CONTINENTAL — During its first meeting of 2020 held Wednesday, the Continental Local Board of Education welcomed two new members, while organizing for the upcoming year.

Brian Donaldson and Derek Heitzman were welcomed as the board’s two newest members after winning their seats in November’s election.

Donaldson and Heitzman replace Chad Olds and Mike Zachrich, who combined for 24 years of service to the district.

The board also was addressed by Columbus Grove school superintendent Nick Verhoff. Verhoff attended the meeting to thank Continental’s administration and staff for their work with special needs children throughout the county.

Said Verhoff: “I wanted to thank the administration and staff here for all they do for special needs students. What I have seen from those people in Continental is phenomenal. With the help of administration and staff like yours, (educating) these students has really been a collaborative effort and I can’t thank you all enough for the support you give to all students, not just those that live in the Continental district.”

In other business, the board:

• elected Dean Bidlack as board president for the upcoming year, while Ron Bradford will serve as vice president.

• established the board’s regular meeting date/time as the third Tuesday at 7 p.m. and scheduled the next meeting for Feb. 18 at 7 p.m.

• established committees and membership for 2020.

• voted to support an Ohio School Boards Association resolution that is opposition of the EdChoice voucher program along with Plain Local Board of Education’s efforts to challenge a newly enacted property transfer law.

• authorized the treasurer to invest in inactive funds and pay bills. Authorized the treasurer and superintendent to attended professional meetings and borrow money, if needed.

• authorized a copy cost of 10 cents per sheet for requests of public documents.

• appointed Ennis Britton Company LPA as legal counsel.

• established a board service fund.

• approved a fiscal year 2020 alternative tax budget as required by the Putnam County auditor.

• approved transfers due to not having the class (body) to vote on what to do with the remaining funds. These funds will then be used collectively toward purchase of new elementary sign: Class of 2017 ($5,882.32) to the general fund; Class of 2018 ($4,251.36) to the general fund; and Class of 2019 ($912.12) to the general fund.

• approved to establish and increase fund 499 9620 BWC Safety Intervention Grant for $31,637.25.

• accepted the following donations: $1,000 from Mike Walls to the Walls Scholarship Fund and $100 from Continental Lions Club for HOBY registration.

• considered a five-year tax abatement for a new property structure located at 103 S. First St., owned by David and Leona Stauffer.

• learned that Friday will be the last day of the second quarter/first semester for students.

• reminded the public school will be closed on Jan. 20 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

• held a third and final reading and approved/adopted an updated NEOLA policies list.

• was thanked for its service and honored in recognition of School Board Recognition Month. Said Kissell: “Our school children benefit every day from your dedication and commitment to public education. On behalf of the students, staff and administration at Continental School, thank you for another year of service and leadership as a school board member.”

• okayed a maternity leave for Danielle Stallkamp, kindergarten teacher, anticipated to be six-weeks that will begin approximately on Feb. 10.

• hired Nathan Hinkle as a part-time custodian at 5.5 hours per day and issued Hinkle a one-year limited contract at step 0.

• appointed Robin Etter to the Vantage Career Center Board for a three-year term.

• learned that both the elementary and junior/senior high schools have four new students that have enrolled since Christmas break.

• learned that OHSAA Military Appreciation Night will be held on Feb. 17 during the boys basketball game against Fort Jennings and encouraged all local veterans to attend.

• learned the homecoming dance will be Jan. 24, with the homecoming game being Jan. 25 against North Central.

• discussed the all A’s recognition ceremony that will be at halftime of the girls basketball game on Feb. 4. Junior/senior high students will be recognized at halftime of the junior varsity game, while elementary students will be recognized during halftime of the varsity contest.

• discussed the district’s College Credit Plus program. A parents’ meeting will be held Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the high school library. Any parents and students currently in grades 6-11 that are considering the program next year should attend the meeting.

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