Prenger joins Russia Board of Education

RUSSIA – The Russia Local School Board of Education met for organization and regular meetings on Jan. 15, and the new board member oath of office was administered to Jeff Prenger by Treasurer Jean Borchers.

Maria Hoehne was elected president of the Russia Board of Education, and Jeff Prenger was elected vice president.

Compensation for the Russia Board of Education members was set at $40 per meeting for calendar year 2020 with compensation not to exceed 12 meetings per year. A board service fund of $1,000 was established for 2020.

Jeff Prenger was designated as the Russia Board of Education’s legislative liaison to the Ohio School Boards Association during calendar year 2020. Josh Francis was designated as student achievement liaison for 2020. The Sidney Daily News was designated the Russia Local School District’s official newspaper during the calendar year 2020.

Maria Hoehne and Chelsea Hoying were appointed to the Administrative Advisory Committee, Doug Hoying and Chelsea Hoying were appointed to the Building and Grounds Committee, and Jeff Prenger and Josh Francis were appointed to the Finance and Negotiations Committee.

The treasurer was authorized to secure advances from the Shelby County auditor when funds are available and payable to the school district, to invest any active and inactive funds at the most productive interest rate and to pay bills within the appropriation measure. The treasurer, in conjunction with the board president, was authorized to borrow funds in anticipation of tax receipts.

The superintendent was authorized to employ such temporary personnel as is needed for emergency situations, to serve as the district purchasing agent and to be the district Title IX compliance officer for the Russia Local School.

The superintendent was designated the public records officer. Steve Rose and Rachel Gregg were appointed as the Russia Local School sexual harassment officers.

The board established the mileage reimbursement rate at 43 cents per mile effective Jan. 1, 2020. The rate for regular special education drivers driving their personal vehicles will be 45 cents per mile effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Following the organizational meeting, the Board of Education met in regular session.

During the visitor portion of the meeting, Dan Hoying was present on behalf of an exploratory committee to present ideas on a potential community activity center.

During the financial reports, the bills were approved as submitted. The financial summary report, updated spending plan and three-year spending plan comparison were reviewed. A motion passed to approve the bills as submitted, including then and now certifications.

In old business, Superintendent Steve Rose updated the board the next steps of the playground project, which is to begin in the spring. He presented a plan for selling and removing the existing playground equipment

In new business, a motion passed to employ Dan Schafer as high school boys track coach at an annual salary of $3,482 for the 2019-20 school year. A motion passed to approve Brad Heaton as high school girls track coach at an annual salary of $3,482 for the 2019-20 school year.

A motion passed to employ Holly Dapore as a substitute teacher and aide, as well as a cafeteria substitute, for the 2019-20 school year on an as-needed basis.

Rose reviewed the bus mileage with the board, comparing January 2019 to January 2020.

A motion passed to approve the Russia Local School calendar for the 2020-21 school year.

A motion passed to approve the resolution authorizing membership into the Ohio High School Athletic Association for the 2020-21 school year.

Motions passed to accept donations for scholarship purposes. The board accepted $12,500 from the Tom & Corrine Francis Family Foundation, $1,500 from O’Reilly Products, $1,500 from the Paul Cordonnier family, $1,000 from Versailles Savings & Loan, $1,000 from the Russia Wellness Foundation and $500 from the Dave and Ann Monnier family.

The board also accepted an anonymous donation of $1,000 for the blue and gold scholarship payment and an anonymous donation of $300 to be used for the trip to Washington, D.C.

During the principal’s report, Principal Marcus Bixler addressed the board on several topics including spelling bee, student end-of-quarter rewards as well as other student recognition activities. He also discussed student activities such as the junior high band tour to retirement homes as well as food collected for a local food drive.

The board entered executive session to discuss personnel employment. No actions were taken.

The board will meet at 8 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month in the Russia Local School library for its regularly scheduled meetings during calendar year 2020. Its next meeting will be 8 p.m. Feb. 19.