There were several visitors to the Western Brown Local School District Board of Education meeting Monday evening, including special education staff, members of the JROTC Air Rifle Team, and DECA members, who were all congratulated by Superintendent Peggy McKinney for demonstrating success and progress in their programs.
Jenny Bohrer, district director of special education, began by giving an update on the special education department, specifically in regard to the district’s preschool and WEST program.
Currently, there are 44 preschoolers served. The WEST program serves students, eight-18, with behavioral disabilities and incorporates martial arts, equine therapy, and field trips to a local farm.
Under the umbrella of special education updates, staff from the district’s preschool, WEST program, Hamersville Elementary/Middle School, Mt. Orab Elementary School, Mt. Orab Middle School, and Western Brown High School provided updates on their building’s special education initiatives.
One of those employees was Marcie Rolph, intervention specialist at HEMS, who shared several things the district will be doing for Autism Awareness Month in April, including decorating buildings and selling t-shirts.
Those in attendance watched a slideshow presentation with pictures from the WEST program.
“The strides we have made as a group have only been surpassed by the strides each student has made individually,” said Kyle Brunsman, WEST program intervention specialist.
After discussing the WEST program, WBHS Principal Heather Cooper also discussed how far the JROTC Air Rifle Team has come since the idea came to fruition.
“I was hesitant when the concept of air rifles was first introduced to me,” Cooper said. “Colonel Gobin and First Sergeant Sepi have done a great job. Several large universities offer scholarships for air rifle.”
Colonel Gobin and two students updated the board on the progress of the air rifle team.
“They’re improving quite a bit; have room for improvement but are doing very well,” Gobin said.
The DECA program —which fosters students into leaders for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management — also had representatives at Monday’s meeting.
Mike Goins, marketing instructor and DECA program leader, discussed the DECA program, hitting on topics such as early placement and students leaving high school early during the day to work.
Also discussed was the success of WBHS Junior Tyler Adkins, who was elected as the 2013-2014 Ohio DECA President at the organization’s annual Fall Leadership Conference in Columbus last November. Currently, Adkins works with a team of officers across the state to organize DECA conferences.
Several business items were also on the agenda to be discussed or approved.
Resignations, retirements, or leaves of absence included Hamersville Elementary School teachers Paula Rankin and Teresa Stephenson, whose retirements will both be effective June 1.
Employments included: county substitute teachers and county substitute aides; particular administration contracts for the 2014-2015 school year; Andrew Gill, assistant softball coach; Emily Hardy, Mt. Orab Middle School substitute teacher; Joy Maxfield, Hamersville Elementary School substitute art teacher effective March 4; Darrell Shively, sub custodian; employees for the boys basketball and wrestling tournaments; and the non-renewal of supplemental coaching contracts and supplemental advisers/sponsors contracts.
Business items approved during the meeting included: a revised 2013-2014 school year calendar; the 2014-2015 school year calendar; the 2014-2015 school year Open Enrollment Policy JECBB; flexible spending plan for employees, effective May 1; advertising for two buses and a blacktop sealing project; Western Brown High School Activity/Class Fees; permission for Western Brown High School FFA to attend the late April Ohio FFA Convention in Columbus for two nights; a hotel stay for Coach Wendel Donathan during the state wrestling tournament; and permission for DECA to attend the National DECA International, to be held in Atlanta in May.
In other business, the March 17 agenda, February Financials, and February Investments were approved, as were Feb. 10 Public Hearing, Feb. Regular Minutes, and Feb. 26 Special Minutes.
Present for the meeting were Board President JoAnn Hildebrandt, Treasurer Denny Dunlap, and Board Members Shane Bishop, Tracy O’Hara, and Lynette Garrett.