Defiance City Board of Education met Monday, hearing concerns from representatives of the Save Our School (SOS) committee, as well as a brief presentation concerning the DARE program.

Representing SOS were Ralph Hahn and Sally Myers. It was shared by Myers that the committee is working to get the national registration done for the 1918 building on Arabella Street so that any developer can qualify for tax breaks. The building is now vacant.

“It is our goal to benefit the community with that building,” stated Hahn. Myers added that the 1918 building “is a beautiful piece of architecture.”

Developer Joe Recchie of Praxia Partners, Columbus, has expressed interest in turning the former school into affordable senior housing. He is expected to return in December with a follow-up presentation, though a state-imposed deadline is looming.

Superintendent Mike Struble stressed that the next board of education meeting is Dec. 12 at 5 p.m. In addition, he will be meeting with the Ohio School Facilities Commission on Dec. 29 to state the district’s intentions concerning available demolition money.

Defiance County Sheriff’s Deputy Dana Phipps, DARE officer, was on hand to discuss the DARE program. He noted that the 2018 DARE camp at Defiance Elementary School had 340 participants. It was held for grades 3-7, with youth staff from grades 8-12.

Phipps thanked the board and the district for their support of the program.

Struble also shared that the administrative offices and pre-school have moved to 801 S. Clinton St., the former Henkle building. Asbestos abatement of Arabella Street building will begin Monday, whether or not the building is saved or demolished.

Following a brief executive session, the board approved Bob Morton as the new grades 6-12 principal, assisted by Jay Jerger and Shane Brugler. They each will receive a $5,000 stipend for the additional responsibilities. This comes following Richie Peters leaving at the first of the year to become the superintendent of Liberty Center Local Schools. Peters has served as Defiance Middle School principal.

Additional personnel matters included accepting the resignation of Kristine Campbell, ASP tutor at Holy Cross Catholic School, effective Nov. 2; and hired Patti McCord, ASP tutor at Holy Cross; Emily Starnes, Rachel Windhorst, Sharon Waldron, Tamara Lockmiller, Britt Gerken, Angie Knapp, Meghan Sager and Greg Swartz, third-grade afterschool instructors for the 2018-19 school year; Miranda Gomez, elementary dishroom; Melanie Campos, middle school/high school server; and two substitute staffers.

Also approved were the transfers of Denise Mendez, from middle school/high school server to middle school/high school dishroom; and Megan Robles, from elementary school dishroom to elementary hostess.

Accepted donations included: $55.03 from Kroger Round Up Rewards to girls soccer; 57 volleyball locker signs from Guy Tettenhorst, valued at $70; meat for the boys golf banquet from J. VanderHorst & Associates LLC, valued at $97.98; $100 from Jim Hench for the drug testing fund; $100 from district volleyball program royalties to the athletic department; $200 from Defiance Eagles for girls golf; $317 from BSN sale percentage to the athletic department; $805 from Jordan Schultz to DHS baseball; $1,000 from Defiance Elks 147 Charities Inc. for boys soccer; and $1,000 from Leever Glass for the high school gym video board.

In other business, the board:

• presented this reporter, Jenny Derringer, with the Ohio School Boards Association’s Media Honor Roll award.

• approved the request to amend the certificate of estimated resources and appropriation modifications for fiscal 2019.

• approved a resolution to participate and authorize META Solutions to advertise and receive bids on behalf of the board as per the specifications submitted for the cooperative purchase of two 84-passenger transit school buses.

• held a second reading on numerous policies.

• heard an update on the Ohio School Boards Association Capital Conference held in October.

• viewed the first draft of the 2019-20 school year calendar.

• approved the list of substitute teachers as approved by the Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center.

• passed a resolution to waive an exit conference with the state auditor.

• discussed Jan. 16 focus groups.

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