Bellaire school officials taking safety seriously

Safety at Bellaire Local Schools took center stage during the regular board of education meeting Monday.

All three building principals and Superintendent Tony Scott reported steps are being taken to insure student safety following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in December.

Scott said the school district already has excellent safety procedures in place and is taking steps to make them even better.

“From the other places that I’ve been as superintendent, our buildings are the safest I’ve ever been in,” Scott said. “The procedures that we have in place puts us in the safest situation that we can have at this time.”

The district, however, is also looking at new procedures to make them better.

“We are doing everything we can to be proactive on these issues and making sure our kids have a safe learning environment to continue their education,” Scott said.

Both Elementary School Principal Derek Ault and Middle School Principal Derrick McAfee said meetings have been scheduled with the Bellaire Police Department and Belmont County Sheriff’s Office to review safety procedures.

Bellaire High School Principal Kevin Roseberry said the high school has replaced several security cameras with better cameras that offer more clarity. The school will also be practicing preparedness.

“We just want to make sure all of our students are safe at all times,” Roseberry said.

In other news, prior to the start of the regular meeting, the board held its organizational meeting.

Jason Ayres was elected to serve as president of the board for 2013. Michael Wallace was elected vice-president. Both were sworn-in by Treasurer Cindy Shaw.

The board also took the second step to getting an 8.25 emergency tax levy placed on the May Primary Ballot. The levy will generate $961,200 a year for the school district if approved by voters.

Students of the month from Bellaire Elementary School who were recognized during the monthly “Parade of Champions” were Alahana Swallie, Bradyn Beckett, Katie Myers, Joshua Cumberledge, Quentin Bess, Katelynn Gray, Logan Davenport, Jessie Sawinski, Steven Mitchell and Bryanna Beckett. Alexis Battisilli, Alex Allen, Nova Smathers, Ethan Bess, Lili Yocum, Ricky Johnston, Sara Dodrill and Austin Grall were recognized from the middle school as students of the month, along with high school students Casey McCallister and John Rosekovich.

The also approved the reappointment of Nancy Adriano as president of the Bellaire Public Library Board of Trustees and the appointment of Michael Doyle to the library’s board of trustees.

Bellaire Local School District will be saying good-bye to longtime transportation supervisor Walt Smigill, who will resign at the end of the school year. His resignation will be effective June 30.

The board also accepted the resignations of bus driver Tony Bresiger, retroactive to Dec. 14 and fourth grade teacher Kathie Barnes, effective Jan. 1.

The next regular meeting is scheduled for February 11 at 6 p.m.