Monday, August 29, 2011

August News

The BIG news in August is, of course, that our district was declared "Excellent" by the state of Ohio for the 2010-11 school year.  This was awesome news!  Thanks and kudos to the students and staff who made this possible!  In several areas, we just squeaked by - and in several other areas, we just barely missed the mark.  We will need to remain focused and work even harder to maintain this rating. 

But for all of those people who said that Swanton was not capable of becoming "Excellent" - I say, "Take THAT, you nattering nabobs of negativity!!"  HA !!

The regular August board meeting was held on a date when I was out of town on vacation and Kris Oberheim was out of town for work, leaving only 3 board members in attendance that evening.  Arlene Wilson was in attendance as well.  She is filling in as interim treasurer while the board pursues finding a replacement for Cheryl Swisher, who left to take a treasurer's job in another district.

This was the night scheduled to welcome new staff to our district, and I was sorry to miss it.  Michelle Tyson arrived just in time for the meeting to begin, but Mona Dyke and Rick Ueberroth were there early enough to chat with the newcomers.

After adoption of the agenda, the new staff was introduced to everyone in attendance.  During the Hearing of the Public, no one indicated a desire to address the board, so the meeting moved forward.

Mrs. Wilson handled the items on the treasurer's portion of the agenda, and all items were approved as presented.  While discussing the financial statements, Mrs. Wilson noted that our district is in a stable financial condition - which is more than a lot of other districts can say.  The budgets and objectives of the middle school yearbook and outdoor education program were also presented and approved. 

Interim Superintendent Russ Griggs spoke briefly about the preliminary findings from the state of Ohio showing our district as "Excellent".  (and - as we know - the final findings were the same!!  woo-hoo!)

Personnel changes were approved, as was a slight change to the high school handbook presented by principal Steve Gfell.

Sandy Frisch was there from the Lucas County ESC, and presented a contract for our district to use their services to assist in our search for a new treasurer.  She shared a bit of how the process works, and the contract was approved.  A special meeting will be held on Aug. 30th to begin our search in earnest.

The contract with Wood County Juvenile Detention Education program agreement for the 2011-12 school year was also presented and approved. 

Properly trained and certified staff are required by O.R.C. 3313.713 to administer/pass medication to students, and five people were approved for this task for long term field trips and outdoor education situations.

Building reports had been provided to the board prior to the meeting that night.  No further discussion was held on these reports.

A report on the Swanton Recreation program was given by Michelle Tyson.  She and another representative from Swanton Rec had met with Todd Frendt of the Anthony Wayne Youth Foundation, and had brought back some ideas.  Rules and regulations for the soccer program had been prepared and planned for distribution to all players, as well as a Coaches' Code of Commitment and Conduct for the entire rec program.  These items were to be presented to the Swanton Rec meeting scheduled for the following night, so that the directors could look things over and make suggestions.  Their final proposal would be brought back to the board for discussion at our next regular meeting.   Rick Ueberroth asked if Shelley was going to get something to the board to look at, and she said "yes - at the next meeting."  He said nothing more, but hopefully we'll actually get it beFORE the next meeting so that we have a chance to review it ahead of time. 

Next on the agenda was the time for board comments.  Mona took a minute to speak at this time, and shared her hope that the current board would continue to work together over the next few months (until she and I leave and are replaced by 2 new people).  She noted that we sometimes have differing opinions on things, which is part of the value for any board - to have those different perspectives shared.  She mentioned the workload in front of us, including negotiations and a treasurer search, and that it is important that we express our opinions and listen to each other as we make decisions, and that no one should take another's opinion personally. 

Well said, Mona.

The final item on the agenda was -  (drum roll, please): the nomination for the Ohio School Board Association (OSBA) Outstanding Board Member.  You may remember this one from our last meeting, and the front page article in the Swanton Enterprise . . .


So.  Rick Ueberroth moves to nominate Shelley.  Shelley seconds the motion.  Mona states that her position on the matter has already been made at our last meeting and to each of them individually, and no more needs to be said.  Roll was then called, and the motion passed with 2 votes to 1. 

Let's remember that the other two other board members were not able to attend that night . . .

But!  Onward and upward!!   The meeting was then adjourned.