HAMLER — During its meeting on Monday, the Patrick Henry Local Board of Education heard several presentations, including one that could mean a new extracurricular activity for its students.

Dustin Ruffell told the board his vision for the creation of a new e-sports team for the district’s high school students.

“What’s happening right now in our current culture is that e-sports are being explained as a freight train that is hitting all of our nation’s schools,” explained Ruffell. “The OHSAA is currently having a committee looking into e-sports (for possible inclusion as a sport).”

Ruffell explained that the route for a new PH e-sports team would first begin this spring as a club sport and slowly build it into a varsity sport.

Ruffell added that he currently has 34 high school students interested in competing on a possible PH team. Ruffell noted that if a team is created, it will compete in the Ohio E-Sports League. The league was newly created within the last two years and already has hundreds of schools interested in competing.

But for those that take part at PH, Ruffell said they won’t just be sitting around playing video games.

“We’re not just going to be playing games,” explained Ruffell. “If they just want to sit around and play games, they can stay home and play games. But if they’re wanting to compete and learn at a whole different level, that’s what this is for.”

In other business, the board:

• heard a presentation from a PNC Bank representative about refinancing the district’s certificate of participation. The refinancing could save the district more than $46,000 a year. Later, the board approved refunding the district’s certificate.

• learned from high school principal Adam Wagner about the new criteria needed for high school graduation.

• approved Lisa Kleman as computer coordinator.

• approved Hailey Nusbaum, Becky Wasson, Abby Readshaw, Marie Myers and Nichole Schroeder as mentors in the resident educator program.

• okayed Lacey Punches, Kaitlyn Wyse, Madison Stechschulte, Ray Greene, Hannah Benbow, Makayla Haugen, Mitch Fisher and Nicole Blake as mentees in the resident educator program.

• approved Laura Ellis Ginger Wymer, Tricia Baden, Paula Latta, Bethany Gable and Bryan Hieber as members of the local professional development committee.

• hired Brian Keith and Amie Whitman as co-assistant archery coaches.

• gave approval for early graduation to Samuel Williams III.

• approved an overnight trip for seventh-graders to Camp Palmer on April 28-May 1.

• approved an updated teacher substitute list from the Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center.

• accepted donations from M&R Ready Mix for concrete and work done by Tom Vance, Chad Schwiebert, Ryan Schwiebert, Andy Rohrs, Mike Gerdeman, Tory Johnson, Shawn Punches, Todd Smith, Kent Seemann and Tommy Vance for the safety fence project at the baseball field in memory of Nancy Vance.

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