PAULDING — The Paulding Exempted Village Board of Education extended the contract of its superintendent, heard discussion about the COVID-19 vaccine, approved a contract for mental health services and discussed information about an anti-vaping program.

The board approved a two-year contract extension for superintendent Ken Amstutz, who has served as superintendent of the district since August of 2017. This is the second contract extension for Amstutz, who was approved for an extension in August of 2018.

His current contract was set to expire July 31, however his new extension runs through July 31, 2023.

“I enjoy being in this district, the board has been very good to me, and we want to continue on with the good things that are happening,” said Amstutz. “I’m excited, I appreciate the board’s confidence in me and I’m glad to be here, it’s a really good place to be.”

In his report, Amstutz shared staff who wish to get the COVID-19 vaccine can do so Feb. 26 at Paulding County Hospital. Staff at Oakwood Elementary who wish to receive it will do so at the school. The district will be on a two-hour delay, with both elementary buildings meeting in person, and the middle/high school going virtual.

“Paulding County Hospital has told us there will be more nurses in place so that we can get everyone through during the two-hour delay,” said Amstutz.

Approved by the board was a contract with the National Youth Advocate Program (NYAP) to provide mental health services to students and families associated with Paulding schools, from Jan. 1-Dec. 31.

NYAP will provide screening, teacher consultation, brief intervention/individual counseling for students, as well as coordination of ancillary services for students and family. Services will be delivered on site at school, on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, at a rate of $114 per hour.

Amstutz also presented information to the board concerning a student vaping prevention program titled, “Catch My Breath.” The anti-vaping program is a peer-reviewed, evidence-based youth vaping prevention program developed by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health.

The program is for youth ages 10-18 (grades 5-12).

“We’ve had a high percentage of our suspensions this year due to vaping,” said Amstutz. “The principals and I have done quite a bit of talking, and unfortunately it’s pretty prevalent in our high school and middle school. What we are doing is anyone who is caught doing it a first time will be suspended, and the second time that student will be sent to the vaping group with our social worker.

“While in the program, the kids will be re-told what our expectations are, and why they shouldn’t be vaping,” added Amstutz. “We’re getting this put in place for the fourth nine weeks, and as time goes on, I will let you know how it goes. I want the community to know we do have a problem, it has escalated, and that’s why we are putting this program into place. Hopefully it will help.”

In other personnel matters, the board voted to abolish the position of administrative assistant/curriculum coordinator, and the suspension of Todd Harmon’s administrative employment contract, effective at the end of business, July 31. The decision was based on reorganization and/or consolidation of administrative functions, and/or financial conditions affecting the district.

The board also okayed a resolution to create the position of career attainment and transition coordinator for Paulding High School. The person hired for the position will be tasked to serve as a community workforce/school liaison by coordinating with agencies to provide services and resources to help students achieve employment upon graduation.

In addition, the coordinator will implement assessments and activities for groups and individuals with implementation of OhioMeansJobs, as well as coordinate occupational skill workshops/experiences for students in grades 9-12.

In other business, the board:

• expanded employment of substitute teachers consistent with amended substitute Ohio House Bill 409, authorizing the board to employ substitute teachers, as needed, who do not hold a post-secondary degree.

• approved the following one-year, extra-curricular contracts for 2020-21: Ben Barton, head baseball coach; Cory Adams, junior varsity baseball coach; Matt Arellano (33%), Brett Kauser (33%) and Thor Etter (33%), assistant baseball coaches; Mallory Clark, head softball coach; Robin Eberle, assistant softball coach; Brooklyn Miller, junior varsity softball coach; Elias Jimenez and Sydney Collins, volunteer softball coaches; Kim Bickford, boys and girls head track coach; Jacob Smith and Austin Conlon, assistant track coaches; Matt Warnecke, junior high boys and girls track coach; and Kyle Kramer, junior high assistant track coach.

• accepted the resignation of the following individuals due to retirement: Mark Rhodes, Paulding Elementary physical education teacher, effective at the end of the current contract year. Rhodes has served the district for 34 years; and Annetta Goyings, Paulding Middle/High School guidance/records secretary, effective May 31. Goyings has served the district for 35 years.

• okayed a one-year limited contract for the following individuals: Tara Ann Miller, Oakwood Elementary secretary, effective March 1; and Charles Davis, second-shift middle school custodian, effective Feb. 8.

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