By: Bill O’Connell
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
The recognition of the high school quiz bowl team and the approval to host a seminar featuring educator, consultant and best-selling author Dr. Mike Schmoker, highlighted the 7:00 PM Swanton School Board meeting on Wednesday, April 20, 2016.
After adopting the agenda as written board President Steve Brehmer called for the awarding of commendations to the Swanton High School Quiz Bowl Team. “Under the leadership of Josh Eppert they have achieved numerous goals that have never been achieved by our quiz bowl teams. They placed second in the Buckeye Academic League and qualified for regionals,” said Mr. Brehmer. “We felt they were very worthy of being recognized by the board.”
Mr. Eppert then passed out certificates to the team members present, Josh Mitchell, Max Wegener-Crow, Crystal McEwan, Natalie Walbolt, Kira Cherry, Jarret Macek, Austin Hill and Eric Slink. “They deserve all the credit,” Mr. Eppert proudly exclaimed. “I just push them in the right direction and they do all the hard work.”
Treasurer reports from Joyce Kinsman were next on the agenda and Ms. Kinsman gave a detailed account of the district’s financial status with a focus on where the district’s investments currently reside. Overall, the district is in good financial standing with 9.9 million dollars in the bank. The board unanimously approved the financial reports as presented.
Under new business the board approved an appropriation for the Swanton Public Library for FY16 and the funding for the Middle School wireless upgrade project. The wireless upgrade is expected to be complete by the middle of August 2016 and will cost approximately $63,000.
Superintendent Jeff Schlade then made a request to the board to approve a “waiver day” on Monday, May 23, 2016 to host a seminar with Dr. Mike Schmoker. School employees will be required to report to work but students would be given the day off. Currently, students are well over the State minimum for attendance, allowing this day off to be possible.
“Dr. Schmoker is a highly sought after consultant and best-selling author and the work that we do with him on this day will directly fit within our Ohio Improvement Process as we work with the State Support Team,” explained Mr. Schlade. “It will fold nicely into the goals that eventually we develop through the district leadership teams as well. This will help the district towards its mission of providing a superior educational experience as well as our vision which includes creating an academic environment where student achievement is a top priority.”
Mr. Schlade also pointed out that Dr. Schmoker’s fee, which ranges between $5,000 and $10,000, will be covered by the State Support Team as long as representatives from other school districts are allowed to attend. The board agreed and approved the waiver day request 5-0.
Personnel issues were next on the agenda and Mr. Schlade asked the board to renew Mike Vicars as Director of Student Services and non-renew personnel with supplemental and substitute contracts. Those contracts falling in the non-renew category will be reviewed at the May meeting. The recommendations carried by a vote of 4-1.
A facilities tour of all the school buildings was discussed at length and it was decided the first tour, which would be open to the public, would be of the Middle School. The tour will be prior to the next board meeting scheduled for May 19, 2016. The time and date will be locally publicized.
Also of interest, Mr. Schlade reported that three Swanton social studies teachers, Kayeann Batanian, Andrew Carr and Ashley Ward were recently selected to be part of a field trip to Germany through the Atlantic Bridge Educational Charity. All expenses will be paid by the sponsoring organization.
Just prior to the end of the meeting Middle School Principal Matt Smith reported that the Middle School Dodge Ball Team had successfully defended its Teacher’s Cup Trophy at the fund-raising Dodge Ball Tournament recently held at the High School.
There was no request for an executive session and the meeting was adjourned at 8:15 PM.
Bill O’Connell may be reached at