Board approves coaching positions

EAST LIVERPOOL — The appointments of several coaching positions were approved by the city school board Monday night, although a wrestling coach was vehemently opposed by one board member.

Member Richard Wolf moved for an executive session to discuss employment soon after the meeting convened, and upon returning, he moved to have the board vote on numerous personnel appointments as one motion, exempting just the recommendation of Scott Heimstra as head varsity wrestling coach for a separate vote.

As the motion for Heimstra’s appointment was made, Wolf proclaimed, “Absolutely not,” and, when called for his vote, gave a resounding, “No,” offering no reason for his opposition.

Approached after the meeting for comment, Wolf simply waved away this reporter, refusing to be questioned about his opposition.

Heimstra was present at the meeting but made no comment on his appointment, which was approved 3-1, with member Bill Cowan absent.

He will be placed on Step O of the salary schedule, which is $4,930.

Wolf has said at two recent board meetings that the board has an obligation to look at coaching positions expiring this year, saying the district’s athletic program is “in a state of disarray,” noting wrestlers had forfeited eight matches to one school.

Without comment, other coaching positions approved 4-0 Monday were: Nathan Conley, varsity boys basketball; Bryian Burson, girls varsity basketball; Julie Vorhees, varsity cross country and pre-season; Josh Ludwig, varsity football, equipment manager (fall) and weight training adviser; Quinn Carter, varsity golf and assistant athletic director; Thomas Gruhalla, varsity girls soccer and pre-season girls; Jennifer Ludwig, volleyball varsity assistant; and Jonathan Stokes, varsity volleyball.

In other personnel matters, the board approved with regrets the resignations for retirement of math teacher Jeffrey Lucas, with 31 years, and art teacher Wendy L. Sternagle, with 32 years.

Superintendent Randy Taylor praised both teachers, Lucas had been a “great asset to our district,” and Sternagle had “done an outstanding job for us.”

Also approved under personnel were the appointments of Kim Diloreto, volunteer tennis coach; Kyle Weyand, volunteer baseball coach; Greg Adkins, volunteer sports (cross country), ticket manager, sophomore adviser, social studies chair and high school boys intramurals; Ryan Willis, high school girls intramurals; Tonyea Roberts, varsity cheerleading adviser; Dana Vulgamore, ninth grade cheerleading adviser; Amy Creaturo-Moore, assistant varsity cheerleading adviser; Shayne Jones, eighth grade cheerleading adviser; Kirsti Edwards, seventh grade cheerleading adviser; Alaina Felgar-Cornfield, band (extra-curricular and summer); Michelle Smith, band, assistant marching high school and middle school director; Lisa Ensinger, vocal extracurricular; and Kristina Moff, color guard/rifle director.

In addition to approving contracts with ACCESS for internet access, application services and voice services, the board approved an agreement with Illuminate Education Inc. for the Illuminate Data and Assessment proposal for $16,926 at the recommendation of Treasurer Kathy Jo Laughlin.

The program is designed to work with the district’s current data software packages, gathering all of the disaggregated assessment and student data and puts it in one easily accessible place so the strengths and weaknesses of each student can be identified and interventions targeted.

A significant portion of the cost is for training, which will be provided during August in-service days.

Taylor reported the recent parent advisory committee meeting went well and encouraged all parents interested in the district to attend the next one at 5:30 p.m. May 17 at Westgate.

He reported a new committee composed of parents, business people and others will be meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday to discuss the feasibility of a drug testing program for district students, stating the meeting is to gather information to determine if such a policy is something the district would want to pursue.

He also announced district sixth grade student Eric Williams was named first in the state during recent wrestling competition.

Board member Larry Walton announced he will be meeting with state Sen. Joe Schiavoni in the next 10 days to discuss concerns over school funding.