LIBERTY CENTER — Student achievement was celebrated by the Liberty Center Local Board of Education during its regular meeting Monday evening.

In addition, the board heard a presentation about LifeWise Academy, an athletic projects update, and learned of administrators in the district moving to different positions.

Students who qualified for state competition during winter sports were commended by the board, including: Landon Amstutz in bowling; Dylan Matthews and Owen Box in wrestling; Camren Foster and Owen Johnson, as state alternates in wrestling; and Samantha Engler and Calla Oelkrug in gymnastics.

“Any time we can recognize students for their achievements, we certainly want to do that,” said superintendent Richie Peters. “These students and coaches overcame so many obstacles (because of the pandemic) to compete at the highest level, and we commend you for your accomplishments.”

Randy Riegsecker and Ronda Miller were in attendance to discuss LifeWise Academy, a character-focused, bible-based released time religious instruction (RTRI) program for students.

RTRI is legal for the following reasons: students can only take part in the program with parental permission; it is entirely privately funded; and it’s held off school property, even though it takes place during school hours.

In August, the board approved a policy to allow RTRI at Liberty Center Schools. Riegsecker and Miller explained LifeWise Academy is securing a location by the school to begin in the fall for students in grades K-4.

Peters gave an update on athletic projects, including the completion of field turf at the high school football stadium. Following a generous donation from the Kip Kern family in March, school officials took a look at the completed Kip Kern Field on Monday.

“We can’t thank the Kern family, Maumee Bay Turf and the athletic boosters enough,” said Peters. “It looks amazing, and it will impact our student athletes and our community for years to come.”

Once the athletic boosters close out their portion of the project, they are expected to donate the field back to the school board at its May meeting.

Peters then shared the metal building renovation at Rex Lingruen Stadium has expanded to include a 2,000-square-foot addition to address storage issues, while the stadium will get new home and visitor bleachers. Meanwhile, the 1995 gymnasium renovation project will now include a HVAC update.

ESSER II and ESSER III funds will be used in the updates, as well as leftover money from the K-12 building project. No general fund money will be used for the renovations. The initial estimates for all projects was $900,000, but with federal funds helping to cover the costs, the projects are now an estimated $2.8 million.

“There have been changes made to these projects, but Garmann Miller (architects) and Rupp-Rosebrock (general contractor) have been great in keeping up with those changes,” said Peters. “Due to some delays in getting materials, the projects will be broken up into three phases, but we’re going to keep moving forward.”

In administrative matters, the board approved the transfer of Larry Black from high school principal, to Liberty Education Center (LEC) director, accepted the resignation of Greg Radwan as middle school principal, and hired Radwan as Black’s replacement as high school principal.

Black replaces Cameron VanArsdalen as LEC director. Meanwhile, a two-year contract was approved for Radwan as high school principal from Aug. 1, 2021-July 31, 2023.

The search for a new middle school principal will occur right away according to Peters.

The board later approved a resolution to initiate the retire/rehire process for David Grim, high school math teacher, whose retirement/resignation was approved in February. A public hearing will be held June 28 during the regular board meeting to discuss the matter.

In other business, the board:

• approved Patricia Hyland, school psychologist at the rate of $80 per hour, for 2021-22, on an as-needed basis with no benefits. She will serve students at the LEC.

• OK’d the updated NwOESC substitute teacher and paraprofessional lists.

• accepted the resignation of the following individuals at the end of 2020-21; Brett Green, teacher; and Carrie Pratt, intervention specialist.

• offered the following continuing contracts beginning Sept. 4: Bonnie McGilvery, cafeteria cashier; and Kim Bergstedt, cafeteria aide.

• offered the following certified contracts beginning with 2021-22: one-year contracts — Andrea Dennie and Raellen Merritt; two-year contracts — Michelle Bailey, Seth Bowser and Jessica Keller; three-year contracts — Mary Bentacur, Ashley Braucksieck, Sharon Brown, Mary Chamberlin, Ashley Chapa, Brittany Gonzalez, Alicia Soto and Andrew Watson; continuing contract — Kaitlyn Yungmann.

• offered the following contracts beginning 2021-22: Laura Myers, playground monitoring aide, and a two-year contract as a bus driver; and Ellen Bockelman, bus driver.

• offered Breanna Sharp a two-year contract as the payroll specialist, effective May 4, 2021-May 3, 2023.

• approved the following transfers: $159,539.52 from the bond retirement fund to the bond retirement classroom facilities project fund; $2,454.20 from the permanent improvement fund to the bond retirement fund.

• voted to send the girls basketball team and coaches for an overnight basketball shootout at the Cedar Point Sports Complex in Sandusky, June 14-15.

• approved the fine and performing arts seal, student engagement seal and community service seal as the local educational authority defined seals for graduation requirements for the class of 2022.

• OK’d the list of 2021 graduation seniors.

• voted to offer student accident insurance for 2021-22 from Guarantee Trust Life Insurance Company, through Frost Insurance Agency of Napoleon.

• approved sending FFA students and teacher to attend an overnight trip to FFA Camp Muskingum, June 7-11.

• voted for the non-renewal of all 2020-21 supplemental contracts as of June 30.

• approved a then and now purchase order in the amount of $8,925 to Squire Patton Boggs.

• accepted the following donations: an Engelhardt low string bass, valued at $1,500, from an anonymous donor; $125,000 from an anonymous donor for fencing around the football field; $365.79 for state wrestling, $222.15 for state bowling, $109 for state gymnastics, $408.77 for the Neff Awards and $2,000 for the track camp fund from the Liberty Center Athletic Boosters.

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