Alder board elects Foust as president

By Jane Beathard - For The Advocate

Shannon Foust was elected president of the Jonathan Alder Local Schools Board of Education on Monday. Mary Jo Boyd will serve as vice-president for 2017.

They were elected during a seven-minute organizational meeting that preceded the regular school board meeting.

Board member assignments for 2017 will remain much like those in 2016 with Tom Bichsel assigned to the district insurance committee. He will also serve as liaison to Tolles Technical & Career Center.

Steve Votaw will continue on the district’s financial advisory board and community support coalition. Christine Blacka will serve on the technology and policy committees. Boyd will serve on both the policy and community support coalition.

Regular board meetings will continue at 6:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at the high school with four exceptions. Monroe Elementary will host the March meeting and Plain City Elementary the October meeting. Meetings in June and July are tentatively scheduled for June 26 and July 17.

Also on Monday, curriculum director Misty Swanger presented district results of the state third grade reading test administered last fall. Swanger said 53 percent of Alder third graders passed the test that assesses several language arts skills.

Swanger called the percentage “good news” for so early in the school year. She noted the remaining third-graders will have a second opportunity to pass the test when it is again administered in April.

The test is separate from the state-mandated Third Grade Reading Guarantee that focuses only on reading skills, she added.

Swanger said 76 percent of Alder third-graders have already met that standard. Meeting the Third Grade Reading Guarantee is required for promotion to fourth grade.

“We are very pleased (with the numbers),” she said.

In other routine meeting business on Monday, board members:

• Heard special services director Shawn Heimlich say he will speak at a national school safety conference next week in Las Vegas. Heimlich said he will describe the district’s involvement in the community support coalition in order to address problems like teen suicide. The conference is covering Heimlich’s travel expenses.

• Approved the retirement of Kelly Hicks, long-time principal of Plain City Elementary. Hicks will likely be re-hired in the position at the February board meeting.

• Approved a letter of understanding for a cost analysis from Hillyard Cleaning for janitorial services.

• Renewed the district’s membership in the Ohio School Boards Association for 2016-17.

By Jane Beathard

For The Advocate

Jane Beathard is a contributing writer for The Advocate.

Jane Beathard is a contributing writer for The Advocate.