School board readies for new year

EAST LIVERPOOL – With a successful back-to-school bash under its belt, the city school district is ready to welcome students to class this morning, according to Superintendent Melissa Watson.

During her good news report at Monday’s school board meeting, Watson said between 800 and 900 people attended last Friday’s back-to-school event at Thompson Park, which she called a “wonderful event.”

Watson said she plans to present a slide show about the event at the Sept. 8 board meeting, which she invited the community to attend.

She and board member Bob Estell both offered special thanks to Joanie Woodward Hamilton, who gave free haircuts to 67 students during the event.

Board member Larry Walton also thanked Watson for planning the event, saying, “What a great way to start off the school year.”

With several personnel issues approved Monday night by the board, Watson said, “That brings us up to full staff. We got the last person hired Friday afternoon.”

Among those hirings approved was that of Cynthia Golden as a cafeteria aide at LaCroft Elementary, who was recalled from the reduction in force list.

David Chafins was hired as a long term substitute Spanish teacher for the junior and senior high schools. The board had approved the resignation of its newly hired Spanish teacher at its last meeting after he accepted a position elsewhere.

Other appointments approved included Nicole Wargo, intervention specialist; Sunny Wright, preschool teacher; Carey Brookhart, marching band assistant; Judith Whitehead, teachers’ aide; and Michelle Smith, music teacher (half time).

The board approved 18 bus routes, the same number as last year.

Board member Brian Allen said the new district website that launched Monday included some outdated information, and Watson said that information will be removed and updated information put on the site, saying the site has “a lot of potential,” but it is “a matter of priorities” when information included.

Walton pointed out the company hired to design the website had indicated there would be no problem having it ready in time for the school year.

As a matter of Parliamentary procedure, the board voted unanimously to remove from the table and the agenda a recommendation to hire Campopiano Roofing of Twinsburg for additional work on the storm water drainage system at Westgate.

Initially, no motion was made to remove it from the table until Treasurer Todd Puster pointed out that the issue would continue to be placed on the agenda unless a motion was made to remove it.

At the request of Athletic Director Robert Shansky, the board approved the transfer of $65,000 from the general fund to the high school athletics district managed activity fund.

Allen said, “Hopefully, this will be the only (transfer),” and board President Janice Martin said, “After a couple of years, we know this is the amount that’s required.”

Shansky had approached the board’s athletic committee at its recent meeting to lobby for the transfer.

Board members offered their condolences to employee Quinn Carter for the recent death of his son.