EAST LIVERPOOL - The resignations of two longtime employees of the city school district were approved Monday night by the school board, along with several other personnel matters.
Accepted with regrets were the resignations for retirement purposes of Linda Henderson, principal and director of federal/state programs at Westgate, and bus driver Jo Ann Robinson.
Both women have worked for the school district 39 years, and board members expressed their thanks for their years of service, as well as sharing a few personal anecdotes.
Board President Janice Martin commended Henderson for having raised scores at Westgate during her time there, and member Larry Walton said she was a "woman who made education a real art in this community."
Walton also commended Robinson, saying, "We tend to look at those yellow buses going up and down and not see the caliber of people (driving them)."
Other personnel contracts approved included that of Richard Prescott as varsity football coach and equipment manager/fall; David Dozier, assistant varsity football coach; Charles Payne II, assistant varsity boys soccer coach; Robert Shansky, varsity volleyball coach; Lori Adkins, varsity cheerleading adviser; and Kim Daugherty, assistant varsity cheerleading advisor.
The board returned from an executive session of nearly two hours to approve the personnel matters as well as vote to affirm a student expulsion. Superintendent James Herring said he could not discuss the reason for the expulsion when asked after the meeting.
Henderson offered a presentation on Westgate's activities, including reward programs for students, assemblies to enrich education, classroom work and teacher team work.
She said teacher teams are "the most powerful thing we've done to improve student learning," and predicted that "more and more we're going to see technology (in the classroom) instead of pencil and paper."
Board members discussed at length the need to either repair or replace boilers at Westgate, with a motion made to have Herring secure some prices to hire a boiler engineer for a consultation to determine just what needs done.
Walton emphasized the need to speak with the Ohio School Facilities Commission about the district's desire to keep the Westgate facility open, saying, "We need this building."
Treasurer Todd Puster said he has spoken recently with an OSFC representative and said he has been told the agency is "willing to work with us," but that no time frame has been presented.
Westgate was slated for demolition under the original OSFC plan, but an increased enrollment has made district officials deem the building necessary. It currently houses 300 students as well as preschool students.
In other matters, the board:
- Learned that senior Nick Harris has earned his Eagle Scout badge
- Was advised that Jeff Kreefer has completed a display at Potters Fieldhouse showcasing former student and U.S. Olympics contender Aric Long
- Heard from member Richard Wolf about his concern with the condition of River Road, with Wolf suggesting all bus traffic be suspended until it is "reasonably passable." Herring will speak with the transportation supervisor to see if buses need to travel on the road.