Sunday, February 25, 2018

KBOE Wraps Up Its Year
January 29, 2018 by Magdalene Pesch | No Comments

On Dec. 18, Kirtland Schools Board of Education bid adieu to three of its members as cake, compliments and clocks were strewn around the room.

On Dec. 18, Kirtland Schools Board of Education bid adieu to three of its members as cake, compliments and clocks were strewn around the room.

With former board Vice President Ron Stepanovic and members Joe Solnosky and Kat Torok not seeking reelection, new members Shannon Sullivan Green, Kathryn Talty and Jonathan Withrow joined the board during its organizational meeting Jan 8.

“Boards work when you have individuals who are committed to the institution that they represent, that have good honest discussion, are reasonable folks who care and think. I’ve worked on a lot of boards and I’ve never worked on a better one,” said board President Tim Cosgrove during the December meeting as he handed out the aforementioned clocks as parting gifts to the outgoing members.

Board member Tom Meyer added, “I think the most important thing is: the harder the issue was, the more challenging the issue was, whether it was a student issue or a staff issue or the issue of hiring a new superintendent and things like that, that’s when they really raised their game to a higher level.”

Superintendent Bill Wade wished outgoing members the best of luck, adding the district has been lucky to have them.

“It really has been a pleasure to have had the honor to serve our district,” Torok said. “It’s not always easy to do, but it’s important. I have been very fortunate … that I’ve worked on the board that had the perspective of, ‘Kids come first,’ and we do what’s right for all, not just for some.”

Stepanovic thanked everyone for their kind words.

“They made me not want to leave the board,” he quipped. “I really appreciate all the hard work that this board and making sure that the schools and the district are in a good place.”

Solnosky joked, “I have nothing original to say! I learned a lot over the last four years. It was a tremendous experience — a lot of late hours, many times, but it was all worth it. And I’m really appreciative, not only for working with these folks up here, but also for the people who ran for election for the next term.”

The football team was formally commended on placing as runner-up in the Ohio High School Athletic Association finals. Athletic Director Matt Paul said 79 players are on the football roster and 22 of them are seniors.

“(The football players) make the community very proud,” said coach Tiger LaVerde. “I’ve got to be their biggest fans. I love watching them compete on Friday nights, but I love watching them compete the other six days in practice also. They are nice kids and they do well in the classroom.”

All-Ohio honorees were Ryan Lipps, third team punter; Matthew Krulc, third team linebacker; Justin Gardner, third team defensive line; Austin Fulco, third team offensive line; Brandon Samsa, third team wide receiver; Jake Neibecker, second team running back; Joey Torok, second team running back; Dominic Capretta, first team defensive back; Jack Bailey, first team offensive line; and Brett Diemer, first team offensive line.

In other school business, Wade offered a strategic planning update. The next meeting is Jan. 23.

“The goal is still to have that plan done by the end of the school year, presenting it to the community prior to June,” said Wade, noting the strategic planning retreat is tentatively scheduled for March 19 and 20 at Paradigm Center in Mentor.

The board voted unanimously to approve the new gifted identification and service plan, and also approved the reappointment of William Chamberlin to the Kirtland Public Library Board of Trustees for a seven-year term.

In November, Wade provided an update on district enrollment, noting the district currently has 1,183 students enrolled, which is a decrease of 11 students since the beginning of the year.

“I went down to the (state) senate education committee and testified with a group of superintendents from Lake and Geauga County, as part of our Lake and Geauga consortium, with regards to Senate Bill 216,” Wade said. “The bill is a very large bill.”

The group supported the idea that College Credit Plus classes would be taken on-campus when practical, as it is more economical for the district.

It also supported amendments that would streamline the licensing “bands” that allow an educator to teach in Ohio.

“(Current licensing categories) kind of ties up in our district because we try to be as efficient as we can with staffing, and try to put people in the places where we think they’d be more successful,” the superintendent said. “We lose some flexibility with that. One of the features in the bill is to allow a choice for pencil or paper assessments. We did express some concerns as a group with that. If we’re not all playing on the same playing field, that’s not comparing apple to apples; that’s apples to oranges.”

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