Jackson Center forms plans to honor seniors, basketball team

JACKSON CENTER – The Jackson Center Local Schools Board of Education made plans to honor the school’s seniors and elite eight boys basketball team during its May 18 meeting.

Fourth through 12th grade Principal Jeff Reese confirmed some of the final logistics for modified graduation ceremonies to be held May 24.

Ceremonies will include graduates and their immediate families being escorted into the south parking lot and provided a socially distanced parking space. Graduates will be seated in front of their vehicles and presented diplomas on a stage provided by Dean and Rhonda Wildermuth, and pictures will be taken and provided by Bryan Wahrer.

Officers will lead a graduate parade through the village, and events will be livestreamed on YouTube. Homes of senior students have been identified with an outdoor student picture board, and graduate photos are displayed on school and village message boards.

Senior Class Adviser Susie Harris, as well as the class of 2020, were recognized for their efforts and teamwork to collaborate on these events.

Superintendent Bill Reichert shared information about how the school will honor its 2019-20 elite eight boys basketball team, which was scheduled to play in a regional final game that the Ohio High School Athletic Association canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The team will be honored with a state of Ohio plaque similar to those used to recognize team state participants and champions. The design will be unique to recognize the inability of this team to complete its quest for a state championship.

Additionally, some individual sports banners have been modified to accommodate the need for additional space to recognize new achievements and championships.

Reichert also informed the board of the continued study on the current use of some of the smaller lockers and the potential replacement of those with larger lockers.

Prekindergarten through third grade Principal Ginger Heuker reported the final packet exchange with students went smoothly. The yearly awards program was conducted and is accessible to parents to view on YouTube. Also, students can virtually tune into the final day countdown excusing them for the year.

The board of education approved reduced payment for spring sports coaches of 75 percent of the scheduled amount for the head coaches of baseball, softball and track and 50 percent for the assistant coaches in each sport. The board agreed the resulting compensation balanced the season being cut short and games/meets being canceled with the time already spent on preparation and offseason activities.

The board approved a $300 payment to staff member Randy Johnson for his support of this year’s spring musical, in which his substantial efforts were used in lieu of a professional pit orchestra.

Two new staff members were approved, Caylee Karg as the kindergarten through 12th grade art teacher and Katelyn Ryder as an elementary teacher.

Monitoring the effects on revenues with a focus on state support and earned income tax revenues continues. Information has been shared with staff on the initial reductions in state funding by Gov. Mike DeWine and the potential effects of unemployment and other wage losses resulting from the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Staff also were provided a summary of the changes in the health care plan that will become effective in January 2021.

The board approved the five-year forecast for submittal to the Ohio Department of Education. The forecast estimated the effects of lost state and earned income tax revenues and will be available on the Ohio Department of Education website.

The board approved a Community Reinvestment Area agreement between the Village of Jackson Center and Trusted Real Property, LLC, for the construction of two new buildings at 903 S. Main St. The agreement grants a 15-year real property tax abatement for the project at an estimated cost of $191,000.

The board also approved minor changes to the student handbooks

The next board of education meeting will be at 7 p.m. June 15.