BL awarded $10K Monsanto Fund Grant

Members of the Beaver Local school district (including families, residents and staff) area pictured, along with Jeff Phillips (center) of Bayer, who presented the school district with the Monsanto Fund Grant for $10,000, which will go toward seventh grade science courses geared toward the agricultural industry. (Photo by Steve Rappach)

CALCUTTA — Students in the Beaver Local School District will get to learn about several aspects of the agriculture industry as a result of a grant presented during last week’s board of education meeting.

Superintendent Eric Lowe announced the district received the $10,000 Monsanto Fund Grant on behalf of the America Farmers Grow Rural Education Program, which helps farmers support local rural school districts, while the grant helps districts enhance STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) programs.

Lowe said the grant will be used for seventh grade science, assisting students with learning about various aspects of farming through virtual reality and a 360-degree camera.

“Students will engage in a research project in order to identify a problem facing the agricultural industry across the world, and they will develop a creative solution to this problem,” Lowe said. “Students will combine science, technology, engineering and mathematics … within this project, and all will be presenting this information in a community forum.”

Among those Lowe thanked were local resident Dean Bowman for nominating the district, along with middle school assistant principal Connie Shive and seventh grade teacher Kelly McKenzie for submitting the information.

Jeff Phillips, who was previously with the Monsanto Co. before it was acquired by Bayer back on June 7, said while Bayer is known for pharmaceuticals, it also has a large agricultural research division.

“Bayer has a lot of programs for various aspects of businesses, and agriculture is very important to them too,” Phillips said, explaining the grant serves a way “to give back to the community.”

Phillips encouraged Beaver Local to apply again next year and also advised those who are farmers and who may be interested in applying for grant to look up “America Farmers Grow” online.

In other business:

— The board approved a resolution of intent to not provide career-technical education for students in the seventh and eighth grades for the current school year, a move done each year by the school district.

According to Ohio Revised Code, school districts are required to provide career-technical education for students from grades 7-12 as a member of a joint vocational school district, but may opt out of providing those options for grades 7-8 as long as a resolution is filed with the Ohio Department of Education no later than Sept. 30. Once filed, the district will receive its waiver from the ODE.

— Covering personnel, the board approved four sports-related volunteers and two elementary school volunteers for the 2018-19 school year: Tara Wolfe for cheerleading, Megan Butler for volleyball, and Joe Carr and Amanda Ferguson for indoor track, while Leanna Nolder and Mandy Edwards will be with the elementary school.

The board also approved the hirings of Hillary Hoppel as a second grade teacher and Denise Fonner as a bus driver. Hoppel will be paid at Bachelor’s Step 3 on the salary pay scale. Supplemental contracts for this school year were awarded to Kiley Rosenliab as middle school cheerleading coach for the fall, and to Jodi Berger as a science monitor.

Substitutes who were approved for this year on Monday by the board included custodians Timothy Welling, Jamie Brown and Melissa Antonio; secretary Cindy Carnes; cook Barbara Morgan; and teachers Casey Harris, Katlyn VanDyne, Debbie Ehrhart and Samantha Catalano.

Also approved was a list of 13 van drivers, which will include Al Pierson (boys golf); Jodi Hoppel (girls golf); Doug Hoppel (girls golf and wrestling); Matthew Kidd (tennis and track); Stephanie Coie (girls basketball); Matt Bostian, Jordan Williams, Ron Foster and Johnny McComas (all for wrestling), Derrick Stickles (football and wrestling); Richard Shilling (football, wrestling and softball); and Andrea Jarrett (special education).

In addition, the board approved a separate list of 179 volunteers throughout the school district and 25 high school advisors for the school year.

The board also accepted the resignations of bus driver Amy Black and head cheerleading coach Aimee Little for this school year.

All personnel matters were approved, 4-0 with board member Patrick Clutter abstaining.

The next regular meeting is 7 p.m. Oct. 8.