UL hires middle school principal

BELMONT-After approving the resignation of middle school Principal Sam Lucas, who is retiring on June 21, Union Local school board members approved the hiring of Robert Mascolino as the new principal Thursday night.

Mascolino has been with the Cambridge City School District for 14 years as a social studies teacher with a certification in secondary (7-12) history and political science and principal certifications for 4-9 and 9-12. He has also coached football, softball and wrestling. Mascolino and his wife, Susanna, who is also a teacher in Cambridge, have a son, 5, and a daughter, 2.

Superintendent H. Kirk Glasgow and board president Terry Puperi thanked Lucas for coming out of retirement to step into the position at Union Local on short notice this year. Teacher Sheryl Sonk added, “It could have been a rough year, but it’s gone very smoothly. It’s been a pleasure to work with Mr. Lucas.”

Two elementary school students have had their artwork chosen for exhibits. Second grader Julena Kovacik’s piece will be included in the 33rd Annual Young People’s Art Exhibition at the Ohio Art Education Association (OAEA) Convention in November 2013. Parker Skedel, grade 4, was an exhibitor at the OAEA Youth Art Month Exhibition from March 1 to 31 in Columbus, hosted by the State Teachers’ Retirement Systems.

Bill West, director of support services, presented a status report to board members regarding maintenance, transportation and food service for the district. In maintenance, custodial supply bids have been requested for the 2013-14 school year. The stadium bleachers were recently inspected, producing a list of necessary repairs, some of which have already been completed. West has been researching new contracts for the high school elevator. He is forming a list of projects to work on over the summer, and volunteers from Chesapeake Energy may be doing some painting on the elementary school grounds.

In transportation, West informed the board that there are 13 daily bus routes which transport a total of 1,850 students. Buses travel 1,500 miles per day using 238 gallons of gasoline. There are also two after school routes which are paid through the 21st Century Community Learning Center grant.

West asked Kathy Fowkes of the food service department to present that status report. Fowkes said that the district has been implementing the new directives to comply with new federal standards. At the elementary school, Union Local is providing the breakfast program, and Preferred Meals is doing the lunches. UL food service has started a “grab and go” lunch at the middle and high schools which include a wrap sandwich or salad, a piece of fruit and milk. Updated and taste-tested menus this year have helped increase the cafeteria revenue by $400 to $800 per month. Traditionally operating at a loss, the department has turned around and currently has a fund balance of nearly $10,000 with $27,000 in subsidized lunch program claims. West congratulated and thanked the food service staff for their efforts in this achievement.

Board members approved two donations to the district to pay for awards for the Gloria Dawes Invitational. Mac-Sto Restaurants, LLC donated $800, and Doan Ford donated $200. “I’d like to thank these donors and all the others who donate to Union Local,” added Glasgow. “The children are able to have a lot of things they wouldn’t be able to have if it weren’t for generosity from this community.”

The board would like to remind parents that cell phones can be confiscated and kept by the principal until the end of the school year. Students and parents should review the handbook policies regarding first and second offenses.

Glasgow announced that the 9th Annual Healthy Ohio Fitness Walk, a 5k, will be held on Wednesday, May 15 starting at 6 p.m. Participants can register at the middle school shelter before heading to the 1.7 mile fitness trail loop. There will be prizes, giveaways and a limited number of shirts for the first registrants. The walk is sponsored by the Union Local Health Advisory Council, Virginia Gasaway Foundation, Tricor and the American Cancer Society.

Valenti can be reached at gvalenti@timesleaderonline.com.