CADIZ The Harrison Hills City School District Board of Education held a special meeting Thursday night to review business and operations in preparation for the school year.
Dr. George Ash, superintendent, noted a new initiative in the field of practical learning is expected to launch this school year with a new outdoor learning lab. A private landowner in the Cadiz area is donating the use of 14 acres of land by the FFA.
The site will offer FFA students an opportunity to gain experience in raising beef cattle, chickens, hogs, the use of farm equipment, and possibly raising crop later.
Congressman Bill Johnson (R- 6th District), right, presented a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol to Dave Humphreys, left, and Rick Frio, center, owners of MPR Supply Chain Solutions. Johnson requested the flag to celebrate MPR’s expansion onto the former U.S. Army Reserve Armory property, vacant for more than a decade. MPR is leasing the property from the Belmont County Port Authority. “This is a wonderful example of a relationship with the public sector and private sector coming together for the good of both public and private sectors,” said Frio. “Common sense and common people finally prevailed.”
The acquisition of the property took more than two years and was tangled in governmental red tape. Belmont County Commissioner Matt Coffland said the commissioners personally delivered the request to purchase package to Johnson’s and Congressman Bob Gibbs’ (R-18th district) Washington D.C. offices trying to expedite the sale.
Frio thanked and credited several individuals for their support and assistance: Larry Merry, director of the Belmont County Port Authority; Commissioners Coffland, Ginny Favede and Chuck Probst; Congressman Johnson; Congressman Gibbs; Kent Moore of Senator Portman’s office; Tony Gentile of United Bank; Jason Wilson of the Allegheny Regional Commission; Lolly Ravak of Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association.
"It's an opportunity to have an authentic learning lab outside school walls," Ash said. "It's a very interesting project and something innovative and I think it will be beneficial to our schools."
He noted that students with an interest in agricultural pursuits but without the access to farmland, equipment or animals would have an opportunity to gain experience through this program.
"It's breaking down barriers," he said.
The matter is still in lease agreement. There will be no cost to the school, though land improvement will be part of the agreement. Ash credited FFA Advisor Don Jones, High School Principal Mark Kowalski, and the landowners, for their efforts in giving students an opportunity for needed practical experience.
He added that the FFA is responsible for agricultural education, FFA membership activities, and requires students to create a business, using skills such as bookkeeping and employee relations.
"It's an outstanding program we need more of," he said.
In other business, board heard an insurance committee update from Board Member Judi Crawshaw and approved Cigna as the district's new insurance provider. Benefits and third party administrator will remain the same. Accumulated deductibles will carry over.
Board approved substitute employees including Tammy Crall, bus driver; Kimberly Slivka, RN/LPN; Martha Mills and Sherri Kramer, aides, and Robert Leek, AnnMarie Krings, Laura Patrone, Michele Beraducci, Barbara Faldowski, and Melissa Moffis, teachers/tutors. Bill Bryant and Lisa Ferrell were approved as full-time substitute teachers.
Board approved a medical leave of absence for Heather Reed for the 2012-13 year.
Board approved the resignation of Aaron Satterfield, crossing guard, and Sue Ann Albugh, education aide.
Board approved the RIF of Cynthia Twaddle as bus driver effective Aug. 16.
Board motioned to employ Adam Heaston as part time IT Technician effective Aug. 20 at a minimum of 16 hours per week through June 30, 2013.
Board approved Linda Trushel as school nurse supervisor as needed district wide for the 2012-13 school year.
Board approved employing Kristie Smith as LPN/Aide at Harrison East Elementary and Samantha Cappuccio as Help Me Grow Visitor/Service Coordinator, for the 2012-13 year.
In matters of business and operation, board approved a service agreement between the district and Easter Seals for the school year. Board also approved payment for declaration of impracticability to Amanda Miller for providing transportation for her son.
Board approved the enrollment with Ohio School Comp for the 2013 Worker's Compensation Group Rating Program.
Board also entered into a service agreement with the sheriff's office for resource officers for the school year.
Board accepted applications for 13 interdistrict and intradistrict students and approved their attendance under the open enrollment program.
The 2012-13 Harrison Central Junior Senior High School Student Handbook was approved.
Board approved the use of the Harrison East Elementary gymnasium by Goldman & Braunstein LLP for a public meeting Aug. 15, 6-9 p.m.
Board also approved the use of the high school by Cadiz Biddy Football Sept. 23-Oct. 21, 2012, 1-6 p.m.
The next meeting will be held Aug. 30, 7 p.m.
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