Board votes 4 to 1 for coach

By Patricia Ann Speelman -

BOTKINS — Botkins Board of Education member Rebecca Hoelscher cast the lone dissenting vote when the board elected to rehire Varsity Basketball Coach Brett Meyer during its regular meeting, Tuesday, May 16.

The 4 to 1 decision came after two months of public discussion about whether the coach, who posted an 8-15 record this year, should be replaced. There was no deliberation Tuesday in advance of the vote, and Hoelscher declined to comment on why she voted against the motion,which had been made by Jack Koenig and seconded by Mark Goubeaux. The others voting in favor were Neil Boerger and Anita Uetrecht.

The board also approved contracts for the following:

Teachers: Rob Berryman, Jodi Grillot, Kristina Paul, Katherine Greve, Andrea Jones, Norman Leugers, Jacquelyn Russell, Vicki Steinke, Heather Thaman, Ashleigh Ratermann and Maria Westgerdes.

Classified staff: Kendra Berryman, Donna Bogart, Kelsey Borgert, Debbie Faulder, Mike Free, Ann McCafferty, Phil Snider and Dennis McPheron and Ken Lemmon as a bus route driver.

Supplemental staff: Brad Bergman, athletic director; Chad Berning and Stacy Braun, freshman class advisers; Kendra Berryman, varsity girls soccer coach, Hailey Billing, high school cheerleader adviser; Jenni Doseck, varsity volleyball assistant coach; Heath Geyer, boys seventh grade basketball coach; Rick Geyer, boys eighth grade basketball coach; Taylor Doseck, eighth grade volleyball coach; Phil Groves, sophomore class adviser.

Also Melissa Grunden, show choir, junior high/senior high choir solo and ensemble and Music Unlimited director and sophomore class adviser; Ryan Gutman, coed junior high/varsity cross country and boys varsity track coach, eighth grade class adviser and National Honor Society co-adviser; Caitlin Lane, girls varsity soccer assistant coach; Jason Liette, seventh grade class adviser and National Honor Society co-adviser.

Also Ryan Loy, winter activities director; Kevin Lynch, varsity boys soccer coach; Laura Mack, eighth grade class adviser; Dennis Martin, girls varsity basketball assistant coache; Mike Maurer, girls varsity basketball coach and girls summer basketball coordinator; Jeff McPheron, fall activities director; Brett Meyer, junior varsity/varsity golf coach; Paula Owen, musical, junior high/senior high band solo and ensemble and pep band director.

Also Logan Pitts, junior varsity volleyball coach; Tom Platfoot, junior class adviser and junior class prom adviser; Jeremy Pleiman, publicity agent and seventh grade class adviser; Lynn Pleiman, Academia team, senior class and FTA adviser; Keith Puschel, senior commencement and musical assistant for lighting/technology; Ashleigh Ratermann, recycling coordinator; Fred Schmerge; Coed junior high and varsity cross country and girls varsity track coach.

Also Olivia Schneider, musical assistant director; Heather Thaman, swim coach; Bryan Trego, varsity volleyball coach, summer volleyball coordinator, junior class and junior class prom adviser and athletic facilities manager; Samantha Vehorn, seventh grade volleyball coach and Barb Will, junior high cheerleader adviser.

Summer help: Taira Greve, Jill Greve, Johnathon Yenser and Gracen Rogers.

In other business, the board:

• Accepted resignations by business teacher Beth Armstrong, family and consumer sciences teacher Allison Bruns, elementary guidance counselor Rachel Gregg and bus drivers Dorothy Gehrlich and Susan Covelli.

• Voted to waive the requirement to provide career technical education to junior high students. The vote came after a discussion about the importance of vocational education.

“I would like to see this incorporated in the junior high, but I realize this is not the time,” said Uetrecht. “But I’d like to work toward this.” Junior/Senior High School Principal Ryan Loy reported that he has already opened talks with teachers about how to include vocational units in the junior high curriculum. Superintendent Jeff McPheron noted that doing so would probably incur additional costs.

“Let’s look at options,” Uetrecht said.

• Approved a deposit agreement with the Minster State Bank.

• Voted to lift a $3,000 per purchase limit on the school’s credit cards. Treasurer Joanna Jones asked the board to review and sign off on all purchases made with the cards.

• Approved fund transfers and appropriations.

• Gave Boy Scout Vincent Bajwa the OK to proceed with his Eagle project to create a spirit rock on school grounds. Bajwa made a presentation of the plans.

• Reviewed the 2017 Ohio School Board Association Business Honor Roll. The Botkins Local Schools had nominated four businesses and for the first time, all four were listed on the roll, McPheron said. They are Koenig Equipment, Meyer’s Tavern, Trojan Den Pizza and First National Bank.

• Held the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) hearing, which included the discussion of expenditures of the IDEA funds.

“As the needs arise, we will keep meeting the needs,” McPheron said.

• Heard a presentation by Josh Meyer of the Athletic Boosters’ plans for a fundraising wiffle ball tournament and some of the projects the boosters have recently funded. He also asked the board to consider a tax abatement for his development of a building in the industrial park. The board referred Meyer to the village council, who has to approve the tax abatement before it can be considered by the school board.

• Discussed the need for a roof replacement on the athletic complex gym.

• Approved overnight travel by the volleyball team to Maumee Bay for camp, July 20-22; by the FFA Big E Equine and Livestock Judging teams to West Springfield, Massachusetts for national competition, Sept. 14-17; and by the FCCLA to Nashville, Tennessee, for the national conference, July 1-7.

• Commended the FFA teams and the FCCLA national qualifiers.

• Accepted donations of $270 by Tim and Vicki Smith to support the Jacob Freisthler Memorial Scholarship and $1,000 by an anonymous donor to support the Serr Scholarship.

• Approved updates to administrative guidelines and board policies.

• Set a special meeting for 1 p.m., May 28, to discuss hiring personnel.

By Patricia Ann Speelman

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.