New principal named for Millersport High School
MILLERSPORT - Charles Leedle will be the new principal at Millersport Junior High/High School.
The Sunbury resident was the unanimous choice of a 12- person selection committee that included board members, administrators, teachers, staff and community members. Board members unanimously approved a three-year contract with Leedle Monday night.
He has been the principal of the new Licking Heights Central Middle School since 2006. From 2002 to 2006, Leedle was assistant principal of the Licking Heights Jr/Sr High School. He served as a teacher in Columbus City Schools for 20 years.
Leedle has a Bachelor's degree in Music Education from The Ohio State University and later earned a Master's in Educational Administration from OSU.
He replaces Roger Montgomery who was not offered a contract renewal after serving as principal for seven years.
Superintendent Ron Thornton also introduced the new high school guidance counselor to board members. Laura Whalen will replace Susan Moore who resigned in May to take a team position at Gahanna.
Whalen is an Ohio University graduate who began her teaching career as a 10th grade English teacher at Logan High School. She also worked as a 5th grade teacher at St. Mary Elementary School in Lancaster then as a teacher at the Multi-County Juvenile Detention Center in Lancaster. For the last year, Whalen has been the guidance counsel at Fisher Catholic.
Board members also approved the following personnel recommendations from Thornton:
• Accepted the resignations of Rob Wiseman and Doug Carpenter as assistant football coaches;
• Employed Andrea George as a 5th and 6th grade teacher;
• Employed Kathryn Post as an intervention specialist at the elementary school;
• Approved supplemental contracts for the following certified persons - Thomas Howard, head girls basketball coach; Steve Mohler, high school music/Select director; and Lori Dupler, junior class/prom advisor.
• Approved supplemental contracts for the following non-certified persons - Liz Arnold, assistant volleyball coach; Liz Slater, JV volleyball coach; Randy Willis, junior high volleyball coach; and Julie Whetstone, junior high volleyball coach.
In other business Monday night, Thornton and board members thanked Clayton Keller for completing his Eagle Scout sidewalk connector project. His service project to construct a sidewalk connecting the elementary and high school took 289.5 hours, his proud mother told the board.
"You did a great job," Thornton told him.
In his report, Thornton cautioned board members about placing a $1 million bond issue for athletic facility improvements on the November ballot. The measure had originally been slated to go before voters at an August special election. That plan was derailed when the Fairfield County Board of Elections told Thornton that the anticipated cost of $8,000 to $9,000 for the special election would be about $10,000 higher due to the cost of an outside computer specialist. He suggested board members get some community feedback before starting the steps to put it on the November ballot. Thornton predicted that high gas prices, coupled with increasing prices across the board would make a new tax a difficult sell this November. Board members must approve three separate resolutions before August 21 to get it on the November ballot.
Thornton added that the district's first opportunity to renew one of its two emergency levies is the November election. The district has a year to renew without having a gap in collection.
"I think the emergency renewal is more important," board president David Brookover said. They will discuss the issue again at their July 21 meeting.
Thornton said the district spent about $45,000 this school year on transportation for field trips, athletics and band/music. "We're going to have to bite the bullet," he said, referring to the continuing increase in the cost of diesel fuel. "We need to cutback and conserve." He said the number of trips will have to be cut back as well as the distance traveled to some games and events for the district to avoid large cost increases. The district already teams up with Liberty Union on small group transportation, maintenance/ transportation supervisor Mike Washburn said.
He reported that all seven Phase 1 facility improvement projects are on schedule. The new elementary school roof was about 95 percent complete before last week's torrential rains struck. The pad for the next football stadium bleachers has been poured and the new roof-top HVAC units at the high school are being installed.
"It is very exciting," Washburn said. "You will see a great deal of improvement in the next 18 months," Thornton added. Projects for second and third phases are being reviewed now and will be brought to the board for approval.
Board members approved a new policy addressing the admission of part-time home school students after several home schooling parents approached Thornton.
"I think we need to welcome kids into our schools," he told the board. "We certainly have the room." Thornton added that their parents are paying the same taxes.
The new policy provides that home school students in grades K-6 many enroll at the beginning of any school year for up to a maximum of two special subject areas such as music or physical education.
Students in grades 7-8 may enroll on a part-time basis at the beginning of any school year. High school students may enroll at the beginning of a school year in courses generating up to four total credits per year.
If a home school student enrolls in a course with a mandated state test, the home school student must take that subject test.
School transportation will not be provided to part-time home school students. However, part-time high school students can participate in co-curricular and extracurricular activities if enrolled in at least one year-long course earning one unit of high school credit .
A home schooled student may also participate on an athletic team if enrolled on the first day of school and the student had been enrolled in a home school program for at least one calendar year preceding the intended public school enrollment. If the calendar year requirement isn't meet, the student must be enrolled at Millersport for at least one grading period before becoming eligible to participate in athletics.
Part-time home schooled students won't be eligible for end-of-year class or academic awards nor will they receive a graduation diploma or be allowed to participate in commencement exercises.
The board's next regular meeting has been pushed back to 7 p.m. on Monday, July 21 in the elementary school library.