Principal hopes ACT preparation program pays off

LISBON – A new program to help students prepare for a crucial college readiness exam is expected to pay dividends.

Junior-Senior High School Principal Joe Siefke reported at this week’s school board meeting that two seniors so far this year have scored a 30 or more on their ACT exams. Last year, not a single Lisbon student scored that high.

Siefke said two other students this year have scored a 29 and a 28, respectively.

Although it may be too soon to draw any conclusions, he believes a new online program and elective class to help students prepare for ACT exams will pay off.

“We’re hoping that taking the class will increase the students’ chances for success,” Siefke said.

The ACT preparation class, offered for free through a partnership with Youngstown State University, is available through an online program students can access anytime or by taking a semester-long class. Siefke said the two who scored more than 30 were not in the class, but the two who scored in the high 20s were.

The ACT, which stands for American Collegiate Testing, is one of the two most recognized exams, the other being the SAT, used to measure high school achievement for students planning to attend college. Acceptance into some colleges and most college scholarships are based on these scores.

Siefke said they stress to students the importance of doing well on ACT exams because colleges rely much more on those scores than grade-point average and class standing when awarding scholarship money.

“Colleges really use an ACT score as a deciding factor in placement … The GPA plays a part, though not as significant as the ACT,” he said. “I’d like to think making this available to our kids we’re going to see better scores.”

In other action, the board:

– Accepted a combined $684,031 in federal education funding for various programs, which Superintendent Don Thompson said was down slightly from the previous school year.

– Issued a seven-month custodian contract to John M. Less, who Thompson said has 20 years of experience in the field.

– Issued the following coaching contracts for the spring sports season: Justin Baker, assistant baseball; Melody Allison, assistant girls track; Jon Burnell, boys junior high track; Meredith Deichler, girls junior high track; and Dave Tolson, assistant softball.

– Approved the following coaching volunteers: T.K. Hiscox and Ryan Snoddy, softball; and Ryan Snyder, baseball.

– Hired Victoria Ammond at $125 per day to work as a math intervention tutor from now through May 1. Her position is funded with federal dollars.

Finally, the board voted to change its meeting schedule from 5 p.m. the second Tuesday of every month to the same time the second Wednesday, starting with the Feb. 12 meeting.

Thompson also took some time to recognize school board members since it was School Board Appreciation Month. He noted the length of service of three board members in particular: Gary Peruchetti, 18 year; Gene Gallo, 16 years; and Jim Smith, 14 years.

“To have a board with that much experience speaks for itself,” Thompson said.