Newly appointed Defiance City Board of Education member Dodi Thompson was sworn in during the regular meeting of the board Wednesday at Defiance High School. The members also welcomed new superintendent Bob Morton, the former Defiance High School principal, who presided over his first board meeting following the retirement of long-time superintendent Mike Struble.
Thompson was chosen to fill the vacancy of Ken Wetstein, who resigned in June after accepting a position as vice president of university advancement and foundation executive officer at Eastern University in Charleston, Ill. Thompson will serve a term of five months, through Dec. 31. In November, voters will decide between Thompson and Michael Wahl to serve the term’s remaining two years.
In addition, the board elected Cathy Davis by a vote of 5-0 as vice president to replace Wetstein. Davis was sworn in by treasurer Cheryl Swisher.
Following his first board meeting as superintendent, Morton shared that he is happy to be serving in this new capacity.
“It was exciting preparing an agenda, and really looking at everything from a more global perspective, instead of just from a high school perspective,” said Morton. “I worked hard in versing myself in a wide array of action and agenda items, and I’ve gotten great support from the board and everybody in the district. I’m very grateful for all that support.”
The board met in executive session following the regular meeting to consider the purchase or sale of property, to discuss employment or compensation of a public employee, and the investigation of charges or complaints against a public employee.
Following executive session, approved by the board for 2019-20 were a 2.5% raise for administrators not under a new contract for 2019-20; a 3% raise for confidential employees; and a 2.1% raise for CFO/treasurer Cheryl Swisher following her annual evaluation.
During the regular meeting, Morton shared that school resource officer (SRO) John Williamson earned Professional SRO Level through the Ohio School Resource Officers’ Association of Ohio. He also gave an update on the district’s school safety planning meeting, and on the historic registry of the 1918 building.
“Mr. Williamson takes his role as our SRO very seriously, he is a great resource and asset to our district, and we are appreciative of his efforts,” said Morton. “As far as our school safety planning meeting that took place on Aug. 7, our administrators met with the Defiance Police Department, Defiance Fire Department, Defiance street department, representatives from the YMCA and local pastors about a full-scale drill that will take place in the near future.
“We are required by law every three years to have a full-scale functional drill, and although we won’t go into great detail now, about 10 days before, a press release will be sent out announcing the drill,” added Morton. “Concerning the 1918 building, we received a letter stating the building was approved by the Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board to qualify for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. Paperwork will now be sent to Washington, D.C., for nomination to the register.”
Assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction Sheri Steyer told the board that motivational speaker and author Diana Patton will be the keynote speaker for staff on Monday, their first day to report. Patton worked with Defiance Middle School students and parents last year as part of the 21st Century Grant. Steyer shared a short video of Patton with the students and parents.
In other business, the board:
• approved META Solutions to advertise and receive bids on behalf of the board for the purchase of school buses, if needed.
• okayed the resignation of Emily Seadin, high school English, effective Aug. 19; Ellen Williams, librarian/media specialist, effective Aug. 19; Susan Goff, Title I, and employ her as K-3 co-teacher, effective 2019-20; Melanie Campos, high school server 3.75 hours per day, effective Aug. 15; Tammi Elwood, freshmen assistant volleyball coach; and Amanda Rettig, middle school volleyball coach.
• voted for the transfer of Sara Ohm from middle school language arts to high school English, effective Aug. 20; Amanda Rettig, middle school social studies to middle school language arts, effective 2019-20; Melissa Schwarzmann from second grade to media/literacy, effective 2019-20; the involuntary transfer of Jessica Schroeder, high school physical education to middle school physical education, effective 2019-20; and Susan Kamphaus, from high school family and consumer science to high school CBI/VLA, effective 2019-20.
• approved the employment of the following individuals for 2019-20: Kelly Hasselbring, Title I; Jody Bays, high school family and consumer science; Jessie Wolfrum, K-3 intervention specialist; Audrey Eis, Title I teacher assigned to St. John Lutheran for three hours per day, three days a week as long as the grant funds are available; Patti McCord, Title I teacher assigned to Holy Cross for 4.5 hours per day, two days a week as long as the grant funds are available; Aerica Fackler, Candace Keller and Janet Smith, substitute teachers; Jason Frederick, substitute bus driver; and Janet Smith, substitute aide.
• voted for the following supplemental contracts: Tammi Elwood, junior varsity assistant volleyball coach; Libby Burkhart, freshmen assistant volleyball coach; Amy Zipfel, eighth-grade volleyball coach; Brier Stabler, seventh-grade volleyball coach; Olivia Fett, middle school cross country coach; Jason Hutcheson, seventh- grade football assistant coach; Drew Steyer, boys soccer assistant; Dennis Parrish, head girls softball coach for 2018-19; and Rick Weaver, senior high student council.
• approved maternity leave for Jessica Sharp from approximately Oct. 17-Dec. 16; and an unpaid medical leave of absence for LeAnn Carnahan from approximately Aug. 20, 2019-Feb. 20, 2020.
• okayed the list of certified substitute teachers for 2019-20 as approved by the NwOESC.
• approved no changes to the district’s career advising policy.
• voted for an agreement with the Wood County Juvenile Detention Center/Juvenile Residential Center of Northwest Ohio for 2019-20; an agreement with Wright State University-Miami Valley College of Nursing and Health to provide a site for its clinical education program, effective Aug. 26, 2019-July 31, 2024; and a clinical affiliation with Northwest State Community College Early Childhood/Paraprofessional Education program to provide a facility for its clinical education program, effective July 1, 2019-June 30, 2021.
• accepted the following donations: $65 from the family of Jody Doyle to the high school athletic department; books from Defiance Dream Center to Defiance Elementary grades 3-5 for distribution to the summer lunch programs in Defiance in the amount of $200; $1,000 from the Defiance Area Foundation to Defiance Elementary grades 3-5 for the Watch D.O.G.S. program; and craft supplies and decorations from JoAnn Fabrics, worth an estimated value of $2,100.