NAPOLEON — Student achievement at the state level, and appreciation for excellence by those who have been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic at Napoleon Area City Schools, were all recognized by the Napoleon Area Board of Education Wednesday.

The board also accepted a bid for Phase I of its parking lot improvement project, and voted to close out its Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) project (see related story, Page A1).

In addition, information about LifeWise Academy, a released time religious instruction (RTRI) program, was presented to the board, as was a report by Brad Strickland, the district’s school resource officer (SRO) (see related story, this page).

Students who participated at the state level in bowling, DECA, swimming and diving were recognized for their achievements by the board.

Members of the girls bowling team recognized included: Abigail Detmer, Heather McMahan, Ella Fox, Jalin Ruple, Spencer Schwaiger and Carlee Hohenbrink. Members of the boys team included: Elijah Wolf, Michael Gallagher, Jacob Hull, Ashton Kiessling, Preston Miller and Riley Ehlers. Honored also was head coach Randy Schwaiger and volunteer coaches Randy Babcock and David Kiessling.

DECA advisor Jason Zera was honored along with several students, including: seniors Joshua Black, Aubrie Espinoza, Armaan Grewal, Kendelle Koesters, Spencer Macheck, Hannah Pelland, Tyson Reynolds and Jessica Yunker. Juniors honored included: Ella Fox, Ava Harmon, Shayla Hoover, Anastasia Kostantinova, Madelyn Lloyd, Coby MacGregor, Kennedy Rahrig and Levi Trausch.

Sophomores honored included: Emma Berry, Calen Gray, Rachel Iverson, Curtis Lydy, Mason Melia, Derek Miller and Jadyn Reed. Freshman honored included: Ivan Denver Grundy, Sydney Eberle, Espn Paxton, Ayden Shank, Christian Sherwood, Jose Torres and Nathan Ward-Myers. Eighth graders honored included: Nora Beman, Jackson Bowser, Ashton Delaney, Nicholas Nahrwold, Nicholas Oliver and Trenton Weber.

Members of the swim team honored included: Kaylee Nagel, Brett Bostelman, Masen Switzer, Mitchell Griffith, Kyle Hudson, Khalil Tran, head swim/diving coach Denise Brown and assistant coaches Bethany Borton and Sam Wesche. Honored from the diving team was Mara Cashman, and assistant coaches Kristin Shepard and Michael Retcher.

Said superintendent Erik Belcher to each group in attendance: “You’ve all made Napoleon very proud.”

Later in the meeting, the board passed a resolution expressing the recognition and gratitude of the board for excellent service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The board recognized excellence from the Henry County Health Department, the staff and administration of the district, school nurses Julie Eberle and Beth Speiser, and district students and families, and expressed its appreciation for their dedication this past year.

“We are so fortunate to be in this community where our kids can be in school every single day, and we say thank you to the many people for the collaboration and work that went into that behind the scenes to make that happen,” said Belcher.

The board also voted to extend the contracts of superintendent Erik Belcher, and administrators Ryan Wilde and Matt Dietrich. Belcher was given a five-year contract, effective Aug. 1, 2022-July 31, 2027; Wilde, Napoleon Junior/Senior High School principal, was given a three-year contract, effective Aug. 1, 2021-July 31, 2024; and Dietrich, pre-kindergarten-2 principal, was given a three-year contract, effective Aug. 1, 2021-July 31, 2024.

In other business, the board:

• accepted the amounts and rates as set by the budget commission, authorized the necessary tax levies, and sent them to be certified by the Henry County auditor.

• approved FMLA leave for the following individuals for up to 12 weeks: Catherine Meyer, beginning March 16; Brock Dishop, beginning May 12; and Lane Bese, beginning May 18.

• OK’d the transfer of Jennifer Bergstedt, three-hour assistant cook at Napoleon Junior/Senior High, effective March 10; Alysia Agler, to a Class I secretary position at Napoleon Elementary, effective April 6.

• accepted the resignation of the following individuals: Chad Brubacker, varsity football assistant, effective Feb. 8; and the retirement/resignation of Jennifer Fitzenreiter, bus driver, effective July 1. Fitzenreiter has served the district for 20 years.

• rescinded the 2020-21 track varsity assistant contract of Tim Downey, and approved the following varsity assistant athletic coaches for 2020-21: Downey, track (50%); Kristen Vollmar, softball; Mackenzie Plassman, water polo (1/3); Abigail Stoner, softball volunteer; and Sam Wesche and Brock Hardy, baseball volunteers.

• voted for the following athletic coaches for 2021-22: Brandon Behnfedt and Devin Meyer (50%), football; Sean Thompson, freshman football; and Dave Mack, freshman football assistant (50%).

• approved Teresa Morgan, Sue Abshire and the students participating in Jazz choir to attend competition at Kings Island, May 21-22, pending governor pandemic orders; participating students and staff to attend the high school band trip to New Orleans from April 28-May 2, pending governor pandemic orders; and several chaperones for the high school band trip.

• voted for the annual membership fee of $250 to the Community Improvement Corporation of Henry County for 2021.

• ratified the following contracts: affiliation agreement with BGSU to conduct a distance internship program in nutrition and dietetics field experience; MOUs with Defiance College, Lourdes University, Northwest State Community College, Owens Community College, and the University of Toledo for College Credit Plus costs; a service agreement with Miller’s Textile Services; an amendment to the self-servicing account with Apple Inc., and an irrigation service agreement with Waterville Irrigation, for baseball, soccer and practice football fields.

• OK’d a MOU with Great Lakes Community Action Partnership Migrant and Seasonal Head Start program as the grantee for migrant/seasonal head start, Nov. 1, 2020; and a MOU with Maumee Valley Guidance Center to add one additional day per week for a mental health counselor at Napoleon Elementary.

• authorized the establishment of the Beverly Nelson’s Red Ink Pen Scholarship.

• accepted the following donations: four, five-gallon containers of hand sanitizer from Harrison Gleaner’s Arbor to Napoleon Area City Schools; $2,500 from the Napoleon Athletic Boosters to the Napoleon Junior/Senior High athletic department for travel expenses for the girls basketball team to state; $1,192.77 from the Napoleon High School Alumni Association to Napoleon Area City Schools for the 2021 teacher wish list; and 10 new masks and eight pairs of gloves from Jaynie Guildinbach to Napoleon Elementary.

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