Board Of Education Reinstates Primary/Elementary Art Program

2015-06-22 18.02.50 WEBBy: Shar Dimick

At the June 22 meeting, the Wauseon Board of Education hired Lindsay Gordon as the Wauseon Primary/Elementary art teacher for the 2015-2016 school year.

Karen Dameron, treasurer, presented the five-year fiscal forecast, which showed that it was feasible to bring this program back to the classroom.

Superintendent Larry C. Brown said, “The forecast does reflect our attempts to bring our deficit spending in line, so that’s something that we can obviously share with the public — that we gone from some deficit spending times, which were tough for everybody, not just for us, to more positive balances in our fiscal years.”

Board of Education President, Sandra Griggs said, “Because of this [positive balance forecast], we’ve been able to bring back the elementary art.”

The district continues to carefully monitor operational expenditures and only returned this position with a conscientious review of the district’s curriculum needs and community feedback.

“I am grateful to have the support of the Wauseon Board of Education with respect to the arts in our schools. They truly listen to their constituents,” said Brown.

Brown also add that they’ve been able to add additional classroom positons as needed for class size numbers, but they are still not where they were staffing-wise in 2009.
Since 2009 the kindergarten through fifth grade classroom teachers have provided art instruction to their students. This change now allows classroom teachers to join the library aides in the media center during library time as the district strives to improve literacy at the lower grade levels.

Gordon has one year of art education teaching experience and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Bowling Green State University. Her major was Art Education (PK-12) with a specialization in two-dimensional studies.

In other business the board approved/accepted:

•Allowance of adult groups (Parents Supporting Schools, After-Prom committee, Athletic Boosters and Music Boosters) to purchase liability insurance coverage under the school program for $70 a group.

•Donations from the Dads of Foreign Service Veterans Post 240, Wauseon Rotary, Wauseon Athletic Boosters and St. Caspar Parish/St. Bernadette Rosary Circle, Wauseon Machine and Manufacturing Plant 1, Inc., City of Wauseon, Midwest Knights and the National Wild Turkey Federation.

•Participation in the fiscal year 2016 federal programs: Title I, Title II-A TQU, Title III LEP, IDEA-B and ECSE IDEA.

•Parental leave for Blake Young and Nichole Aeschliman.

•Reassignment of Tom Burkholder from WPS intervention specialist to first grade teacher and Brittany Weber from WPS kindergarten teacher to second grade teacher.

•Multiple supplemental athletic contracts for spring sports.

•A five cent increase in primary, elementary and middle school lunch prices and a ten cent increase in high school lunch prices. In addition, the workbook fees for some grades also increased due to new language arts curriculum.

In building report highlights:

•Keith Leatherman, high school principal reported that Wauseon High School Speech Team members Breanna Demaline and Clarissa Johnson (Duo Interpretation), Brenden Kost (International Extemporaneous Speaking) and Cole Stiriz (Dramatic Interpretation) competed at the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) National Tournament held in Dallas, TX and attended by over 2000 student competitors. Stiriz progressed to octa­finals in his category, placing him in the top 60 in the nation out of 245 in this category, and making him the first student in the history of Wauseon speech to do so in this category. Five members of the class of 2015 have been awarded the NSDA Academic All –American Award: Bailey Hardy, Brooke Hardy, Brenden Kost, Motoki Maxted, and Cole Stiriz. This is the largest number of students from Wauseon to be awarded the Academic All­American Award in any given year thus far. Criteria for this award include having a GPA of at least 3.7 on a 4.0 scale, having an ACT score of 27 or an SAT combined score of 2000 or higher, and having attained an NSDA Degree of Superior Distinction (points awarded in the course of a student’s competitive speaking career). A coach’s character reference is also required.

•Joesph Friess, middle school principal, reported that they held the Second Annual Middle School Awards Program handing out over 200 certificates and concluded the first year of their partnership with Wauseon Machine for the “Student of the Week” Program. A total of 34 students received a certificate with the name of the nominating teacher as well as the reason for the nomination. Finally, the 21st Century Grant program is continuing this summer in conjunction with the high school with a program based on the “Amazing Race” concept.

•Elementary school principal, Theresa Vietmeier, reported that a total of 143 third grade students took the reading OAA. Of those, five students did not achieve the required score of 394 in order to advance to fourth grade reading. (The score of 400 is considered Proficient). These five students also took the Alternate Assessment and results of the Alternate are expected this week. If students pass the Alternate, they would be eligible to advance to foutth grade reading, otherwise there will be a testing window in July for Summer Reading OAA, as well as the Alternate Assessment. The preliminary, unofficial Performance Index (PI) for all third graders who took this assessment is 108.7 The PI aligns directly with the achievement of ALL students, not just those who are at risk. (The higher the achievement, the more points awarded). This year’s score is the highest in the school’s history.

•Troy Armstrong, primary school principal, reported that currently 134 kindergartners are enrolled next year and there will be six sections with 21/22 students each. 64 students signed up for Safety City. This program helps prepare incoming kindergarten students for the first day of school. Mrs. Vollmer is keeping these students busy with safety instructions, guest speakers and outside instruction. A town map is painted on the playground and students drive electric jeeps and walk following safety rules learned throughout the week. The program is fully funded this year via donations from area businesses and residents.

The next board meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 13 at 5:30 PM at the board office.

Shar may be reached at

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