ANTWERP — Superintendent Dr. Marvin Miller revealed during Thursday’s meeting of the Antwerp Local School Board that the district has received a $40,000 grant from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, which will be used for increased safety in the school building.
Much of the money will go toward the purchase and installation of security cameras on buses and on school grounds, including the new concession plaza area, which is scheduled to be finished in August. The new cameras will allow all of the athletic field area to be observed.
Money also will be used toward two new key and entrance systems at the field house and weight room area; a new floor scrubbing machine also will be purchased.
Miller hopes to see the new arrivals installed and functioning within the next 90 days.
The board also held a public hearing allowing for input on the rehiring of Miller and middle school math teacher Jon Short following their retirement. The only one present for the hearing was village councilman Keith West, who said he was there solely as a private citizen. West praised Miller’s ability to relate to both the school and the general public.
Miller and West Bend News publisher Bryce Steiner also bemoaned the lack of citizen participation at board meetings (only five others were present at the Thursday session). Steiner added this occurrence was becoming more commonplace around town.
In other business, the board:
• approved one-year contracts for varsity coaches Doug Billman, boys baksetball; Adam Kosch, wrestling; and Scott McMichael, girls basketball.
• heard 40 have signed up for kindergarten registration so far, with an additional 11 registered for the Early Fives program.
• noted several staff members will change classes in the fall. Personnel include kindergarten teacher Zack Lee, who will move to second grade; special education teacher Erin Lichty, who will become the new elementary guidance counselor; sixth-grade teacher Mary Lillemon, who will take Lee’s kindergarten classes; and fourth-grade teacher Linda Mabis, who will teach fifth grade. Most of these changes are due to changing class sizes. Nineteen candidates will be screened and interviewed for Lichty’s old position.
• praised the sixth grade Battle of the Books team, which finished second place in countywide competitions recently.
• heard new content filters for school computers are likely.
• learned of electrical problems in the student parking lot. The source of these problems has yet to be determined; an investigation is underway to see if these difficulties stem from underground.
• noted a negotiation agreement has been reached with the Antwerp Education Association for three years. Classified and administrative personnel salaries have also been approved for one year.
• discussed future events, including Relay for Life on April 24; a mock car crash at the Paulding County Fairgrounds on April 29; the National Honor Society blood drive on May 2; prom on May 4; the middle school dance on May 10; high school academic awards on May 14; commencement at 2 p.m. May 19; Vantage Career Center senior awards on May 21; and the last day of classes on May 22.
• briefly discussed House Bill 62, which, if passed, would exempt schools from the new statewide gas tax. It also was noted during the conversation that $1.2 billion is likely to be used for school funding, but no one knew how fair the funding would be.