With new program coming, board makes personnel changes

LISBON — With a move toward a high school precision machining and manufacturing trades program, the board at the Columbiana County Career and Technical Center made some personnel changes on Monday.

The board voted to hire Matt Peters as the instructor for the program, which will begin for the 2017-18 school year. Superintendent Chuck Adkins pointed out Peters has a master’s degree in career education. Director/Assistant Superintendent Jeremy Corbisello also noted Peters built a similar program in Salem. He was able to help students simplify the math needed.

Board President Gary Peruchetti noted even though a lot of the equipment is now computerized, it is still important to know how to manually set up the machines.

“You still have to know how to set the machines up, even if they run 10,000 times faster than the old ones did,” Peruchetti said. He further questioned if there is any way of leasing some of the expensive equipment needed for the program instead of buying it, just in case the program does not get the 12-15 students needed. Adkins said they will look at all the options. Once the program begins to grow, the board may have to look at renovating some space in the building, but for now the program will share space with the welding and materials joining program.

The move toward creating more trained precision machining people is in part based on the Mahoning Valley Manufacturing Coalition, which Corbisello said has been encouraging them based on the need for more employees in that area for some time. The decision is also due to changes in curriculum for the welding and material joining program. Adkins said the state is no longer supporting materials joining and students in that program need more time to work on their skills in welding in order to receive their certification.

So the board voted to reduce the position of the materials joining teacher, Elizabeth Zimmerman. She will now be moving to a math teaching position, which opened up with the resignation of Aleesha (Denmeade) Ostrander. Ostrander, who has many years of teaching at the CCCTC recently married and her husband has a new job in Tennessee.

In other matters:

— The board voted to deduct $48,954 from the money set aside from the construction project to renovate the building for the landscape and environmental design and vet tech programs after the project came in under budget. An open house at the facility reportedly had about 90 people in attendance.

— Anna Cathers and Kevin Clark gave the board a presentation on the nurse’s aide program, which is an adult program which gives those interested in working in the health care industry a quick four-week course. Students who then pass the state test knowing 26 hands on skills are prepared to begin working or take the next step into the nursing program. According to their statistics 93 percent of CCCTC students in the program pass the test and 56 percent of them get the program completely paid for by an experimental Pell Grant. Of the 75 people who completed the program this year, 70 are currently working in the field and the other five are continuing their education.

–The board accepted the donation of used engines from Feezle’s Auto Wrecking, which will be used to teach engine operations and diagnostics for students in auto tech.

— The board approved a list of volunteers to help in the landscaping and environmental design program — Betsy Barringer, Ed George, John Gross, John Majernik, Dave Norris, Tom Sapp, Dave Tkacik and Tim Weigle.