MINSTER – The Minster Local Schools Board of Education ended its search for its next superintendent with the selection of Josh Meyer.
Although he officially begins Aug. 1, 2022, Meyers attended the Monday, May 16 board meeting. Meyer was selected from four finalists for the position. The other three candidates were Karen Rose, Mercer County ESC curriculum coordinator, John Holtzapple, Anna Elementary principal and Will Hampton, Marietta Schools superintendent
After an executive session at the end of the May 16 board meeting, it was announced Meyer will have an annual salary of $103,000.
Originally a northern Mercer County resident, Meyer graduated from Parkway high school and then went on to receive both his bachelor’s and master’s degree from Wright State University.
In his career, he first taught math and coached at Corey Rawson Local School, then went on to serve four years as assistant principal and athletic director at Napoleon Junior-Senior High School. Before coming to Minster, for four years he was the grade 7 – 12 principal at Covington Exempted Village schools.
Meyer replaces Brenda Boecker, who is retiring as superintendent on July 31, 2022, after serving Minster schools for 26 years; one year as a teacher, 14 years as a principal and 11 years as superintendent. Her total career in education spanned 37 years.
In other action, some parents came to the board meeting to express their concerns about what they felt was a loss of privacy and trust due to some past measures adopted by the board including a new random drug testing policy for students involved in extracurricular activities.
Although the school district has planned a Thursday, May 18, public meeting at 8 p.m. to discuss the details of the new drug testing policy Minster resident Chris Niekamp and a few other parents spoke to the board about their concerns over what they consider invasions of privacy and interference in parental control.
Niekamp quoted Ben Franklin as saying ‘Those who give up essential liberty for temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty’ as an introduction of his feelings that Minster schools were leaning more toward safety over liberty. His example was the use of cameras in school, conceding it was important in an active shooter situation but otherwise the constant monitoring did not build the same camaraderie and trust he had with an earlier principal at the school. As to the drug testing policy, he felt there was not enough data in place to indicate drug use was worsening in the school district and he asked the new policy be suspended for one school year to allow time for a dialogue in the community.
The board members thanked the people who came and said they looked forward to the feedback they would get at the Thursday meeting.
District treasurer Laura Klosterman updated the board on the revised 5 year forecast. She said changes from the November report include revenue being up as a result of property tax and state funding increases while expenses were lower because a predicted 8% increase in the health insurance was turned out to be only 3.5%. Other positive parts of Klosterman’s report showed the Chromebook grant offsetting the purchase of Chromebooks for the next five years. However, Klosterman predicted the district will be in deficit spending beginning in 2023 and that the deficit would grow through 2026.
The board approved several employment contracts. One was for Josh Clune, who was given a one year contract as the athletic director and assistant high school principal. Clune resigned a position as student support services director.
The next school board meeting is Monday, June 20, in the elementary school’s large group meeting room.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.