MINSTER – The retirement of the Minster Local Schools superintendent was accepted by the board of education at its Monday, Dec. 20, meeting.
Superintendent Brenda Boeke announced her retirement effective July 31, 2022.
Boeke told the board, “I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to be a student, teacher, principal and superintendent in this fine district. I’ve greatly enjoyed and appreciated each and every opportunity. I am very proud of the accomplishments the district has made and I attribute that success to the students, staff, and parents of the Minster School District. I will miss most those very people and I will do everything possible to make the transition to a new Superintendent as seamless as possible. If a mentor is needed, I will happily serve in that capacity.”
This is Boeke’s 37th year in education and her 11th as superintendent. She received her undergraduate degree from Bowling Green State University and Masters from Butler University.
Boeke, a Minster High School graduate, received her first teaching job in Minster before moving away and teaching in Columbus Public Schools and St Mark Catholic School in Indianapolis. She returned to Minster in 1997 to take the assistant elementary principal position, then becoming K-8 principalthe following year. She became the district superintendent in 2010.
After the board meeting, Boeke said “The district has accomplished many things that I am proud of, most recently providing in-person learning through a pandemic, completing the high school renovation project and implementing the leadership team process. I am most proud of the fact that daily I am a part of helping the next generation blossom into confident caring young adults.” Boeke said she has no immediate plans for the future besides enjoying her seven grandchildren.
In her monthly boardreport, Boeke shared news of proposed pieces of legislation that would negatively affect schools. For example, she said House Bill 1267 proposed changes to Property Valuation Board of Revision (BOR) process. The changes would prohibit Boards of Education to file property valuation complaints and only can file a counter-complaint if there is evidence of another value.
Said Boeke, “This has never been proposed before and is an effective ban on counter-complaints since BOEs have no way to obtain evidence of value before filing a counter-complaint.”
She said other proposed rules would have the BOE passing a resolution for each counter-complaint and that the resolution cannot be considered with any other resolution. As such, the BOE will have to have a separate vote for each counter-complaint.
After other individual steps, the bill would prohibit a BOE from appealing a board of revision (BOR) decision, meaning only a property owner can appeal a BOR decision. She said that, over time, this will likely result in BORs granting the reductions requested since there is absolutely no recourse to correct it.
Another potentially troublesome bill, House Bill 458 would eliminate August elections.
She added now that the legislation was passed out of the House, it is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate. Boeke explained that the elimination of the August election impacts a district’s ability to raise its local share by removing an opportunity for a community to pass a necessary levy. Further, for districts with an Ohio Facilities Construction Commission Project building project, the proposed measure would eliminate a chance for a district to raise its local share within the 13-month window to gain approval for a bond issue.
Treasurer Laura Klosterman reported that if the reappraisal of property values scheduled in Auglaize County for 2023 would result in a 15% increase in 2023, they would reach the 20 mill floor. “If that takes place,” she explained, “the district could see an additional $390,000 spaced over the 2024 and 2025 fiscal years.”
Klostermam suggested that, in preparation for her future retirement, the boardhire an assistant treasurer now to assist with the daily operations and to be trained to become the treasurer upon her retirement. The Board agreed a new position will be voted on in January.
Elementary Principal Leanne Keller reported they have made several changes to their Response to Intervention (RtI) procedures this school year, with goals to use RtI support system more widely and systematically, addressing social emotional concerns as well as academic concerns and setting short term specific, measurable goals and improved use of data to determine effectiveness of interventions.
They also plan to improve continuity of effective interventions as students move from one grade level to the next. “In tandem with these changes, we are looking toward the requirements of the new dyslexia screening and intervention legislation,” she said.
The principal also announced the finalists for classroom spelling bees.
Fourth Grade students are John Brame, Ellie Niekamp, Kayden Richard, Hank Holthaus, with Paige Seger as an alternate. Fifth Grade representatives are Brynn Bornhorst, Avery Rismiller, Therese Schulze, Gavin Steinke and Charlotte Wolf as alternate. Sixth Grade winners are Matthew Bezeau, Chloe Ranly, Brianna Osterloh, Morgan Sommer with Karsyn Jones as alternate.
Keller said a preliminary report of the fall third-grade reading test results showed that 86% of their students were at a proficient level, leaving only four who have not met promotion.
Junior/Senior Principal Austin Kaylor reported on their Spelling Bee winners. Seventh grade representatives were Kalli Bergman, Sara Dwenger, Brooke Garringer, Alexis Martin with Molly Brame as alternate. Eighth grade winners were Cole Albers, Andrew Ketner, Kiersten Williams, Andrew Wiss and Emma Dysert as alternate.
The district spelling bee is planned for Jan. 19.
Kaylor also said 17 juniors took the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT). The test serves as a form of rehearsal for students who plan to take the SAT. Additionally, it is used to select students seeking National Merit Scholarships. The principal said the test showed that 82% of students had met the college readiness benchmark in Math and 94% in Reading and Writing. He also said the following students scored above the 85th percentile nationally. They were Jaylyn Albers, Nathan Beair, Nate Hanson, Katie Heitkamp, Lyndi Hemmelgarn, Matthew Niekamp and Ray Purdy.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.