Wren re-elected JC board president

JACKSON CENTER — Jackson Center Local Schools Board of Education held the oath of office for new member Julie Devine and returning member Krissy Mullenhour during its organizational meeting Jan. 10.

Brad Wren was re-elected board president while Mullenhour was elected vice president. The board established the third Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the central office conference room as its regular meeting time.

In other business during the organizational meeting, the board:

• Authorized the treasurer to make advance withdrawals as available, invest inactive funds as available, pay bills as received within appropriations, and borrow funds as needed to meet obligations when appropriated.

• Appointed the superintendent as purchasing agent.

• Appointed the treasurer as the Title IX Compliance Officer.

• Appointed the treasurer as the board appointed designee for public records matters.

• Approved a motion to keep business travel mileage reimbursement at 45 cents per mile.

• Authorized the superintendent to approve professional meetings.

• Authorized the superintendent to accept resignations and hire employees between board meetings. Both are subject to the ratification of the school board but are deemed effective at the time of the superintendent’s offer and completion of a satisfactory background check.

• Appointed the board president, superintendent and treasurer, along with board member Kristen Davis to the Finance Committee for 2022 calendar year.

During the regular meeting, Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Fleming were in attendance to speak to the board about the district’s current mask policies and practices. They explained that there were communications between themselves and Principal Jeff Reese regarding their concerns that students were being asked to wear masks in specific classroom settings regardless of medical exemption. Reese reconfirmed that Jackson Center Schools does not have a mask mandate, but in some specific classrooms where there is a medical concern, the administration has supported the teacher when they have requested that students wear a mask. The board thanked the Flemings for coming in and told them that they would have further discussion and get back to them with their conclusion.

Later in the meeting, the board did review the communications between the Flemings and Reese and engaged in further discussion. It was the finding of the board that the current practice regarding masks was satisfactory but that Reese could work to implement a reasonable solution within the classroom. Reese stated that he would contact Mr. and Mrs. Fleming the next morning regarding the ideas.

Staff members Amanda Barhorst, Stephanie Watercutter, Melanie York and Alanna Lotz were in attendance. They aided Principal Ginger Heuker in summarizing what has been going well and what challenges exist at the elementary grade levels. The discussion centered around progress monitoring, professional development, curriculum and potential resource needs.

The board also approved the yearly membership renewal as an Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) member.

Superintendent Bill Reichert provided an update regarding the use of federal grants for the use of capital projects, technology improvements and student support. He also updated the board in regards to a few grants for which the district has submitted an application with the purpose of improving lighting, adding cameras and making other safety based improvements.

The board approved a pupil activity validation contract for Brian Dahl as a volunteer baseball coach once all state requirements have been fulfilled and properly filed.