MOUNT GILEAD — The first action at the Jan. 9 meeting of the Mount Gilead School Board of Education was the swearing in of newly elected board members Matthew Griffith, Michael Sayers and Denny West by Municipal Court Judge, Jenifer Burnaugh.
Burnaugh introduced herself as a Mount Gilead High School graduate and parent of a child in Park Avenue Elementary School. The newly elected judge added that she is the first female Municipal Court Judge to be elected in Morrow County.
The board elected Virgil Staley President of the board and Brian Barnett was elected Vice President. Board members also accepted assignments as liaisons with Griffith for legislative, West to cover student achievement and Sayers for public records.
In other business:
• High School Principal Deb Clauss reported on finishing testing at the end of the year and setting goals for the new year. Department meetings are being held the first weeks of January. Teachers are looking for ways to add value to curriculum above and beyond just measuring achievement.
• Clauss praised band member Noah Tuggle for excellence in playing his instrument, the Euphonium. She thanked Pizzaburg for supporting the high school fundraisers and having a portion of earnings on Monday evenings slated for club fundraising.
High school students also have the experience of helping during the evenings. They have raised $400 to $1,000 on Mondays for their clubs.
• Middle School Principal Jon Grega said they are planning for the Washington D.C. trip and will meet with parents Feb. 12.
• Grega said the sixth grade Chrome Book HP 14 tech devices are now being kept at school and are no longer go home with children. This is because they were getting too much damage and also because kids were doing too much game playing on them.
They were using them so much for gaming that the staff blocked the games. However, some students were able to get around the blocks and continue with the games. This overuse of games sometimes shut down educational programs.
• Elementary School Principal Chris Kamenski said they are working on the state required reading action plan. One part of that plan is training for staff in early literacy skills. They are seeking a grant to have a literacy coach work with classroom teachers. The goal is to improve reading and reading scores.
• Curriculum Coordinator Jim Swain reported that they will have “Operation Prevention” for third through fifth grades. This is a free program for opioid prevention. He is also still seeking to have an “active shooter” class for staff with local law enforcement.
• The board approved the financial report presented by Treasurer Tonya Boyd. She plans to have more copies available for those attending future board meetings. She said the state auditor requires that she present a five-year forecast, bank statements, spending plan, financial summary and check register to the board.
• Erin Kelty reported that the Park Avenue PTO is looking into providing new chairs for the elementary school library.
• Superintendent Jeff Thompson noted that the board meetings will be the third Tuesday of the month and the next board meeting will be Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. in the board room.