HEBRON – Lakewood Schools now has a completely new board of education for 2018. Three challengers – Tara Houdeshell, Jonathan Lynch and Bill Pollard – were elected last November to four year terms, ousting incumbents Tim Phelps and Judy White and filling the open position created when incumbent Trisha Good decided not to seek reelection.
Brittany Misner was appointed earlier this year when Bill Gulick resigned. Wednesday evening was Nathan Corum’s first regular meeting after being appointed to fill the rest of Steve Thorp’s term. Misner and Corum’s terms expire December 31, 2019.
Houdeshell is now the board president, moving up from her vice president post. Board members unanimously selected Lynch Wednesday evening as vice president. Their positions are for 2018.
Board members filled three important administrative positions. Lynch asked that the appointments of Jason Lee as high school assistant principal and Scott Harris as athletic director be removed from the consent agenda. He later explained that he would abstain on both votes – for professional reasons for Lee and due to a long-time friendship with Harris and his family.
Lakewood’s second year varsity football coach Jason Lee was approved by a 4-0 vote to replace Kevin Krier as assistant high school principal. Krier was recently promoted to high school principal.
Superintendent Mary Kay Andrews presented brief bios for all three appointees. Though Lee coached Lakewood varsity football (0-10 record) last year, his primary position was principal at Foxfire High School (since 2014) in Zanesville. Foxfire Schools are described on its website as “the last, best chance for children from ages 6 through 22. Foxfire has been in existence for 15 years and we are continuing to grow with more and more students contacting us to attend each year. Foxfire is a conversion community school sponsored by the Maysville Local School District serving an at-risk student population drawn from an eight county region. Our students, ages 6 – 22, are considered very high risk, not only of dropping out of school, but of dropping out of mainstream, productive society.”
Prior to moving to Foxfire, Lee held several positions in the Maysville Local School District, including Dean of Students and Student Services Liaison. Earlier, he was the assistant director of the Upward Bound Program at Ohio Wesleyan University. Andrews described Lee as “a leader in areas related (to) behavioral supports for students and programming for character/incentive programs.” She added, “He will bring a belief system and energy level to the high school that will help us to continue to make progress in creating the type of school atmosphere where our students want to come to school- where they will feel valued, safe and connected as a community.” Lee will continue as varsity football coach. He received a one-year contract as assistant principal at $84,868.
Jason Boland, 7th grade English Language Arts teacher, will become the new middle school assistant principal. He replaces Michael Rodich, who resigned to take a similar position with his home district Northern Local
Schools. Boland has taught at Lakewood since 2005 and has coached several sports. Andrews said Boland has been a teacher leader, “partnering with colleagues to analyze data and implement writing across the curriculum…as a result of the seventh grade team’s fidelity to this implementation, aided by Mr. Boland’s collaboration and leadership skills as grade level chair, our seventh grade students were able to accomplish 75% achievement on the 2017-18 Ohio State Test in English, Language Arts, up from 49% for the same cohort of students during the 2016-17 school year.”
Boland also received a oneyear contract as assistant middle school principal at $80,105.
Scott Harris is the new district athletic director replacing long-time athletic director Bo Hanson who recently accepted the same position at Pickerington Central High School. Harris comes to Lakewood from Newark Catholic were he has held positions as athletic director, facility manager and assistant athletic director since 2011. Prior to Newark Catholic, he held a number of positions at State Farm since 1994. Andrews added that both of his parents are Lakewood graduates. Harris received a one-year contract at $79,056.
Pollard urged Lee to work with Krier to move the high school to the “next level academically.” Given Krier’s pre- Lakewood employment position as president of the Lakewood Athletic Booster, Pollard urged Krier, Lee and Harris to move the athletic boosters on a “more positive path.” Lynch seconded Pollard’s suggestion.
In other personnel actions Wednesday night, board members:
• Accepted the resignation of Jason Boland as a 7th grade English language arts teacher; and the resignation of Kate Boland as a Title I reading specialist at Hebron Elementary;
• Accepted the resignation of Sharon Adams as volleyball head coach and;
• Approved Erick Herzberg as varsity girls basketball head coach; and Brett Vermillion as varsity girls cross country head coach.
Board members also approved a change in the 2028-19 school calendar. Andrews said the change moves all calamity make-up days to the end of the school year.
In her report, Director of District Services Patti Pickering said the new security vestibule and additional restrooms for the middle school will be done this week. Work is continuing at the high school. She added that work will start this month on developing the district’s comprehensive maintenance plan.
Electrical service is being upgraded at the bus garage and additional parking lot lighting is being added. The garage is being painted and spruced up.
The board has three more meetings this month. Thursday night, July 12, was a two-hour work session with Ohio School Board Association representatives on professional development for board members. Backto back special meetings are scheduled for July 24 and July 25 to conduct the annual evaluation of the superintendent and district treasurer. Those evaluations are done in closed or executive sessions. Board members may also need to approve some last-minute personnel additions at one of those meetings which would be done in an open meeting.
The Lancer Pride Levy Committee is kicking off their campaign for the 5.1 mill bond levy on the November 6 ballot. The levy would raise $39.8 million to build a new K-5 school on the Lakewood campus to replace the 104-year old Hebron Elementary School and the two buildings making up the Jackson Intermediate School. The bonds will be repaid over 28 years.
The kick off meeting is set for 6 p.m. on Monday, July 30, in the high school library. Babysitting will be provided at the meeting.
The committee is seeking community members with a variety of skills: those who want to get out and talk with community members about the levy; those who are good at data analysis; and those who can create and/or produce campaign materials.