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Barnesville BOE welcomes four new members

BARNESVILLE — The Barnesville Exempted Village School District Board of Education is full of new faces after four newly elected members took their seats on the board Thursday.

Board members Ed Eberhart, Tammy Wells, Leslie Shultz and Janice Milliken were sworn into office during the board’s first meeting of the year Thursday. Dennis Huntsman, president of the board, thanked the new members for “taking on the responsibility” of joining the board.

Huntsman, who was acting as president pro tem as the only returning member of the board, was nominated president of the board.

Wells was named vice president.

In other matters, Superintendent Angie Hannahs recommended the board approve a daily pay raise for substitute nurses and substitute teachers who hold a bachelor’s degree from $75 to $85 per day. She said the bump in pay may help attract substitutes for the district.

“If you look at what some of the districts are currently paying, we are well below that rate, especially compared to some places for somebody with a bachelor’s degree, so we wanted to at least make that competitive with other Belmont County schools,” she said.

Treasurer Adam Quirk said in a “worst case scenario” the increase would raise costs by $17,000 per year, based on projections. He said the district is in need of substitutes and this could aid with that issue.

“While there is the cost in it, it’s just something that has to be done. We have to have teachers available in the classrooms,” he said.

The board unanimously approved the substitute raise.

Hannahs also recommended the board issue one-year supplemental contracts for the school year for 11 district coaches.

Eberhart inquired as to why the board chose not to renew the contracts last month and is now choosing to renew them. Hannahs said the non-renewal is in the coaches’ negotiated labor agreement.

“During negotiations the (union) wanted to have those non-renewed right after their season because in the off season there’s not a lot of work for them so they just kind of wanted to ensure they had those positions so they can move onto their off season work,” she said.

The board unanimously approved the supplemental contracts of all the coaches.

During the public participation portion of the meeting, Courtney Bellini, a mother of a Barnesville High School senior, inquired as to why graduation is being held on May 24, a Tuesday, instead of on a Sunday like in previous years. She said it can be difficult for some people to take the day off from work to see their child graduate.

Hannahs explained that the students were given the option this year and said they preferred Tuesday to Sunday.

Bellini asked if it could possibly be moved to Sunday. Faculty members said they would speak to the senior class officers and see what their opinion is about the change.

Bellini also said there was an issue with her daughter’s transcripts; she was provided with three different GPA and class ranks earlier in the school year. Bellini said she alerted the school to the issue and was told a third party associated with the software would go through and certify the transcripts.

Hannahs said the third party evaluation has not happened yet. After Friday’s grades are submitted, they will be able to run the transcripts.

“I just want it to be fair, however it ends. Whatever her final grades are, I want them to be correct and not different from what we’re submitting to them now, the preliminary transcripts,” Bellini said.

Hannahs said she should be hearing from the provider soon. Bellini thanked the board members for their time.

The board will continue to meet at 5:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month at the middle school cafetorium in Barnesville.

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