HAMLER — During its meeting on Monday, the Patrick Henry Local Board of Education heard a presentation about a new program in the elementary school before approving a key financial item for the district’s future.

In his presentation to the board, elementary principal Bryan Hieber discussed a program that has been nearly two years in the making.

At the beginning of the month, the elementary school began its house system.

The system, taken from the Ron Clark Academy, splits the elementary students, staff and faculty into four groups, or houses, and has them compete in a variety of behavior and academic competitions throughout the year.

At the end of the year, the “house” with the most points will win the “House Championship.”

“We felt this is something that would be beneficial to our kids,” said Hieber. “When you think of a house, you think of a unit or team, a group of people that will look out for one another. We wanted to create that atmosphere here at Patrick Henry, we feel some kids may not have that and we wanted to give them some consistency and (a sense of belonging).”

Hieber noted that each student participated in a blind draw to choose their house during a recent assembly and the students showed great enthusiasm and excitement to join their new “houses.”

Currently, the district’s 21st Century Grant is helping fund teachers experiencing the Ron Clark Academy.

“We really want to thank you for your leadership on this,” said superintendent Josh Biederstedt, who is also a member of one the district’s four houses. “Our mission statement talks about giving each student the opportunity to make the best version of themselves and we really believe that this helps them do that.”

In legislative items, the board approved a pair of items dealing with the district’s certificates of participation (COPS).

The first saw the board approve a resolution amending a resolution authorizing the refunding of certificates, while the second okayed the “executing and delivering of certificates.”

According to Biederstedt, the moves help the district as it prepares for phase II of the school renovation project.

“It will help us save up to $750,000 over the life of the COPS,” explained Biederstedt. “What they are is a funding mechanism so that we can move forward with phase II.”

In other business, the board:

• approved a $500 transfer from the theater club to the high school and middle school choir and a $500 transfer from the theater club to the high school and middle school band.

• hired the following to extracurricular positions effective for the 2019-20 contract year pending receipt of necessary paperwork: Mitch Fisher (assistant boys basketball), Heidi Christman (freshman assistant girls basketball), Taylor Ziegler (co-assistant gymnastics), Tracy Black (cabaret), Jeremy Crossland and Alex VanDeBussche (freshman assistant boys basketball, Dennis Brubaker (seventh-grade boys basketball), Dennis Meyer (eighth-grade boys basketball), Lauren Rohrs (seventh-grade girls basketball), Nick Nusbaum (assistant girls basketball), A.J. Wagner (eighth-grade girls basketball), Keith Palmer (assistant wrestling), Jeremiah Camp (junior high wrestling), Laura Marsee (assistant gymnastics) and Tricia Smith (co-assistant gymnastics).

• approved an overnight trip for the music department to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on May 7 and Hershey, Pa., on May 8; and Gettysburg, Pa., on May 9.

• renewed membership in the Deshler Chamber of Commerce for 2020 for $50.

• approved an updated NwOESC teacher sub list and education aide sub list.

• accepted a monetary donation from the Pride Transportation Co. Inc. toward Robotic Club T-shirts.

• approved a then and now payment for $14,652.91 to NBEC.

• approved high school student council and wrestling student activities purpose statements for budgets for fiscal year 2020.

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