NAPOLEON — The Napoleon Area Board of Education welcomed new superintendent Erik Belcher for his first regular meeting on Monday evening. The board also was given a facilities project update, and tabled a motion to rename the high school gym floor.
Belcher, who was hired in March on a three-year contract, but began his duties as superintendent on Aug. 1, replaced Dr. Stephen Fogo, who served as superintendent for 8 1/2 years. Belcher previously served as superintendent at Fayette Local Schools for seven years.
“We have a great district,” said Belcher to the board during the meeting. “I’ve gotten to know a lot of the staff, the union leadership, many students and what I’ve found are top-notch people. I’m excited to be here, I know together we can do great things.”
Following the meeting, Belcher said: “I haven’t had time to put up any pictures in my office, I hit the ground running meeting people and building relationships. In my short time, I’ve been in awe of how committed everyone here is to the kids. I’m excited to help harness that and help keep moving this district forward.”
Business manager Cory Niekamp gave a brief facility project update, telling the board that the tennis court refinishing project is done, the pool project is done, and that flashing is all that is needed on the re-roofing project of the concourse at Napoleon Junior/Senior High School.
In other business, a motion to rename the Napoleon High School gymnasium floor to the Fred Church Court was tabled, following a motion by long-time board member Michael Wesche. He read a statement, giving several reasons why the motion should not be voted on, before asking the board to come up with a policy when it comes to naming anything in the district.
Board president Ty Otto stated, “We’ve been sitting on this for the past three months, shouldn’t we have done that already?” The vote on tabling the original motion passed by a vote of 3-2, with Otto and Frank Cashman voting no. Wesche, board vice president Marcie Bruns, and Rob Rettig voted yes.
Steve Mossing, who brought the request to name the floor after Church to the board in May, was in attendance Monday. He shared his disappointment, saying: “I respect Mr. Wesche’s proposal, but I’m really disappointed, I was looking for a better outcome today. I will continue to present, in a professional fashion, this proposal (in the future) and I hope the board will reconsider.”
In financial matters, the board approved the following transfers: $100,000 from the general fund to the capital projects set aside fund for the replacement of field turf and other capital projects; $185,200 from the general fund to the HB264 note fund (energy conservation note) for the repayment of the note; $132,212.19 from the permanent improvement fund to the OSFC project maintenance fund to satisfy the 0.5-mill maintenance requirement on the OFCC project; and $50,000 from the general fund to the EMIS fund for fiscal year 2020 expenditures.
Accepted by the board was a donation of 100 backpacks filled with supplies from Americold Logistics to Napoleon Elementary students in need. The donation also helps provide backpacks to homeless children through Feed the Children’s H.E.L.P. (Homeless Education Literacy Program).
In other business, the board:
• approved FMLA leave for up to 12 weeks for Carol Speiser from approximately Aug. 28; Lindsay Murray from approximately Sept. 13; and Megan Bostelman from approximately Feb. 8, 2020.
• okayed Chad Kruse and Samantha Tolles as on-bus instructors (OBI), effective Aug. 19. The OBI is responsible for effective training of bus drivers according to regulations of the Ohio Department of Education and the board of education.
• voted for the employment of Chelsea Wiley, bus driver, effective Aug. 16.
• accepted the resignation of Mary Meyer, elementary aide, effective Aug. 13; and Debbie Burke, junior/senior high aide, effective Aug. 31.
• approved the following coaches for 2019-20: varsity sports — Kelsey Meyer, softball; and Samantha Bloom (25%), water polo. Varsity assistant — Samantha Bloom (25%), water polo. Junior high — Larry Wesche, athletic director.
• okayed the following substitutes for 2019-20: Karl Yunker, teacher; Angela Behnfeldt, aide, secretary; Jeff Buchhop, bus driver; Mary Bunke, aide; Nickolas Berente, bus driver; and Nathan Butler, bus driver.
• employed the following part-time building aides for 2019-20: Ami Allison, Wendy Beals, Angie Bernicke, Debbie Burke, Kim Damman, Karen Dietrich, Melany Junge, Brienne Martin, Rebekah Merrill, Paula Moriarty, Leigh Retcher, Rachel Young and Dawn Wolf.
• ratified the following agreements for 2019-20: with the Wood County Juvenile Detention Center at a cost of $75 per student, per day when assigned to the Juvenile Detention Center; and $75 per day when assigned to the Juvenile Residential Center; and with the Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center for an ESL instructional assistant at the rate of $19.05 per hour.
• voted for fees for laptop damage: Chromebook — liquid damage, $100; case top/bottom, $75; screen, $60; and lost or damaged charger, $15.
• approved the Camp Palmer outdoor education program for May 11-15.
• voted for the bus routes and times for 2019-20, which can be adjusted by the superintendent or transportation supervisor.
• approved membership to the Napoleon/Henry County Chamber of Commerce for 2019-20 for a fee of $100.
• voted for several Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) team members for 2019-20 at the tutor rate for NFA members. OAPSE members and aides will be paid at their regular rate for any extra hours worked; for participation in the Ohio Partnership for Excellence in Paraprofessional Preparation (OPEPP) grant for 2019-20; and approved Denise Lalonde, Emily Gerken (NFA members) and Rebekah Merrill (aide) as the OPEPP team to be paid at the tutor rate for NFA members and aides paid at their regular rate for an extra hours work. This will be paid through the grant fund for up to 24 hours each.
• approved a resolution to not provide career-technical education in grades 7-8.