SIDNEY — Details of a proposed plan concerning resource officer time at Fairlawn Local School were questioned, Thursday, Aug. 10, before the board of education approved a cost-cutting measure.
A member of the school’s teachers’ union asked how proposed hours would allow for all job duties to be carried out.
The board unanimously agreed to hire Justin Tidwell as the lone full-time resource officer for the upcoming school year. Tidwell also serves as the district’s part-time athletic director and will continue in that position.
Earlier this year, the board sought a lower-cost method of providing a resource officer to offset the $52,000 cost incurred for the 2016-17 school year. The board stepped away from a contract with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office to find a solution.
The annual salary for the new resource officer will be $17,000, according to Superintendent Jeff Hobbs. He noted Tidwell has graduated from the Ohio Police Academy and was an adult probation officer prior to joining the Fairlawn district.
Tidwell’s yearly salary as athletic director is set at $30,000.
It was noted that Tidwell will also be student teaching during the first nine weeks of the year. He is currently in the final quarter of study for a master’s degree in special education.
The board also hired Dan Kimpel, a longtime local law enforcement officer, as a substitute resource officer. His rate of pay will be $17 per hour on an as-needed basis.
Hobbs said the resource officer position runs from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each school day. The athletic director job is part time, but pays Tidwell for five hours per school day.
Britnie Middleton, a teacher and member of the Fairlawn Teachers Association, asked for clarification on the board’s priority of sports or safety. She asked if athletic department needs would detract from safety requirements.
Middleton asked if the salary plan was “double dipping.” She said some teachers with college degrees have been employed in the district for nine years and would earn less than Tidwell. She also asked how teachers were to cope if Tidwell was called away while student teaching.
Hobbs reported most of the athletic duties will be conducted after school hours and on weekends. The superintendent said it was not a case of “double dipping.”
Board members assured Middleton that student safety was the top priority. It was noted that if Tidwell is unable to be on the grounds, Kimpel will be called to cover the resource officer duties.
In a related matter, Hobbs told the board that he, Tidwell and Karen McRill successfully completed firearms training recently.
Middleton questioned the board’s long-term plan regarding the arming of teachers to provide a better safety atmosphere for students. Board president Bob Gold said they are looking to local law enforcement officials in creating a long-term plan.
Board to auction modular house Sept. 16
The board agreed to dispose of school property. A modular home on the south side of the campus is no longer needed for educational purposes.
Hobbs said the home is located on the five-acre tract of the former Borland property adjacent to the campus. The home will be auctioned, Sept. 16, at 10 a.m. and must be removed by the buyer.
Principal John Stekli informed the board that graduation requirement changes will allow several state testing options for students to obtain enough credits. He also reported student schedules would be available online in the week of Aug. 14.
Stekli reminded the board the district’s open house will be Aug. 17 from 4 to 7 p.m.
In other business, the board:
• Proposed moving the graduation ceremony to Sunday, May 27, 2018, at 2 p.m.
• Hired Rycki Schmiesing as a Response to Intervention aide.
• Approved contracts for Darren Kaiser, intervention specialist; and Rebecca Gerardi, art teacher.
• Accepted the resignations of Meaghen Tidwell, intervention specialist; and Jolynn Colebaugh, art teacher.
• Hired Anthony Cardo as a part-time custodian at a rate of $12.54 per hour.
• Agreed to employ 16 substitute teachers at a rate of $85 per day. They are Cari Allison, Andrew Arnett, Ronald Boeke, Alyssia Cavallini, Kimberly Cordonnier, Duane Couchot-Vore, Renee Geise, David Graham, Tommy Gross, Angela Imel, Jane Kaufman, Jim McCracken, Jessica Nichols, Robert Reed, Melinda Settlage and Shirley Umstead.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.