The Mount Gilead School District and community thanked School Board Member Jeff Sweeney with a gift and reception for his four terms and 16 years on the school board at the December board meeting.
Sweeney thanked the community for the opportunity to serve the school district. He then thanked teachers for “making a difference in children’s lives.”
Sweeney stated that he believes it is the role of the board to provide the means to have an environment where children can grow both in learning and in character.
Special recognition was given for “passing the Bobcat skid steer safety program for operating the skid steer for Mt. Gilead Schools.” Attending the program were: Chris Clayton, Grover Geyer, Jim Helmecamp and Randy Wright.
Helmecamp, who is Director of Operations for the district, reported that $35,000 was saved so far this year on equipment with an additional $14,000 savings that are possible by changing hand soap and towel brands. He said he is putting final touches on a custodial plan.
Park Ave. Elementary principal Jim Swain gave an enthusiastic report on Measure of Academic Progress (MAP Testing) at Park Ave. He said that teacher Maggie McElroy teaches “some of the most challenged students to improve their reading.” He said the students’ testing has shown much improvement in moving to a higher category. Even though McElroy’s primary focus with these 14 students is in reading, science, math, and social studies are also incorporated into the program.
Swain also praised Tabitha Wilburn as recipient of the Bronze award for working with the Bee Hive After-School Program and for School enrichment. She was one of 22 in Ohio to receive the prestigious award.
The Board approved the following for employment in 2015-16: Nancy Edwards, Substitute Aide; Lauren Rausch, Head Track Coach; Bob Henry, Assistant Track Coach; Brandon Swain, Assistant Track Coach; Rick Van Houten M.S., Volunteer Basketball Coach and Dennis West, Assistant Track Coach.
The Board approved the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) County Work Assistance Program. In this program high school students do custodial work at no cost to the district. It is paid for through the County Job and Family Service Program and the students are supervised by the custodial staff.
Supt. Jeff Thompson said the district will be reimbursed for Jon Grega’s work for Fredericktown School District. Grega worked with Fredericktown on implementing programs similar to Mt. Gilead Schools and they gave him high praise for the work.
Thompson also reported savings in nursing services through the contract between ProvidaStaff, LLC, dba EDU Healthcare and Mount Gilead District. The Board approved both the nursing contract and Grega’s work for Fredericktown.
Staff reported success on several fundraisers this fall. The Middle School sale of Cleveland Cavs’ tickets raised $1,500 and the FFA fruit sale grossed $42,000. Ken Hollingsworth reported that Music Boosters will have a spaghetti supper for the Disney Trip.
The meeting was dismissed at 8 p.m. by President Rhonda Graham for an Executive Session concerning employees.
Alberta Stojkovic is a correspondent with the Morrow County Sentinel and can be reached at email@example.com.