2012-04-14 / News

Liberty Union hires new elementary principal

By Charles Prince

BALTIMORE - Linda Rainey of Pickerington will be the new principal of Liberty Union-Thurston Elementary School beginning July 24. She replaces Kelli Brownfield who is retiring at the end of the school year.

Rainey began her teaching career with Columbus Public Schools, moving to Pickerington Local Schools in 1996. She has BS and MA degrees from The Ohio State University and received her principal’s licensure from the University of Dayton. At Pickerington, she has taught Grades 2 and 4, and served as principal’s designee and instructional coach for other teachers.

Board members unanimously approved a two year contract with her at a starting salary of $82,391.05 a year.

“We’re delighted to have her,” Superintendent Paul Mathews said at Monday night’s school board meeting. Rainey attended the meeting and spent part of her spring break at Liberty Union.

In other business Monday night, board members also unanimously hired Chelsie Perko as a kindergarten teacher beginning in August. Supplemental contracts with Ben Factor for instrumental music and Emily Fisher for vocal music were also approved.

Treasurer David Butler had some good news for board members. Revenue from real estate taxes was up $40,000 from last year and income from the district’s income tax was up $33,000 compared to last year.

High school teacher and Race to the Top Committee chair Holly Lavender discussed the district’s efforts to prepare teachers and adjust the curriculum for the changes Ohio is making how students will be evaluated. “This is coming in two years,” Mathews said.

Currently, the state proficiency tests evaluate how much knowledge students have acquired, Lavender explained. The new focus will be on the ability of students to apply that knowledge. “A little less content, but it’s deeper,” she said. Memorization won’t be enough anymore.

For example, the Ohio Department of Education believes only 40 percent of current students would have passed the new math or reading tests that will be used starting in 2014. That would have a significant impact on school district report cards and students ability to graduate. Unless districts adapt to the changes, the hundreds of districts currently rated “excellent” would drop to a handful.

In his construction update, Mathews said he expects the new maintenance shop will be done by June 1. Some corrective work on sewer lines in the new middle school will be done over the summer break. More work is also needed on the HVAC controls at the middle school.

Melody Anthony and Brielle Moon were honored as the costudents of-the-month. Anthony, the daughter of Jim and Lori Anthony, is a senior and active in Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. She is an active drag racer at the local and national level. Moon, the daughter of Larry and Colette Moon, is a junior and is very active in the high school instrumental music program. She is also a three-year member of the Knowledge Bowl Team and is an executive committee member of the Foreign Language Club.

The board’s next regular meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Monday, May 14, in the district’s new administration building behind the elementary school.

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