Minster school board cuts millage

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman - For the Sidney Daily News

MINSTER – Real estate taxes will come down for Minster residents, according the school treasurer at the Minster Board of Education meeting Monday night.

Treasurer Laura Klosterman said, based on the current millage rate, valuation and current balance, she would be recommending to the county auditor a 12.5% decrease in the millage rate from 6.2 mills down to 5 mills on the school’s building bonds. Because of rising home valuations, the school has been collecting higher levels of funds, she said.

According to an information sheet she shared, owners of a $200,000 home, would see their tax obligation drop from $379.75 in 2022 to $306.25 in 2023.

“With our current balance, we have funds available to pay the debt due for the next 2 years,” she said. “The board will need to approve this rate when the county auditor sends us the rates in February-April time frame.”

Klosterman said the increasing valuations of homes in their district will also affect her November five-year forecast. She said at a recent seminar, she learned that counties currently going through reappraisal are experiencing housing value increases at 23% growth.

As a result, she said “I will be showing comparison cash balances using 15%, 20% and 23% increases in November with one recommendation for the actual forecast. Values not only impact our real estate collections but also state funding.”

She added current Auglaize County real estate information show there have been 66 sales as of June 2022 (increase of 32% over last year at this time) with median sales price of $215,000 (increase of 38.7% over last year). Sales prices continue to climb at the median, 95th ($365,000), 75th ($265,267) and 25th ($142,500) percentiles of sale prices.

Superintendent Josh Meyer said October is National Principals Month. He thanked Junior/Senior Principal Austin Kaylor and Elementary Principal Mandy Albers for all that they do for the students and staff at Minster. As a new superintendent, he said he was particularly appreciative of their help in his transition to the new job.

He advised the board about pending legislation in the Ohio legislature, including the Fair School Funding, which had not been fully implemented when approved earlier in 2022.

“It is very possible the Fair School Funding Plan will not look the same as it has and that the voucher expansion/school choice issues will play heavily into the full implementation of the Fair School Funding Plan,” he said.

In response to the various legislation affecting schools, the superintendent said the Minster school district last month had joined thirty other schools in Ohio to hire a lobbyist. The name of the firm or the cost were not revealed at the board meeting.

Kaylor noted the accomplishments of students.

He congratulated Ag teacher Paul Winglewich and his students for representing Minster, placing first overall (out of 32 schools participating) in the FFA Soil Judging Event. He said the team was led by Evan Prenger (first overall individually), Fletcher Luthman (sixth), Leanne Wendeln (10th). Other team members included James Boehnlein, Jack Grieshop, Jamie Hilgefort, Kaleb Sharp and Keetan Sharp.

In the Urban Division, he said the Minster team placed fifth out of 19 teams. This team was led by James Niemeyer (eighth place) and Max Knapke (13th). Other team members included Gabe Bornhorst, Caleb Couse, Bo Dwenger, Rylan Edwards, Will Knapke, and Connor Schmiesing.

He congratulated seniors Logan Kohne & Paige Bornhorst, who were crowned homecoming king and queen at the game on Friday, Oct. 7. He added the night also featured the annual Script Cats performance by their marching band and a gridiron victory over Delphos St. John.

He continued his report by saying the girls’ golf team took 2nd place in the MAC tournament at Arrowhead before winning their Division II match at Moose Landing in Ottawa. The team wrapped up their season at the district tournament at Sycamore Springs (near Arlington). First team All-MAC honors went to Katie Heitkamp, Ashley Meyer, and Ashlyn Homan. Kendyl Bergman and Lauren Heitkamp earned honorable mention honors.

Finally, he said this year’s first 7-12 Principal’s Advisory Committee meeting will be held on the evening of Nov. 2. He added the PAC members will receive an overview of staffing changes over the summer, discuss their role as members of the PAC, take a building tour, and have roundtable discussion. Parent representatives this year are Brandy Heitkamp, Krista Rismiller, Brianna and Andy Phlipot.

Albers reported fall student achievement tests in English and mathematics for grades 3 to 6 will be on Thursday and Friday of this week.

She also said on Oct. 10, the Reading Improvement and Monitoring Plans (RIMPS) information plans were passed out and signed for students who were considered off track.

Finally, she said parent/teacher conferences were set for Nov. 7, 10 and 14.

New school counselor Greg Zumberger shared a presentation of his activities with junior and senior students to prepare them for the workforce, including mock interviews and visits to local companies.

He also said he has worked with another counselor, Leah Ketner, to create a break out space for elementary students who may be having a bad day and need a space to reset their feelings.

The board also approved a number of personnel actions, which including Nann Stechschulte as varsity assistant girls basketball, Jon Woehrmyer as junior varsity boys basketball, and Austin Vanderhorst as head boys bowling coach. Volunteers approved include Danielle Barhorst for junior high girls basketball and Logan Sommer as high school boys basketball.

The board then went into executive session. No action was taken when they returned to regular session.

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman

For the Sidney Daily News

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.