Damascus Elementary principal resigns, retirements approved

BELOIT- The West Branch Local school board Thursday night accepted the resignation of a principal and approved multiple retirements.

The board accepted the resignation of Damascus Elementary Principal Matthew Bowen effective June 30. He has been with the district the past five years and will be taking the superintendent position at Campbell City Schools in August.

“It has been a very positive experience over the past five years,” Bowen told the board. “I’ve learned a great deal and sincerely appreciate all the support and guidance I’ve been given.”

In other personnel matters, the board approved the retirements of Ginny Eudy, with the district since 1982, as a clerk in the treasurer’s office effective April 30; and Joyce Wiant, with the district since 1984, as school secretary and Pam Miller, 36 years with the district, as middle school teacher at the conclusion of the 2012 2013 school year.

The board also approved the retire/rehire at the conclusion of the 2012-2013 school year of Michael Bardo as vo-ag teacher, Dale Morckel as middle school science teacher, Jane Morckel as middle school science teacher, Nancy Whinnery as high school home economics teacher, Miranda Zadigian as first grade teacher, Robert Offenbecher as physical education teacher, Louis Sellaroli as intervention specialist teacher, Joseph Ginocchi as social studies teacher and Matthew Manley as an administrator.

Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Weingart noted that the retirements this year- currently 11 under the retire/rehire provision and three regular- are due to significant changes in the teacher retirement system that take effect after this year.

The board also granted supplemental contracts for the 2012-2013 school year to Jennifer Zamarelli for assistant musical director and John Zamarelli for choreography; and approved compensation as auditorium technicians at the rate of $9 per hour for Victor Trimmer, John Zamarelli, Eric Waggoner, Trevor Mathey and Alaina Felgar.

In other business the board declined participation in the 2013-2014 Cooperative School Bus Purchasing Program and the authorization to the Ohio Schools Council to advertise and receive bids on behalf of the board for the cooperative purchase of one 65-passenger and one 71-passenger school bus chassis and bodies at a cost of $325.

Board members cited lack of funds to purchase buses next year, but emphasized that all the current buses have passed inspection and are safe to carry students.

“Safety is still our main concern, but we have to watch what we spend,” said board member Mikki Kanagy.

Weingart noted that a new bus costs approximately $80,000 to $85,000.

Also at the meeting, the board approved a three-week, Pre-kindergarten Summer Intervention program funded through sources provided by the district and United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley. Part of a broader, more comprehensive Success by Six Initiative to address the needs of children in the community, United Way of Youngstown and Mahoning Valley will offer financial support of $18,000 ($4,500 per unit for four units) for a three-week, five days per week, four hours per day summer program from July 22 through August 9. This is the fourth year the district has offered the program.

Weingart commended Knox fourth-grade teacher Candy Rockwell for securing a $600 grant from the Society of Analytical Chemistry of Pittsburgh to obtain materials or equipment for science that will enable hands-on science experiments. Weingart also commended the boys and girls basketball teams for being recognized by the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association as one of th top scholastic teams with a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher.

The board authorized the West Branch Little Warrior Football organization to construct a concession stand/storage building south of the Middle School football field.

Parent Mark Fleming expressed concerns regarding a personal matter with his children and school administration, but was told to stop after identifying by name students and staff members after being directed not to do so.

Kevin Howell can be reached at khowell@salemnews.net