Hardin-Houston Board considers baseball field

By Heather Willard - hwillard@sidneydailynews.com

HOUSTON — The Hardin-Houston Board of Education met Monday, Oct. 16, to discuss the five-year forecast for the district’s budget.

Treasurer Amy Ayers presented the budget. She noted several items of importance in the report, especially the growth of total cash balance in the budget over the past 17 years. In 2000, the district had $669,900 at the end of the year. This year, the district is projected to have $5,289,818. Ayers did not take any responsibility for the growth, saying that it was mostly luck and good timing.

She noted that 56 percent of the district’s revenue is from unrestricted aid and 47 percent of expenses is from salaries.

The board approved the forecast and several other financial items. Those items included the monthly financial reports, the 2017-2018 tuition rate of $3,954.30, the budget and purpose statements, a contract to continue working with Minster Bank and the appropriation of $115,000 for the 21st Century grant.

John Freytag of Freytag and Associates presented plans for a new baseball diamond at the request of Ryan Maier, high school principal. Maier noted that the district has spent a total of $1.72 million on athletic and outdoor improvements recently, including the new high school gym, greenhouse and track. The proposed baseball field would cost from $890,000 to $960,000.

The field would include a well for irrigation, a concession stand, a press box, two dugouts, infrastructure for future lighting and a rotated field to lessen dirt work. Board members were hesitant to express an opinion but did ask Freytag several questions about what certain aspects of the project would cost, looking to see if they could lower the cost in any way.

Sara Roseberry, elementary principal, noted in her report that she had received data on the severity of “summer slide” in kindergarten to first-grade reading levels. She told the board that she would be looking into how they could address the loss of reading skills.

Maier noted that he recently took 20 upper class students to the Anna Honda plant for Manufacturing Day and that he took 60 more to Wright State for a campus visit. He said that the campus visit was the first, if not the only, opportunity for some of the students to visit a college campus, as their parents might not have the means or time to facilitate a visit.

Superintendent Larry Claypool reviewed a homeschool parenting survey that will be sent to all 40 homeschooling families in the district. The district administration is trying to understand why the families choose to use nontraditional schooling methods over sending their children to Hardin-Houston. Administrators have a vested interest in keeping students in their schools, as they are a large source of income for the school.

The board also:

• Employed Zach Barlage, Deanna Chappie, Cara Kellersmith, Tina Mertz and Andrea Wintrow as College Credit Plus teachers for the 2017-2018 school year at a rate of $300 per course.

• Approved maternity leave for Misty Gibson starting Feb. 16, 2018.

• Approved the early release time of 12:45 p.m. on Oct. 17 for teacher professional development.

• Employed Katy Koverman to share duties with Cara Kellersmith as gifted advisers. They will be paid $492.38 each.

• Approved the 21st Century grant, which includes employing Charlotte Phipps as site coordinator for $15,000; employing Melissa Bowers, Donna Long, Molly McKee, Doris Monnier, Gwen Shoemaker and Samantha Smith as teachers for a rate of $30 per hour; employing Jennifer Turner as an educational aide for $15 per hour; and employing Lori Barhorst and Lee Wemmer as bus drivers at a rate of $30 per hour.

• Approved extending the Master Supply Agreement with IGS Energy through December 2022.

• Employed Karen Hardin as part-time cook and custodian. She will be paid $9.57 per hour as a cook and $14.27 per hour as a custodian.

The board also entered executive session to discuss personnel issues.

The next Hardin-Houston Board of Education meeting will be Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. in the media center.

By Heather Willard


Reach the writer at 937-538-4825; Follow the SDN on Facebook and Twitter @sidneydailynews.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4825; Follow the SDN on Facebook and Twitter @sidneydailynews.