Superintendent expressed gratitude at BOE meeting

CALCUTTA — Beaver Local Superintendent Eric Lowe expressed his gratitude for events and help from students and faculty to those less fortunate that took place prior to the holiday break.

During Monday’s Board of Education meeting, Lowe commended students and staff on remaining busy in the week prior to the district two-week holiday break, which started Dec. 22.

Lowe said the district had several activities that took place, particularly on the last day of school before the break, which included students working on science projects and crafts in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics)-related classes.

“One of the things I was very proud of is the last day of school,” Lowe said. “There was still a lot of hands-on activities going on, kids testing — in physics — their launchers, the whole sixth grade was out in the commons building gingerbread houses. We had eighth graders making crafts for their parents and family members using our new cricket machine where they were able to cut vinyl and they had painted wood to put on there. So it was good to see kids involved in learning activities the last day.”

Lowe said students participating in several projects and campaigns helped out families that are less fortunate in the area. Among the drives mentioned were the annual “Lindsay’s Christmas Wish” drive, organized by retired paraprofessional Richard Salsberry and held in honor of his late daughter Lindsey, and the Angels for Heroes trees to help county students in need.

“It’s always refreshing in this community that we have so many people that want to help others, and it’s great to see at that time of the year,” Lowe said.

Meanwhile, also in his report, Lowe said the district will host the Buckeye 8 girls basketball tournament on Jan. 27, and stated the school district has partnered with several local businesses and organizations in order to offset expenses for hosting the tournament.

Following his report, Lowe also showed his four-minute month-in-review video for December which showed numerous Christmas-themed activities, boys and girls basketball action, the Everett Hoppel Memorial Wrestling Tournament, and students working on science projects, just to name a few of the events for the month.

In other business:

— The board approved the spring sports schedules for its baseball, softball and track programs for this school year.

The varsity baseball team will start the regular season March 24 at Toronto, will have the home opener March 28 as the second half of the two-game series with Indian Creek, and will finish the regular season at home May 4 against Weirton Madonna. Some dates of note include April 11 when the Beavers host East Liverpool with the game at Eastwood Field in Niles, and April 21 at John Marshall for the Beavers’ only scheduled doubleheader.

Varsity softball will start the regular season March 26 at Indian Creek, will have its home opener the following day against Oak Glen, and will finish the regular season May 1 as they face Youngstown Ursuline on the campus of Youngstown State University. The girls will also face off in two doubleheaders: April 21 at Niles McKinley and April 28 at home against Southern Local.

Varsity track, meanwhile, will start its season March 27 as they host Brooke and Crestview in a tri-meet. The team will also host meets on April 5, 10, 12 and 17 with an open date on May 17.

— In personnel matters, the board approved the hiring of Leanna Nolder as a bus driver for the district effective immediately, to which she will be paid at step 0 of the pay scale. Also approved were Nancy Bartko and Beverly Gutierrez as substitute teachers for the current school year. The board also approved a Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) request for Ashley Carson due to the birth of a child.

— Related to finances, the board approved the 2017-18 Asking Tax Budget as it is to be submitted for presentation to the County Budget Commission by Jan. 15. Treasurer Stacy Williams presented the information to the board, which had been discussed in an earlier special meeting prior to Monday’s board of education work session and regular meeting.

The board also approved, as recommended by Williams, the increase of the minimum wage rate from $8.15 per hour to $8.30 per hour in accordance with Ohio Law effective Jan. 1, 2018.

The next board meeting will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 12.