PAULDING — The Paulding Exempted Village Board of Education held its annual organizational meeting Tuesday, followed by the regular meeting of the board.
During the regular meeting, the board heard from Paulding Education Association (PEA) president Gary Gilbert, and a public hearing was held on the 2022-23 school calendar.
During the organizational meeting, new board member Jarrod Hawk was sworn in for his first meeting, while current member Karen Saxton was also sworn in for a new term. Hawk was elected in November, and he takes the seat of long-time former board member Mark Manz, who did not seek re-election.
Elected as president for 2022 was Matt Stoller. With board member Brian Egnor not in attendance, the vote for vice president was split, with Egnor receiving two votes, and Jim Foltz receiving two votes.
The board will vote to elect a vice president at the next meeting, scheduled for Feb. 15.
The members voted to keep the regular meeting of the board on the third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m., unless otherwise noted.
Other business included:
• appointing Egnor as legislative liaison and student achievement liaison with the Ohio School Boards Association for 2022.
• appointing treasurer/CFO Kim Sprague as the representative for public records training for all board members; authorizing Sprague to pay the district bills; make advance draws on February and August tax settlements; invest active, inactive or interim funds at the most productive rate of interest; file requests for amendments of the certificate of estimated resources with the Paulding County Auditor as information becomes available to warrant such filings; and make fund-to-fund advances, advance returns, transfers and appropriation changes as needed with board ratification as part of the financial reports at the next board meeting.
• authorizing superintendent Ken Amstutz and Sprague to enter into and/or accept/participate in federal, state or local grants or agreements deemed advantageous to the district, and authorizing Sprague to appropriate funds for grants awarded; and accept all donations to the district on behalf of the board.
• appointing Amstutz as the purchasing agent with authorization to initiate expenditures up to $25,000 without prior board approval.
• authorizing Amstutz to employ such temporary personnel as needed in emergency situations with approval by the board at the next board meeting.
During the regular meeting, Gilbert addressed the board on an employment grievance concerning the hiring of softball coaches more than a year ago. The issue was settled on Dec. 2, 2021.
Gilbert explained that following issue included: two grievances, two mediations, an unfair labor practice charge, an arbitration hearing on the first grievance, and two rounds of served mediation.
“This did not come cheap to the district,” said Gilbert.
The PEA president went on to say the board needed to follow its own procedures and bylaws, and not “micromanage” the administration, in which it hired to handle such matters.
“With respect to this situation and a few others, this school board has failed,” said Gilbert. “Your recent actions and decisions have cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars more than was necessary, and has taken valuable time away from staff administrators.”
In addition, a public hearing was held in regards to the 2022-23 school calendar, in according with Ohio Revised Code. The presentation included the total number of hours in the school year, professional development days for staff, the start of school (Aug. 23), graduation (May 21) and end of school (May 25).
No one from the public was in attendance. The board will vote to approve the calendar in February.
In his report, Amstutz shared the district leadership team will meet Jan. 19 to look over data, especially concerning reading.
“We are in the process of doing a lot with reading, and we’re looking to make some changes to solve some problems we have in that area,” said Amstutz.
The board went into executive session for 20 minutes to discuss personnel at the start of the regular meeting, and at the end of the regular meeting.
No action was taken following executive session at the end of the meeting, however, during regular session following the first executive session, the board voted to terminate the contract of bus driver Robert Shaffer.
The resolution stated he was being terminated due to dishonesty, willful violations of reasonable board policies, neglect of duty, and/or other acts of misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance, effective immediately.
In other business, the board:
• approved membership in the Ohio School Boards Association for calendar year 2022.
• accepted the resignation of Ann Marie Alderman, middle school art teacher, effective at the end of the contract year. Alderman has served the district for five years.
• amended the employment policies for non-bargaining unit employees, including administration and confidential employees, effective Aug. 4, 2020, to reflect a 2% salary increase for 2023-23 and 2023-24.
• voted for the following one-year limited extra-curricular supplemental contracts for 2022-23: Cory Adams, junior varsity baseball coach; Matt Arellano (50%) and Thor Etter (50%), assistant baseball coaches; Robin Eberle, assistant softball coach; Nate Trausch, junior varsity softball coach; Matt Warnecke, junior high boys’ and girls’ track coach; and Kyle Kramer, junior high assistant track coach.
• approved sending approximately 18 students, six staff members and two chaperones to the Science Olympiad regionals at Bowling Green State University, Feb. 25-26. Science Olympiad Boosters will pay the cost of $1,500-$2,000 with no costs to the students.