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Liberty Union’s athletic facility upgrade plans on hold

BALTIMORE – Voters’ 2:1 rejection last week of a proposed additional 3.5 mill permanent improvements levy for the Liberty Union-Thurston School District wasn’t mentioned at Monday night’s school board.

Superintendent Todd Osborn had explained the proposed levy in several postings on the school district’s website. He said the district’s three schools had been replaced or substantially upgraded in the last nine years while improvements to the district’s outside facilities like the track and football stadium dated back to 1985 and to 1948 respectively. Proceeds from the five-year levy, which was expected to raise $648,000 annually, had been earmarked to replace the track and upgrade the football stadium including installing artificial turf. In one website letter, Osborn wrote, “If we don’t raise the money to fix the track and upgrade the football through fundraising and this levy, we will borrow money from the operating fund to pay for the upgrades. The track will be replaced this summer and the field will need a major overhaul.”

Osborn told The Beacon after the meeting, “At this point we do not have any plans to move forward with upgrading the facilities. We will host meetings to gather input from our stakeholders to make an informed decision on the direction we take with our outside facilities. I expect that the district will have a plan for the outside facilities in late August.”

In other business Monday night, board members unanimously hired April Bolyard as district treasurer and Erin Berlecamp as Assistant to the Treasurer. Bolyard was promoted from Assistant Treasurer after long-time District Treasurer David L. Butler Jr. unexpectantly passed away April 4.

Board members also agreed to hire Joe Peardon for the new position of Director of Facilities and Maintenance. He had been Maintenance Supervisor and will now also assume the responsibilities of retiring Building Services Supervisor Rick Delynko.

In recent meetings, board members have accepted the following retirements and resignations:

• High school teacher Donna Anderson’s resignation for retirement at the end of the school year;

• Adam Twiss’ resignation as varsity girls basketball coach;

• High school English teach Katherine Beverly’s resignation at the end of the school year;

• High school athletic director Adam Brately’s resignation at the end of the school year;

• High school English teacher Lauren Spector’s resignation at the end of the school year;

• Half time elementary school reading specialist Kay Williamson’s resignation for retirement at the end of the school year; and

• High school teacher Micah Freman’s resignation at the end of the school year.

In recent meetings, board members have approved the following supplemental contracts:

• Haylie and Katie Roth as track volunteers;

• Bryan Johnson as head varsity football coach;

• Chuck Bauer, Ed Mattox, Brandon Twiss and Andrew Vannatta as varsity assistant football coaches;

• Betsy Davis as junior high football cheer coach;

• Renee Mangette as head cross county coach (boys and girls);

• Scott Williamson as junior high cross country coach (boys and girls);

• Andrew Coccia as head boys soccer coach;

• Jared Shy as head girls soccer coach;

• Jennie Sage as head vlleyball coach

• Mike Sage as freshman volleyball coach;

• Brian Bibler as head boys golf coach;

• Erik Smolewski as JV boys golf coach;

• Harold Lloyd as head girls golf coach;

• Theresa Dutch for 6th grade outdoor education;

• Jamie Peardon as head varsity football cheer coach;

• Tom Gaskins as baseball volunteer;

• Matt Bolinger and Same Patterson as softball volunteers;

•Tom Basso as boys soccer volunteer; and

• Tabitha McCarthy for elementary yearbook.

Board members approved the 2017/2018 calendar in February. The first day for students will be Wednesday, August 16, 2017. The Fairfield County Fair break will be Oct. 9-13; Thanksgiving break will be Nov. 22-24; the Christmas Break will be Dec. 21 – January 2; and Spring Break is March 30 – April 2. Graduation is set for May 20, with May 24 the last day for students. Professional development days (no school for students) will be Sept. 25 and March 29.

Seniors Madison Vannatta and Hunter Patterson were recognized as the co-students of the month for April. Seniors Halle Haris and Avery Miller were so honored for March. January’s honorees were Devan Lewellen and Brandt Coffman.

The board’s next regular meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Monday, June 12, in the Liberty Union District Office.

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