Pictured, left to right, are Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) National Career Development Conference attendees Kyndra Irwin and Ashleah Levings, along with their teacher Gerry Hartman. Pictured in the background, left to right, are board members Virgil Staley, Matthew Griffith, Mike Sayers, Vanessa Gingerich, Brandie Salisbury, and Mount Gilead Exempted Village Schools Superintendent Zachary Howard.

Alberta Stojkovic | AIM Media Midwest

Pictured, left to right, are Faith White, Honorable Mention All-Ohio girls basketball; Madilyn Elson, Special Mention All-Ohio girls basketball and KMAC Player of the Year; and coach Nick Vukovich, KMAC Coach of the Year.

Alberta Stojkovic | AIM Media Midwest

During its May 16 meeting, the Mount Gilead Exempted Village Schools Board of Education took time to highlight individuals for either their academic or athletic accomplishments.

The board recognized Ashleah Levings for her second-place finish in the speaking competition at the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) National Career Development Conference held in April in Orlando, Florida. Board members also congratulated Levings for her JAG accomplishments along with fellow state qualifier Kyndra Irwin and their advisor, Gerry Hartman.

Girls basketball coach Nick Vukovich was praised for the honor he received as KMAC Coach of the Year.

Madily Elson received congratulations for Special Mention All-Ohio and KMAC Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Faith White received All-Ohio Honorable Mention in girls basketball, and Matthew Bland received All-Ohio Honorable Mention in boys basketball.

High School Principal Deb Clauss said excitement was high with the first district pep rally which highlighted seniors announcing their college/university destinations.

Superintendent Zack Howard opened his comments at the meeting by reporting students in the school district tested above the state average in 11 of the 15 areas of testing with improvement in several areas.

Students exceeded the state average in mathematics, science, and social studies with areas of greatest improvement in geometry and biology.

Director of Student Services Molly Clapper announced a grant of $5,000 for mental health to be used by the district.

In other business:

• The board approved a five-year contract for Howard from 2024-2029.

• The board issued certified and classified contracts to personnel listed for the 2023-2024 school year. The complete list of certified classified and supplemental contracts approved, along with staff for Chief’s Club/SACC summer program can be found on the district website: https://goboarddocs.com/oh/mtgilead.nsf/Public.

• The board approved Dyslexia Law required training up to 18 hours for preapproved teachers to be paid from the dyslexia grant.

• The Summer Reading Academy (third grade) was approved for any students facing retention under the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. The program, which will be held June 5-27, will be funded through Title 1 Grant funds.

• The 2023-2024 certified and classified salary placement was approved.

• The board awarded a supplemental contract of $10,000 to Molly Clapper, director of preschool. The position is paid for by a grant.

• Individuals approved for the 2023-2024 school year are Rachelle Lee as a van driver, and Heather Pettigrew as substitute nurse.

• Michelle Noskowiak was approved as a third grade teacher at Park Avenue Elementary, and Lauren Heffelfinger as integrated arts teacher at Park Avenue Elementary.

• A donation of $5,000 was accepted for the new music boosters concession stand.

The meeting closed with a presentation concerning school funding by Rebecca Princehorn with the firm Bricker and Graydon.

The next board meeting will be held June 20 at 7 p.m. at the Board of Education Office.

Alberta Stojkovic is a correspondent for The Morrow County Sentinel.