Board member Greg Blackmore talks about school security and last week’s drills at each of the buildings in the district. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent
School safety and security and work at Eggerss Stadium were two of several topics addressed during Wednesday’s meeting of the Van Wert City Schools Board of Education.
Greg Blackmore, who serves as the board’s representative to the safety team said last week’s evacuation and reunification drills at each of the district’s buildings were successful.
“Everything ran really smooth and we learned a lot,” Blackmore said. “It’ll be chaotic and hopefully we’ll never have to do it. The safety of our schools continues to be at the forefront on a daily basis and we appreciate all the assistance we get from everybody on the outside.”
Assistant Superintendent Bill Clifton explained how state and federal grant money is being used or will be used in and outside district buildings, including the installation of exterior and interior cameras, new locks and keys in some buildings and new two-way radios.
“Two-way radios are going to be very critical, very important to us in the communication process,” he said.
While talking about Eggerss Stadium, Clifton thanked Van Wert City Council and administration for approving legislation to do sewer work under the stadium, perhaps as early as December. He also laid out some of the first phase plans, which include weather coating on the top side of the stadium, widening the aisles and adding hand rails on the home side, and the installation of artificial turf.
“Things are starting to come to fruition and we’re going to start to see some development at Eggerss Stadium in the near future,” Clifton stated.
Athletic Council representative Julie Burenga said after some discussion about adding girls wrestling as a sport, it was decided to make the sport co-ed.
“If the girls want to participate they can participate with the boys team,” Burenga said. “At tournament time they will have to choose whether to participate in the boys state tournament or the girls state tournament.”
During her report to the board, treasurer Michelle Mawer said she’s starting to work on the district’s newest five year financial forecast.
The board heard a brief presentation from Van Wert County Foundation CEO Seth Baker on the ongoing Van Wert Forward downtown project and a presentation from Van Wert Middle School Principal Darla Dunlap and teacher Marie Markward about the ELA program.
Kyle Gehres of Convoy, who’s running for Van Wert county commissioner as an independent, also addressed the board about his campaign.
Board members also accepted a long list of donations, including $33,250 from the Cougar Pride Athletic Booster Club to go toward the cost of resurfacing gym floors.
Board members accepted the resignation of Mawer, effective November 16. A story on her resignation appeared on the VW independent News page last week.
“She has positioned our district to attract our next great treasurer and a lot of that (credit) goes to her and her abilities, her work ethic and what she’s done for our district,” board president Anthony Adams said.
Superintendent Mark Bagley also praised Mawer for her time, especially in the early days of COVID-19, when he was chosen to lead the district.
The board approved Ryan Parrish as high school assistant principal. His previous title was administrative assistant to the principal.
The board accepted the resignation of boys head soccer coach Timothy Brown the board agreed to some shuffling with the middle and high school wrestling programs. High school assistant wrestling coaches Austin McIntosh and Colten Royer. McIntosh was approved as a volunteer. Terrin Contreras resigned as a half-time assistant coach and was rehired as a full assistant, while Brad Allmandinger resigned as a middle school wrestling coach and was hired as a half-time high school assistant. Jacob Durden resigned as a middle school volunteer wrestling coach and approved a full middle school coach.
Cole Harting was approved as freshman boys basketball coach and Molly Baltzell was given approval as middle school winter cheerleading coach.
The board also went into executive session to discuss the employment of public personnel.
The next meeting of the Van Wert City Schools Board of Education will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday, November 16, in the First Federal Lecture Hall at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.
Article courtesy of the Van Wert Independent.