Fairlawn moves forward with Workforce career classroom

By Jim Painter - For the Sidney Daily News

SIDNEY – Administrators at Fairlawn Local Schools were given the green light to explore options to establish a career planning classroom through the Workforce Partnership of Shelby County. It would be the third such educational lab created in Shelby County.

School officials recently met with Workforce board of directors to discuss building plans and funding options. On Monday, the board of education agreed to proceed to bringing the project to fruition, according to Superintendent Jeff Hobbs.

The plan is to repurpose the media center into a career learning center. Drawings have been submitted to revamp the library. The plan calls for a “friendly” elementary side and a more businesslike atmosphere on the secondary side of the center.

“We hope to focus on career development with our students in grades 7-12 giving them opportunities with classes, speakers, field trips, co-ops, internships, job shadowing and more,” Hobbs said.

Elementary Principal Karen McRill is heading up the Fairlawn planning team. She reported the technology will include but not be limited to STEM activities, robotics, mini-computer labs, etc.

The goal for this project is to create a sustainable space for career enhancement at little or no cost to the district through the partnerships, according to McRill.

Hobbs and McRill both reported hopes are that a pact with the Workforce Partnership, the Shelby County 4-H Education Extension program, the Upper Valley Career Center and private donations, the classroom could be completed with little financial impact on the school district.

The Workforce organization has previously created classrooms in the Sidney City Schools and Fort Loramie Local School districts.

The Partnership group works to provide training and employment opportunities for high school students to better fit the skills and need of the local labor force. The non-profit organization creates working relationships with private and public organizations.

In December, the board joined with the Midwest Regional Educational Service Center Governing Board to serve as the business advisory council to represent Fairlawn to the Workforce Partnership.

The board recognized the Fairlawn fourth and fifth-grade students who will be participating in the Ohio Music Education Association All-Ohio Choir under the leadership of teacher Sonya Phillips.

Competing in Columbus on Thursday will be Alli Osborne, Cassie Heath, Mya McGill, Haley Cox, Loralei Chambers and Riley Longmire.

Other board items included:

• Hobbs reporting all five inclement weather days have been used for the year. If needed, school will be in session on Feb. 19 as a makeup day.

• Treasurer Keith Doseck reported current income tax collection is down by 6.38 percent and fiscal year collection is up 6.68 percent.

• Middle/High School Principal John Stekli told the board 58 high school students earned the right to attend a day at Mad River Mountain near Bellefontaine as part of an incentive program based on a minimum 3.2 grade point average.

• The approval of Kevin Foy, Brad Caudill, and Aaron Boerger as volunteer assistant baseball coaches.

• Accepted the resignation of Michelle Broaddrick as head softball coach.

• Awarded a one-year contract to Dominic Lehman as head softball coach at a pay rate of $3,389.03.

• Approved Tonya Slonaker as a volunteer softball assistant coach.

• Okayed an overnight trip to Columbus on March 11-13 for the Model UN team competition for adviser Sonya Phillips and 11 elementary students.

• Employed Caleb Post and Ashley Wilt as substitute teachers at a rate of $100 per day.

• Accepted a donation of $100 from Karen and John Green for the Seth Rogers Scholarship Fund.

• Approved an afterschool tutoring program for students struggling in core classes, which will be paid by Title IV A funds.

• Awarded one-year contracts to Christopher North of head cross country coach, and Aaron Cox as assistant cross-country coach.

• Approved one-year contracts to Todd Heckman as head golf coach, and Amber Poeppelman as assistant golf coach.

By Jim Painter

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.