Harrison Hills board honors retiring teachers

CADIZ The Harrison Hills City School District held its regular meeting Thursday and showed appreciation for several retired teachers for their years of service to area youth.

Virginia Bieber ended her 45-year teaching career at Harrison North Elementary. Holly Brindley retired after 35 years of teaching art. Pam Gibson taught high school English and language at the high school level for 35 years. Chuck Lewis taught 35 years of science. Cathy Miser retired after 33 years teaching at the elementary level. Dorothy Turner taught elementary school pupils for 20 years.

Dr. George Ash, superintendent, noted that their combined experience amounts to 238 experience.

“I think that’s pretty special,” he said, adding that they all went beyond the call of their teaching duties through extracurricular and after hours work. He said that during the past five years, three years have been effective and two have been excellent. “I think it’s indicative of the work these teachers did. They certainly need to be rewarded and need to be looked at with the highest esteem in our community because you’re saving lives every day.”

He read a brief note of appreciation from a student, describing the impact the district teachers have had.

In other issues, Ash noted that the district is making gains in open enrollment.

In 2010 roughly 27 students were coming into the school district while 364 leaving. As of this Nov. 27, the district is receiving 69 students and losing 338 with a net turnaround of 67.17 students.

“We’re gaining ground. We’re going in the right direction,” he said, noting that $5,700 per each of the 67 students amounts to $382,869. “We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

He also relayed a letter of appreciation for the soccer team and Coach Brent Ripley, thanking the board for their support during a successful first season. The team is 22 students strong.

In matters of personnel, for substitutes board approved Lizbeth Salyers as bus driver, aide, cafeteria worker and custodian; Trisha Erickson as secretary, aide, custodian and cafeteria worker; Claudia Downs as bus driver and aide; Lindsay Watson, teacher/tutor; Millroy Watson, custodian and bus driver; Pam Fisher, custodian; and Shirley Ault, bus driver.

Board accepted the retirement of Cathy Salsberry, effective Jan. 1, 2013 and Hervert Hyde as custodian effective Dec. 1, 2012. Board also approved Neil Lynskey as a bus driver at 5.5 hours per day effective Nov. 12, 2012; board approved additional duties of A.M. and P.M. site managers of the 21st Century Tutoring Program to Brent Ripley and Duran Morgan.

Board approved Mark Kowalski as director of operation in training for the 2012-2013 year. Board assigned additional duties of Close-Up advisor to Morgan for the 2012-2013 school year.

Board approved Don Bethel as varsity softball coach for the 2012-2013 school year. Board also confirmed the assignment of Carol Atkins to MH aide at Harrison East Elementary effective Dec. 1, 2012. Board also recalled John Rustin from the OAPSE RIF list as head custodian at the junior/senior high school effective Dec. 1, 2012.

Regarding business and operation, board rejected bids for a door replacement project and waived spring fuel costs for the band boosters totaling $629.59. Board approved the liability release and waiver with the village of Scio to use the lift for village purposes when needed.

Board approved a County and Institution of Higher Education Article of Agreement with Ohio University Eastern for the 2012-2013 school year.

Board approved roof restoration at the Harrison East Elementary bell tower, the Harrison Central library and power washing at the main building.

Board also approved adult support groups under the district’s liability insurance including the wrestling club, cheerleader parents, and FFA alumni. Board approved a memorandum of understanding with the HHTA regarding filling home bound tutoring positions in the district.

Board accepted applications for three interdistrict students and intradistrict students. Board approved requests to place two foreign exchange students.

Also, Morgan was approved to take five to seven Close Up students to Washington D.C. Jan. 17-23, 2013 for the presidential inauguration.

Board approved use of facilities request from Amanda’s Dance Academy for dance practice at the junior/senior high school Oct. 1-June 30, 2013 and a holiday recital 5-8 p.m. Dec. 6 and 8, 2012.

A special board meeting was set for Dec. 4, 6 p.m. to discuss matters of personnel. No action will be taken.

A special organizational meeting was set for Jan. 10, 7 p.m. with a budget hearing at 6:45 p.m.

DeFrank can be reached at rdefrank@timesleaderonline.com