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Need for full-time band teacher voiced

By CATHRYN STANLEY Editor Published: May 31, 2017 12:00 AM
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The Barnesville Exempted Village School District Board of Education was addressed at its May 18 meeting regarding what many parents and students feel is a need for a full-time band instructor in the district.

Christine Johnston addressed the board first. She emphasized that Brianna Warner was a "fantastic person and did a great job" but as one instructor teaching both choir and band, Johnston felt both programs were suffering.

"While I feel she is doing her best, these kids need and deserve a full-time band instructor," Johnston said noting that the band was growing and more students would be joining the program this coming school year.

She said because of time constraints, students were not playing their instruments or learning songs on a regular basis. Johnston said parents were under the impression that Warner serving in both capacities was "temporary" until a full-time band instructor was hired. She presented the board with a petition, started by her daughter, with the signatures of students asking the board to hire a full-time band instructor.

Karen Blair, a retired teacher and mother of a high school band student who was open enrolled in the district, also addressed the board. She too, felt that teaching both band and choir was too much for one person. She said her son was open enrolled from the Switzerland of Ohio School District several years ago because that district cut their band program and reduced the number of teachers in the talented and gifted program there.

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"We feel that it is important to our schools to make music a priority and to have a full-time band director," Blair said, presenting board members with copies of the programs from the choir and band concerts which she said demonstrated the student interest in both programs. She also said that the musical directed by Miss Warner was "outstanding". "The interest and passion is there. It needs to be a priority for these kids," Blair said.

Blair said Warner did an excellent job and is devoted to her students. "It's as if we are saying that she did such an outstanding job building up the choir program that we should give her the band program on top of that," Blair said. She too, said parents thought the combined position was temporary and that Warner should be allowed to teach her "passion" of vocal music and continue her investment in her students.

Blair said that moving forward, it would be difficult for the district to keep someone in a combined position because they would be overloaded. "You can't build a band program if there is constant turn over," she said. She listed nearby districts such as Union Local and St. Clairsville that have strong band programs with many opportunities for their students because they have full-time instructors who have been in those positions for a long time. She noted that a strong music program would attract more open enrollment. Blair said students don't feel that music is a priority for the board.

Board President Robert Miller thanked both Johnston and Blair for addressing the board and said the board would take their concerns under advisement.

Mike Fador, President of the Southeast Region of the Ohio School Boards Association, presented a certificate of recognition to Miller on behalf of the district for its participation in the Student Achievement Fair at the 2016 OSBA Capital Conference and for Project Lead The Way. Before doing so, he noted that he was a St. Clairsville BOE member and said the district worked hard to build up its band program. He praised those who addressed the board about Barnesville's band program. Fador encouraged the district to nominate teachers for some of the OSBA's other awards.

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Fador said students at the conference want to talk about their program and their school. "If you see this vigor and vitality going on, you know something is right in our school systems," he said.

Sixth grade math teacher Steve Fisher and five of his students gave PowerPoint presentations using smart board technology to demonstrate "new" math methods for solving mathematical problems. Students who participated included: Logan Dodd, Dominic Ebright, Madison Salmon, Aubrey Johnson and Cara Hagan.

Athletic Director Mark Cook reported that over $500,000 in scholarship were presented to BHS students, many by alumni, at a recent senior awards ceremony. He gave kudos to guidance counselor Natasha Shilling.

High school principal Micah Fuchs reported that the BHS Blood Bash collected over 900 units of blood from 630 people which was a record for the school. He said he was very proud of the students and Blood Bash Coordinator Jill Crosier. "It's an incredible thing that Barnesville does," Fuchs said.

Miller noted that the Blood Bash was a community event as well as a school function. "Those things are important," he said.

Middle School Principal Julie Erwin reported that the Cutting Class for a Cure was the next day. (Students raised $23,690). Elementary School Principal Clint Abbott said his students raised $1,896.85 in pennies to donate to the event. The incentive for raising the money was that Abbott would be getting a pie in the face from each grade level on May 22.

Correspondence included a thank you note from Beth Seneff and family and a thank you note from Jennifer Wise and family.

The board went into executive session to consider employment; preparing for, conducting or reviewing negotiations or bargaining sessions with public employees concerning their compensation or other terms and matters required to be kept confidential by federal law or regulations or state statutes.

The board approved the following donations for the month of April: H & R Block, $131.50 to the 3rd Grade Field Trip; Lori Tickhill, $50 to the 3rd Grade Field Trip; Hazlett, Burt, & Watson, Inc., $60 to the 3rd Grade Field Trip; Belmont Savings Bank, $40 to the high school musical; Ohio State Eagles, $2,000 to the Washington D.C. Trip.

The board approved a five year lease/service agreement with Richardson Copy Concepts and approved purchase order #51732 in the amount of $282, 747.25 to Sterling Computers (with $242, 577.75 to be reimbursed via the EOESC.

The board approved the May five-year forecast for FY2017 as presented.

The board issued a two -year administrative contract to Micah Fuchs, Director of Special Education and Student Services effective August 1, 2017 through July 31, 2019; a three year administrative contract to John Blattler, Director of Support Services effective August 1, 2017 through July 31, 2020; a certified limited one year contract to Joni Turner as part time middle school art teacher effective beginning with the 2017-2018 school year.

The board issued the following certified, limited one year contracts beginning with the 2017-2018 school year: Blake Allen, Melanie Beeson, Tosha Bethel, Chelsea Bickmeier, Colin Carneal, Heather Dornon, Danelle Dudzik, Paige Evick, Kelley Hanlon, Anna Jefferis, Liza Jones, Nathan Kearns, Lauren King, Alesa Stephens.

The board issued the following certified, limited three year contracts beginning with the 2017-2018 school year: Julie Feldner, Colleen Gereg, Alitza Grear, Brianna Warner.

The board issued certified, limited five year contracts beginning with the 2017-2018 school year: Tom Porter, and Beth Seneff.

Jeanne Strawn was approved as middle school secretary effective beginning with the 2017-2018 school year and the head custodian position was awarded to Bernie Saffell effective July 1, 2017.

The board also awarded the eight-hour day shift custodian position (currently assigned to the Elementary School) to Cindy Swallie, and the eight-hour afternoon shift custodian position (currently assigned to the High School) to Jason Shultz, both effective July 1, 2017.

The board issued the following (second) one year classified probationary contracts beginning with the 2017-2018 school year: Jason Shultz as eight-hour afternoon shift custodian and Julie Bates as 5.25 hour bus driver.

The board approved the following summer school instructors for the summer of 2017 paid at the rate of $25 per hour pending all required paperwork is completed and on file (the number of instructors needed is contingent upon enrollment): Elementary Transition to Kindergarten - Kayla Pritchard, Angela Fisher, Kelsey Winland, Julie Feldner; Elementary School Summer School: Melanie Beeson, Melissa Nugent, Jennifer Scott, Kelsey Winland, Tawnya Yager; Elementary School Accelerated Reader: Melissa McMillen, Alisa McCrate, Angie Pack; Middle School Summer School: Steve Fisher, Melanie Beeson; High School Summer School: Mary Samuel.

The board approved Jamie Bauman as an academic tutor for a homebound special needs middle school student for the 2017-2018 school year pending all required paperwork is completed and on file.

The board awarded a temporary bus garage Worker position, not to exceed 30 days, posted on April 19 to Mary Ellen Hannahs.

The board accepted the following certified supplemental resignations at the conclusion of the 2016-2017 school year: Brianna Warner,and Heather Eberhart, freshman class co-advisors; Chris Pack, sophomore class advisor; Matt Hissom, junior class advisor; Lori Clouse and Angie Fisher, senior class co-advisors.

The board issued the following one- year supplemental contracts to: Matthew Johnson as head boys' basketball coach and assistant football coach; DJ Butler, football offensive coordinator; Lauren King, assistant cheer coach; Mark Brown, head boys'/girls' cross country coach; Brianna Warner and Heather Eberhart, sophomore class co-advisors; Chris Pack, junior class advisor; Matt Hissom, senior class advisor; Brittany Gallagher as head cheer coach.

The board approved the following volunteers for the 2017-2018 school year pending all required paperwork is completed and on file: Karie Hunkler and Karen Clouse, volunteer assistant volleyball coaches; Sean McCrate, Tony Starr, Devin Nicholes, and David Carpenter, volunteer assistant football coaches; Nicholas Bauman, volunteer assistant golf coach; Tricia Ford and Alicia Jefferis, volunteer assistant girls' basketball coach.

The Superintendent recommends the Board of Education non-renew the following supplemental contracts at the conclusion of the 2016-2017 school year: Leslie Skinner, head softball coach; Kevin Miller, assistant softball coach; Mark Brown, head girls' track coach; Kelly Blecher, assistant instrumental music director.

The board approved David Groves as substitute bus driver and awarded a seven-hour educational aide position (currently assigned to the middle school) to Misty Cruse.

The board approved and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Policy and a member services agreement between OMERESA and Barnesville Exempted Village School District for the 2017-2018 school year.

The board approved a salary adjustment for Leslie Skinner for three years of military experience totaling $18, 238.09.


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