re very pleased with that,” Friess said, adding the school will try to maintain the momentum.
The principals attending the meeting praised Veterans Day speaker Rick Yarosh, a retired Army sergeant caught in the fiery explosion of a military vehicle in Iraq set off by an enemy device. Yarosh was disfigured from burns suffered in the attack, and now tours the country promoting hope and a positive attitude.
He offered presentations to the students at each Wauseon school.
Friess called Yarosh a wonderful speaker, and High School Principal Keith Leatherman said his story was tremendous.
(He’s) a gentleman that has a very powerful message about dealing with anything and getting through with a positive attitude,” Leatherman said. “The message was very well received by our students and teachers alike. One of the best speakers we’ve had in quite a while.”
In other business, the board accepted the following donations: $4,050 from Wauseon Midget Football to the Wauseon Athletic Department for the purchase of junior high football jerseys; $300 from Paul and Margaret Schloneger to the elementary school food pantry; and $35.62 from Christ United Methodist Church for the middle school afterschool snack program.
Board members passed a motion to authorize a school district credit card in the name of Wauseon Board of Education and newly- appointed Treasurer David Fleming. It will have a $13,000 limit for applicable district expenses.
They also passed motions to approve modifications and supplemental modifications to Fiscal Year 2017 permanent appropriations and Certificate of Resources, which include a Wellness Grant. The grant funds are used to buy health-related incentives and provide healthy snacks for the school district’s staff members.
The following personnel items were approved: a one-year limited classified contact to Eric Sauber as WEVS maintenance assistant, effective Dec. 6 pending a background check; the resignation of Michelle Schaffner, a fourth-grade teacher, for the purpose of retirement, effective June 1, 2017; unpaid medical leave for Auneta Herr, beginning Nov. 21; Cindy Henson and Liza Kuszmaul as classified substitutes for the 2016-17 school year; and a one-year limited outside contract to Jennifer Croninger as varsity softball coach.
The board also approved Superintendent Larry Brown and Fleming to enter into a change in the 2016-17 service agreement with the Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center. The change allows funds to be returned to the school district when a specific operational threshold is reached in the general fund balance.
In building reports:
• Primary school students participated in an election event, voting for one of three yearbook covers. Principal Blake Young called it “a nice day to understand elections and how it’s important to being a citizen.”
• The elementary school reported that all third graders have completed the fall reading/ELA test mandated by the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.
Staff members participated in A.L.I.C.E. (Alert/Lockdown/Inform/Counter) training for the security of students.
Fifth graders discussed law enforcement, goal setting, and potential careers with deputies from the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office.
And third graders participated in “Welcome to the Jungle,” a mini-musical based on an Aesop fable.
• Several middle school students qualified for the All County Honors Band and Choir; unfortunately, heavy fog delayed the event until a future date.
Eighth graders were visited by a representative from Four County Career Center. They will tour the school in December.
And some students assisted with a Veterans Day breakfast at the Fulton County Senior Center in Wauseon.
• High school students presented the play “The Crucible,” and Principal Keith Leatherman expressed his admiration.
“Very talented cast and crew. The kids in these productions never cease to amaze me in what they’re able to do,” he said.
On Oct. 18, Assistant Principal Ryan O’Dell and eight students attended a student leadership conference held at Defiance College. The students were motivated to be better leaders and to promote leadership skills and the responsibilities of related positions.
The school board was presented with an overview of the district’s mission statement by Brown and Jessica Schuette, then entered into executive session to discuss employment of personnel and the purchase and sale of real estate. No action was taken.
David J. Coehrs can be reached at 419-335-2010.