UVCC, county schools ready for students



Summer is quickly coming to an end as local students are preparing for the first day of school.

The Upper Valley Career Center is preparing to welcome students back to campus for the 2021-22 school year. All first-year students will begin on Thursday, Aug. 19, with all students reporting to school on Friday, Aug. 20. The school day begins at 8:23 a.m. and ends at 2:44 p.m. Students are able to enter the building as early as 7:55.

All enrolled students should have received a Schedule Pick-Up Day (SPUD) packet in the mail with the information needed for back to school. The annual Schedule Pick-up Day will be held Tuesday, August 17 from 12:00 – 7:00 pm on the main campus. “This is a great day for all students to come into school to pick-up their class schedule, uniforms, fill out forms, and ask any final questions they might have,” said Matt Meyer, Director of Student Services.

Students should enter the building, and go directly to their career tech lab where instructors and staff members will give them the primary information they need and answer questions.

The health and safety of our students and staff are always the first priority of the Upper Valley Career Center. In keeping with guidance from the Ohio Department of Health and the Miami County Health Department, masks will be optional, but recommended for staff and students. However, students being transported by bus must wear a mask per federal transportation guidelines.

For additional information on back to school for new or returning students, please visit the Student Information page on the Career Center’s website at www.uppervalleycc.org or call 937-778-1980.

Botkins Local School District

The first day of school for Botkins students is Aug. 19. An open house will be held Aug. 17 from 5 to 7 p.m.

According to Superintendent Jeff McPheron, the district is not mandating masks for its students or staff due to the COVID-19 situation.

New staff members for the district are Brittany Gross, high school business/computer science teacher; Logan Watercutter, elementary guidance counselor; Gavrielle Mann, second grade teacher; Susan Hager, enrichment/gifted teacher; Julie Meyer, elementary secretary; and Sarah Bergman, educational aide.

“We will honor the Boys State Basketball Champions by raising a banner at one of our home games this year,” said McPheron.

Lunch will be provided to all students free of charge.

Jackson Center Local School District

Jackson Center Superintendent Bill Reichert said the district students will return to the classroom on Thursday, Aug. 19. Open houses prior to the first day of school will be held Aug. 17 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

The district, said Reichert, will not require any students or staff member to wear a mask because of COVID-19.

Russia Local School District

“I am truly looking forward to a traditional school year without all the distractions that COVID-19 had in the previous two years,” said Russia Local Schools Superintendent Steve Rose.

The first day of school for Russia students is Wednesday, Aug. 18.

There are three new staff members joining Russia Local School. Two of the three new staff members are Russia alumni. The first is Janel Slonkosky who will be returning to Russia as the K-12 principal. Maddie Borchers is returning to Russia after graduating in the spring from the University of Dayton. Borchers will be teaching fifth- and sixth-grade math and will also be serving as the varsity girls golf coach. In the high school, Krista Wellman, of Coldwater, will be filling the position vacated by Andy Timmerman. Wellman has been a high school math teacher in Jay County for the past six years.

Fort Loramie Local School District

Dan Holland, Fort Loramie Schools superintendent, has announced Wednesday, Aug. 18, will be the first day of school for students.An open house will be held Monday, Aug. 16, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Fort Loramie Local School will be following guidelines set forth by the local health department about wearing masks because of COVID-19.

There is one new teacher for the district. Jessica Egbert will be teaching seventh- and eighth-grade English/Language Arts.

Holland said the high school and junior high gymnasiums’ floors were resurfaced over the summer vcation and the parking lots at both buildings were refinished.