Fairlawn Schools welcomes new superintendent, principal

For the Sidney Daily News



SIDNEY — Many changes occurred in the Fairlawn Local Schools during the 2015-16 school year. Superintendent Steve Mascho announced his retirement in February after 17 years as the Jet’s leader. As well, longtime Principal Jo DeMotte left the district for a supervisor position with the Educational Service Center.

Fairlawn introduced Jeff Hobbs as its new superintendent in the spring. Hobbs, a Sidney resident, had been the high school principal at Fort Recovery in Mercer County for the last seven years. Assistant Principal Rebekka Egbert was elevated to high school principal and former Sidney Middle School Principal John Stekli was hired by the district as its new K-8 principal. Stekli had most recently been the middle school principal at Xenia. The district also added Mike Henman to its Board of Education as a new member. Henman is a Fairlawn graduate and a lifelong district resident.

Superintendent Jeff Hobbs’s report continues:

The district remains financially stable even in tough budgetary times. Unlike most districts, Fairlawn ended the 2015-16 campaign with an ample carryover and a five-year forecast showing black numbers throughout. Even with the solid financial outlook, the district remains fiscally responsible to its taxpayers. Fairlawn continues to maintain outstanding facilities that rival any in the area. A track/soccer press box is being planned by the district. This addition will help the outdoor facility sound system and concession accessibility.

Fairlawn held the SCAL track meet in the spring entertaining large crowds, while being an excellent host to our county rivals. The Jets will again host the league track meet in the spring of 2017. The district’s new press box will be a huge help in this event.

Fairlawn adopted a theme for the year to enhance school spirit. Activities from bigtime wrestling, outdoor bonfire, Spirit Fridays and Pizza with the Principal to name a few were added with great results. Community engagement was a focus for Fairlawn to allow people outside the school to see our terrific students, staff and facilities. A tutoring program was initiated by the guidance department featuring many retired educators, focusing on reading and math in the lower grades.

Fairlawn created an Adopt-A-Family program during the holiday season. This outreach allowed many students to enjoy Christmas gifts and food that would not have been possible otherwise. Finances were raised through several fund raising initiatives.

The Fairlawn FFA had another banner year winning numerous contests, doing many volunteer service projects and attending state and national convention. State FFA Degrees were earned by Katie Bensman, Beth Weigendt and Paige Vondenhuevel, while American Degrees were garnered by Olivia Hageman and Robert Hageman.

Open enrollment continues to be a big part of the Fairlawn equation. The staff at Fairlawn is welcoming and friendly to those who choose to attend. Several new staff members joined the Fairlawn Team this school year. Dustin Woods (grades 5-6), April Sommer (elementary intervention), Jo Peters (Title 1), Luciano Tacuri (Spanish) and Karen McRill (elementary guidance) were terrific additions to the Jet Family.

Test scores remain steady with certain areas that were elevated. With plenty of room for growth, this will be the focus for Jet Nation in the 2017-18 school year. The district finished its 21st Century grant with after school activities for 7-12 grade students including physical fitness, snacks and academic remediation. Fairlawn hopes to attain the next round of 21st Century grants to continue this after school academic focus in our lower grades.

Fairlawn’s focus will continue to be students centered, while creating an environment that has a “Family First” mentality. The 2017-18 year should be a terrific one in Jet Nation.


For the Sidney Daily News