VWCS Board of Education Meeting: June 23, 2021

Posted On: Thursday, June 24, 2021

State Championships Sign

This is the first of six signs that will be going up at the municipal limits of Van Wert and Ohio City to honor Van Wert High School state champion athletes. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent


Van Wert Superintendent Mark Bagley talked about some concerns with school funding in the yet-to-be-approved biennial state budget proposal, while the Van Wert City Board of Education dealt with personnel and financial actions related to the upcoming school year during Wednesday’s June meeting.

Bagley said he was reasonably pleased with the House version of the school funding plan, noting that he felt the House version was the most beneficial to public schools.

He added that the House spent a lot of time researching the issue, and also involved lots of people in the process, while, in his opinion, the Senate plan was done very quickly and rushed through and “very, very, political.”

The biggest sticking point, Bagley said, is the difference in how much funding would go to school vouchers.

“School vouchers are a huge issue, when public funds go to private schools,” he said, noting that, he is okay with the idea of vouchers, if the plan is fair and reasonable.

“We know vouchers will happen, we understand that, I’m not against that part, but if every single kid would have a voucher, that’s just not doable for public education,” Bagley said.

The other primary issue, in his mind, the superintendent said, is school report cards, which Bagley said he hopes would be resolved in a way that benefits both Ohio school districts and state educational accountability.

Bagley also noted in his report that, at this point, it appears that mask wearing will be optional when school resumes in the fall. While he said changes could be made later if the situation changes drastically for the worst, with just one county COVID-19 case reported last week, he said he doesn’t see that happening at this point.

The superintendent said he hopes to make this school year as normal as possible for students and staff after a 2020-21 school year that challenged school officials to find ways just to keep kids in the classroom.

During his report, Assistant Superintendent Bill Clifton talked about the reworking of the sign in front of the S.F. Goedde Building, and the new signs going up honoring the district’s state champion athletes.

Clifton noted the first sign honoring state champions is now up at the “t” intersection of Lincoln Highway and Wayne Street on the east side of town and honors the 2021 Division IV state champion Cougar football team – the school district’s first team state champion — as well as individual and relay track state champions. Track athletes honored include the 1976 girls’ 4×1600-meter relay team (Cindy Eickholt, Diane Thompson, Mary Rickner, and Peggy Rickner), 2012 800-meter champion Jared Fleming, 2018 long jump champion Megan Braun, and 2019 discus state champ Kirsten Clay.

“It’s a really impressive sign,” Clifton said, noting that each sign includes a representation of the state of Ohio and a listing of VWHS state champions.

A total of six signs are planned, with three more in the city of Van Wert, at the north and south entrances on U.S. 127 and on Van Wert-Decatur Road near Vancrest Health Care Center, and two at the north and south entrances to Ohio City on State Route 118.

Clifton also noted that most of the materials were donated, with materials for the sign donated by Vantage Career Center and the posts by the City of Van Wert. A Vantage student from Kalida also made the sign, while city workers are installing the four signs to be placed at the city limits.

The sign in front of the Goedde Building on the side facing the building has the VWCS logo and “Van Wert School at the Goedde”, as well as the district motto of “Education-Innovation-Tradition.” The other side, which can be seen from Eggerss Stadium, has a Cougar’s head and the words “VW Cougars.”

Clifton said all of the signs look very professional.

Also on Wednesday, the board accepted the resignations of fifth grade teacher Monica Donley and Early Childhood Center paraprofessional Taylor Semer and approved hiring Rachael Dettrow as an elementary school intervention specialist, Leah Nietfeld as a fifth grade teacher, and Ronda Niemeyer as a preschool special education teacher.

In other action, the board:

  • Approved Student Activity and Athletic Activity funds for fiscal year 2022.
  • Approved the amended Official Certificate of Estimated Resources for FY 2021, as well as FY 2021 permanent appropriations and FY 2022 temporary appropriations.
  • Authorized participation in the Workers’ Comp group retro rating through  Comp Management, a Sedgwick company, for the 2022 calendar year.
  • Accepted and acknowledged the following charitable donations: $646.45 from Greve Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, $646 from the Business Development Corporation, and $1,500 from Walmart to the VWHS robotics program; donations of $8,040.12 and $4,551 from the elementary PTO to the Van Wert Elementary School Student Activity Account; $2,250 from an anonymous donor to the Girls’ Basketball Activity Account; and $25 from Convoy United Methodist Church to the Principal’s Account.
  • Approved an educational agreement with the Northwest Ohio Juvenile Detention Center for the 2021-2022 contract year.
  • Approved the Van Wert County Business Advisory compliance plan for the 2021-2022 academic year.
  • Learned that the following teaches are to be advanced on the district payscale: Ashley Breese and Harry Florence, Master to Master plus 15 hours.

The next meeting of the Van Wert City Board of Education will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 28, in the First Federal Lecture Hall of the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio.


Original article courtesy of The VW Independent

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