Fairlawn BOE elects president for 2020

By Kyle Shaner - kshaner@sidneydailynews.com

SIDNEY – Hope Abke was elected president of the Fairlawn Local Schools Board of Education during the group’s meeting on Wednesday.

Additionally, Andy Brautigam was elected the board’s vice president, Sarah Huelskamp was elected legislative liaison, Rita Gilfillen was elected student achievement liaison and alumni liaison, and Phil Groves was elected strategic planning liaison and athletic council liaison.

Brautigam also was elected to the Small School District Advisory Network, and Abke and Huelskamp were elected to the Board of Education Scholarship Committee.

Fairlawn spelling bee winners for the 2019-20 school year were recognized during the meeting, including Amelie Phillips, a fifth grader who won first place, Hunter Stoodt, an eighth grader who finished in second place, and Liliana Phillips, an eighth grader who finished in third place.

The fourth and fifth grade teacher team of Stephanie Everett, Kaylyn Hall, Ashley Ambos and Jacob Dodds presented on the Ohio Writing Project in the fourth and fifth grades. Key aspects include students learn argumentative writing, students debate each other to defend their position, and students write position papers using the Ohio Writing Project Process.

Teachers also discussed their STEM Christmas party. Students were placed in teams and used critical thinking and teamwork to solve problems in each classroom.

“This was one of the coolest activities I have seen in my entire career,” Superintendent Jeff Hobbs said. “The students had as much fun doing STEM activities as those in other classes having Christmas parties. Great job by the students and staff!”

Athletic Director Zach Freeling discussed his recommendation for the building of a new baseball/softball diamond on the property. He also said he will chair a committee to explore an athletics hall of fame at Fairlawn.

Technology Coordinator Aaron Cox discussed new security camera updates and an emergency call pole on the playground purchased with a Bureau of Worker’s Compensation Grant. He also discussed updates to the district’s phone system.

High School Principal John Stekli discussed graduation requirements for 2020 seniors and beyond, and the district’s new logistics course, which gives students 12 point credentialing.

Elementary Principal Karen McRill discussed the district’s Letters Grant Professional Development. She also discussed third grade reading scores and how the district has a 71 percent passage rate to date, which is much higher than a year ago and significantly higher than the state average.

Hobbs discussed the district’s financial situation negatively affected by the insurance increases.

He also discussed ongoing work within the district leadership team for a common vision for Fairlawn to include whole child education through academic achievement, enrichment opportunities for all students and college and career readiness. This vision will continue to take shape through meetings of the district leadership team, grade level meetings and staff meetings.

The board approved the financial reports and expenditures for December 2019. It established a service fund for the board in the amount of $10,000, which is used to pay expenses of board members in the performance of their duties as board members.

Board members approved a resolution establishing their compensation for each regular meeting attended in 2020, including the reorganizational meeting, to be $80.

Board members also approved resolutions waiving oral readings of minutes, requesting tax advances from the county auditor, authorizing the investment of funds, authorizing the superintendent to employ temporary personnel, appointing the superintendent as a purchasing agent, authorizing the treasurer to pay bills, authorizing the superintendent and treasurer to attend meetings and conferences, and renewing membership in the Ohio School Boards Association.

Fairlawn’s Board of Education authorized participation in the OSBA Legal Assistance Fund at the rate of $250.

The board accepted $100 donations from Hope Abke, Andy Brautigam and Rita Gilfillen.

The Board of Education will meet the second Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. in the Workforce Hangar at Fairlawn Local Schools. The next meeting will be 6 p.m. Feb. 12.

By Kyle Shaner


Reach the writer at kshaner@sidneydailynews.com or 937-538-4824.

Reach the writer at kshaner@sidneydailynews.com or 937-538-4824.