EAST LIVERPOOL - No news is good news, at least as far as Superintendent James Herring is concerned regarding the opening day of school, which he said apparently went off without a hitch.
Reporting to the school board this week, Herring said, "I didn't hear any complaints or concerns, so I guess that means it went well."
Board Vice President Bob Estell reported that the recent NFL official course offered at the school district "has already started to show some fruit," with six or seven area residents already having officiated at between six and 10 games each.
Estell related that more than 50 percent of officials in Ohio are 42 and older so having the younger, newly-certified referees "will be a big boost to them," and said the 10-week program has "already paid off."
In a related matter, board member Richard Wolf moved to have letters of appreciation sent to assistant Principal Jay Kiger for arranging to have the NFL program brought into the district and for its success and to Margie Wright and her staff for providing food for those involved, who he said provided "yeoman service."
Wolf also made a motion to rename the Kiwanis scholar of the month and merit awards in honor of former board member Stella Birnbaum, whose idea it was. He said two women who run the program "saw no difficulty with it."
However, President Janice Martin said she had spoken to one of the Kiwanis members a few months ago and was advised the group still wants to sponsor the awards, also saying the board needs to "think about naming things after people."
It was agreed to table the matter until it can be ascertained whether or not the Kiwanis plan to continue sponsoring the award program.
The board unanimously approved a number of personnel matters, but the hiring of Scott Heimstra as a substitute custodian hit a snag when Wolf opposed the measure.
He offered no reason for his opposition but had in November joined Estell in voting against Heimstra as head wrestling coach. At that time, Martin and board member Larry Walton supported Heimstra, with board member Scott Dieringer absent. Later, Dieringer also said he would have supported Heimstra, who did not get the coaching job, which went to Joshua Coil.
The resignation of Betty Parker as a crossing guard at Westgate was also approved.
In other personnel issues, the board approved hiring of Gene Hughes as a substitute teacher's aide. His resignation as a bus driver had been accepted by the board during a previous meeting, and Herring said after Monday's meeting that Hughes has the paraprofessional license necessary to work with children.
A request following the meeting to view Hughes' personnel file has not yet been granted by Herring's office.