2008-11-15 / Schools

Liberty Union adds girls' soccer as new sport in 09/10

By Charles Prince

BALTIMORE - It took nearly 25 minutes Monday night for Liberty Union-Thurston Board of Education members to congratulate athletes, musicians and students.

Students-of-the-month were seniors Bethany Johnson and James Weaver. Johnson is the daughter of Robin and Mary Johnson. Weaver is the son of Brad and Sherry Weaver. Both were nominated by a teacher for the honor.

Second year middle/high school music teacher Ben Factor was chosen by his peers as teacher-of-the-month. He's now won the award twice. Factor is also the band director. He and marching band members were honored for the district's "first ever superior rating" at the Ohio Music Education Association state competition.

"We've had a lot of success with teams this fall," Superintendent Paul Mathews told board members. Coaches and players were recognized:

• Coach Renee Mangette and the junior high boys cross county team - Mid State League champions;

• Coaches Ron Bibler and Billy Phillips and the junior varsity boys golf team - MSL champions;

• Coach Megan Gierhart and the junior varsity volleyball team - MSL champions;

• Coach Jon Morris and varsity cross country runners - Drew McCormick, MSL champion and Krista Mathews, state cross country meet qualifier.

• Coach Jim Reed and the varsity golf team - MSL co-champions and Benny Muncy, MSL Player-of-the-Year.

Mathews said the varsity football team will be honored at next month's board meeting. The team is MSL co-champion and faces Columbus Bishop Ready Saturday in the third round of the Division V football playoffs.

In other business Monday night, board members unanimously approved a proposal from the Baltimore Youth Soccer Association to add a girls soccer team for next school year. A few girls currently play on the boys team. According to a revised ruling from the Ohio High School Athletic Association, girls can chose whether to continue on the boys team or join the new girls team. An earlier ruling required them to play with the girls if a girls team was available.

The district's Athletic Council recommended adding girls soccer with the following conditions:

• The youth soccer association will pay all coaching costs for two years;

• Approval is contingent on having enough students - "probably 14-15 players minimum for each team;"

• Alt Park field is available on a regular basis for the girls' team practices and a few times for the boys' team when there is a home girls' match; and

• Both the boys' and girls' team will be scheduled for an equal number of home matches on the varsity field and elementary site field.

Board members also unanimously accepted a proposal from Baltimore Police Chief Michael Tussey for a shared cost School Resource Officer for next school year. The district will pay $10,545.86 for the officer who will also provide D.A.R.E. program instruction. "This partnership helps us and the village as well," Mathews said. "I appreciate their partnership. We gain a lot for a fairly minimal investment."

Board members also approved district calendars for the next three school years. The new calendars are designed to accommodate the renovation of the high school. School will start after Labor Day in 2009 (Sept. 9) and 2010 (Sept. 8). School year breaks will be minimized to get students out of school as early in June as possible. Graduation will be June 13 in 2010 and June 12 in 2011.

School breaks for 2009/2010 are:

Oct. 12-16: Fairfield County Fair

Nov. 6-27: Thanksgiving Dec. 24 -Jan. 3: Winter break Jan. 18: ML King Day Feb. 15: Presidents Day April 2: Spring break

May 31: Memorial Day

June 11: Last day for students

School breaks for 2010/2011 are:

Oct. 11-15: Fairfield County Fair

Nov. 25-26: Thanksgiving Dec. 24- Jan. 2: Winter break Jan. 17: ML King Day Feb. 21: Presidents Day April 22-25: Spring break May 30: Memorial Day June 9: Last day for students

In his report, district treasurer David Butler had good news for board members. "Income tax (revenues) is ahead of last year which is against the trend," he reported. For year-to-date totals (beginning July 1), real estate and income tax revenues are up while personal property tax revenues continue to fall. Ohio is phasing out the personal property tax.

Board members also purchasing a 48-passenger handicapped equipped bus for $76,596 from Center City International. The new bus will have room for two wheelchairs and a lift.

The board's next regular meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 8 in the high school library.

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