SIDNEY — The Fairlawn Local Schools enjoyed another successful year in 2017.
“Enrollment in the district stayed steady, while many other school systems are losing numbers,” said Superintendent Jeff Hobbs. “The final five acres of the Borland Family property was purchased by the district and the house was sold from the land. Fairlawn will look at its future facility planning to decide what to do with this land.
“Currently, the Fairlawn FFA farms the ground giving our students an excellent learning situation. The Fairlawn FFA added a grape arbor and a field of apple trees to maintain on school property. As well, in terms of facilities, Fairlawn added a soccer/track press box in 2017 while also creating a cross-country course that will host home meets in 2018. Fairlawn hosted the annual Shelby County Track Meet for the second consecutive year entertaining large crowds and fierce competition,” said Hobbs.
His report continues:
On the leadership front, longtime board of education member Tony Bensman decided not to run for re-election after 16 years on the BOE. Shelly Ginter who begins her first term in January of 2018 replaced Bensman. HS Principal Rebekka Egbert accepted a position with the ESC as a school psychologist. John Stekli, the district’s former elementary principal, replaced Egbert. Karen McRill, who served as elementary guidance counselor, changed roles and became the new elementary principal. The district also employed Elementary Guidance Counselor Chris Lauterbach and new elementary teachers Samantha Maas and Jo Peters. Becky Gerardi became the district’s art teacher, Kimberly Cotterman its Spanish teacher and intervention specialists, Darren Kaiser, Jill Smith and Betsy Baker.
Academically, Jet Nation showed great progress. Test scores in nearly every grade level showed improvement. Fairlawn received honors from the State Superintendent’s on his list of districts to watch because of their improved test scores. Several new elective classes were added to the course guide and the district excelled in working with the Shelby County Workforce Development group. Fairlawn is on the front end of work-study, co-op opportunities and internships in the county.
“Giving our juniors and seniors work-related experience only enhances their chances for better employment opportunities,” said Stekli.
The district added to its Gifted Education classes by adding several classes and after-school activities including Model UN and Chess Club.
Fairlawn had an excellent year in extra-curricular activities as well. Senior boys basketball player Nathan Lessing broke the school and county scoring records while leading his Jets to a 22-4 record. Lessing also finished in the top 25 in scoring in Ohio history. Lessing’s senior classmate, Audrey Francis broke nearly every individual volleyball record and if not for a knee injury, would have broken her sister Amanda’s all-time basketball scoring record. The Fairlawn track teams had great numbers and won several meets during the year under the leadership of coaches Tim Cummings and Todd Heckman. The Jet youth choir had a banner year under the direction of Sonya Phillips. This group is a county favorite, being invited to numerous events to sing and perform.