Recognition given during Leetonia BOE meeting

LEETONIA- Leetonia Schools Superintendent Rob Mehno recognized the work and accomplishments of several individuals at the regular school board meeting Wednesday night, including students in the high school’s transitional program and the winners of the county spelling bee.

Mehno welcomed Kitty Kromer, an intervention specialist at the high school, to speak about her transition program for students with disabilities which provides an opportunity for them to acquire job experience before graduation. Kromer told the board that a new state mandate will require schools offer a transition program for the students, something Leetonia has offered for the past 20 years.

The program places students on a job site six hours a day each Tuesday. The students created the raised beds at the K-12 campus in the fall of 2011 and then worked at Goodness Grows in North Lima during the spring and summer. They again worked at the garden sites at the K-12 campus this fall and will continue to work at Goodness Grows.

Kromer added that she has secured a $500 grant for the gardening program through the area solid waste district.

Elementary Principal Missy Brock praised the students, noting that they help out with anything that needs done.

“Anytime there’s something to do around the office, we can ask them and it gets done quickly,” she said. “They’ve just been a tremendous asset here.”

Spelling bee winners: Leetonia boasted the top two spellers at the county spelling bee earlier this month, so the board honored champion Sash Davis, first runner-up Shawn Greathouse and contestant Haley Peterson.

Sash, the first Leetonia student to win the county spelling bee since 1988, will represent Columbiana County at the National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C.

Shawn finished tied for first runner-up, marking the first time one school has had the top two spellers since the ESC began hosting the event, according to board member student achievement liaison John Rydarowicz.

Additional recognitions: Mehno recognized the overwhelming generosity of students, staff and community. He reported that Karri O’Donnell organized the pennies for pasta fundraiser which raised $1,200 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Emily Rodik coordinated the Koins for Kids which raised $1,195.65 for Akron Childrens Hospital (Mahoning Valley Campus), with the elementary school raising more money per student than any other Columbiana County school.

He also reported that Sandy Mitchell is raising money for the weight room and the Excel program under the direction of advisor Brianna Henceroth is fundraising for the Christina House in Lisbon.