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E.Guernsey School Board President ResignsWritten by Mike McKay
Jason Emch resigns, citing family/personal reasons
OLD WASHINGTON, Ohio -- At the conclusion of Monday night's meeting, the East Guernsey Local Schools Board of Education found themselves one member short.
Following a brief executive meeting, the Board reluctantly accepted the resignation of Board President Jason Emch. Emch has been on the Board for two years, serving this past year as president. Emch said he reluctantly tendered his resignation, but did so citing family and personal reasons, noting that he was moving from the area, due to his wife taking on a new job in the Canton area. The Board took turns thanking Emch for his leadership, passion and service to the district. Emch, prior to becoming a Board member, was very active in the district, taking part in many activities and organizations. The Board now has the job to fill the empty seat. Dr. Superintendant Richard Hall says that anyone interested in the seat should contact him by November 1. The Board's next meeting is slated for November 18, and at that time is expected to name a successor.
During the financial report, the Board approved the district's five year forecast. The financial prognostication charts the financial status of the district through Fiscal Year 2018. Treasurer Teresa Emmerling reports the district continues to operate in a deficit spending mode, that is spending more that they are taking in. Last year, FY '13, the district almost broke even, ending the year in the red by just over $51,000. This year, the district's books are also showing red ink in the amount of just over $113,000, and continues in FY '15, to approximately $739,412. Emmerling pointed out that district enrollment is up slightly, which equates to increased funding. Otherwise, little if any new revenues are expected. State funding, which represents roughly 67% of the district's budget is expected to remain the same. According to one Board member, without additional funding, such as a levy, "the district will continue to limp along".
Monday night, the Board recognized recent retirees from the district. Over a dozen staff member have retired over the past year. Attending Monday night's meeting were Sue Bowles, Linda Brockwell-Kamm, Linda Cox, Judy Momirov, and Nancy Stephen.
In other matters, it was reported over 150 people attended a recent Watchdog kick off. Already 50 men have signed up to volunteer their time in the classrooms. A list of the first Watchdogs in the district should come before the Board in the near future.
In another first, a number of Buckeye Trail students will be taking part in a robotics competition, offered through Zane State.
And parents could be seeing a "Warrior Pos-A-Gram" in the mail. The new program allows teachers to send home in the mail a card telling the parent of the extra special work the student has accomplished over the past week.
Transportation and Nutrition Services Superintendent Julia Cunningham reported to the Board that both the bus drivers staff and kitchen staff are experiencing a critical shortage. While there currently is enough drivers, there is only one substitutes. The dietary staff is also equally short staffed, resorting to using substitutes on a routine basis.
It was noted that such shortage's are not just limited to the East Guernsey District. Cunningham also reported that meal participation is down from last year. Total breakfasts served in August and September of last year totaled 12,931, compaired to 10,522 this year. Total lunches in Aug. and Sept. of last year was 11.978, this year, 10,855. Cunningham adds that she feels the October numbers will be up. She also notes that while participation is down, expenditures are down. After going back to preparing their own meal's, the district's food service department looks to have cut their food budget by 1/3. Cunningham points out that more accurate numbers will be available late this year.
Superintedent Dr. Richard Hall reports that the district has been awarded a grant for emergency radios. As a part of House Bill 59, the district will get an upgrade in the form of MARCS (Multi-Agency Radio Communications System) radios. The new equipment will allow two way communication with the Guernsey Co Sheriff' Office.
Dr. Hall also reported that the process for the Straight A grant continues. East Guernsey is one of over two dozen districts, who have formed a consortium, and is in the running for a grant award of $15 M. If the group is awarded the grant, the East Guernsey district looks to be in line for an estimated $227,000.
Dr. Hall also reported that for the fourth year, Buckeye Trail High School has been named a "School of Promise". The prestigous award is given to schools meeting certain economic and academic criteria. BTHS is one of 150 schools across the state to win the award. Other schools awarded in the immediate area include: New Philadelphia and Tri-Valley Schools in Tuscarawas County, Barnesville Exempted Village Schools in Belmont County and Maysville and Tri-Valley in Muskingum County.