ESC superintendent reviews Kasich proposals

LISBON – Superintendent Anna Marie Vaughn on Monday talked to members of the Educational Service Center board about some of the educational programs being proposed by Gov. Kasich’s office to help students and some of the local programs students have been participating in locally.

Vaughn talked about some of the programs Kasich has been working to implement to try to prevent students from dropping out of school, expand vocational education and encourage community members to mentor students. Additionally, she went over some of the programs to improve on the number of high school students participating in college classes or gaining college credits while still attending high school. Additionally, there are programs to encourage colleges by incentivizing them to help students graduate, not just enroll in college classes.

Locally, Vaughn said the ESC is working to obtain some of the latest in state funding, the Straight A Fund. Vaughn said there are three proposals being worked on locally. One would aim to use cheaper natural gas to assist in transportation costs for local schools. Another would allow schools to help local students transition toward careers. Finally, one is based on more curriculum for science, technology, engineering and math, also known as STEM.

Vaughn also talked about some of the successful programs which have been held recently and sponsored by the ESC. One was the county spelling bee, which went 57 rounds and used just under 300 words.

“It was obvious those last three students had really studied,” Vaughn said, adding two of the three will be back again next year.

The ESC also recently hosted an art reception for outstanding artists throughout the county schools and an Academic Challenge event for middle school and junior varsity students. Because of the length of the evening for the challenge event, Vaughn said with so many students participating it may become necessary to move it to a Saturday in the future.

In other matters:

– The board accepted the retirement resignation of Mary Jane Costanzo, a classroom nurse/assistant who plans to retire before the start of next school year. Vaughn said she believes Costanzo has been with the program since its inception, about 37 years ago.

“She’s a great employee,” Vaughn said, “someone who cares about the kids. We’re going to miss her.”

Besides Costanzo’s retirement, the board also approved the retirements of Cinthia Madej and Timothy Garland.

– Board president Richard Stoudt noted the recent death of Robert Frum, who once served as head of both the Career Center and ESC. Vaughn said although he had been gone for many years, Frum still kept in contact, calling from time to time or even stopping by.

– Stoudt also noted the board should commend Tom Brophey, a long-time Wellsville board member, who was recently honored by the Ohio School Boards Association with the 2014 Award of Achievement.

– The board approved a contract with Smith Landscaping to do property management for May and August at a cost of $569.

– The board hired Melvin TenEyck as a substitute bus driver, Jill Oesch as an itinerant teacher, Paula Wayt as a speech language pathologist and Jacob Lunders as an employment first job specialist.