The Miami Trace Local School District Board of Education held its re-organizational meeting on Monday evening at the campus district office with all board members in attendance.
After opening the meeting, past president of the board, Rob Dawson, opened the floor for nominations from the board for the next president. Mike Henry was nominated and voted into the position, his second time serving as president of the board. Henry took the gavel from Dawson and continued the meeting by asking for vice president nominations. Charlie Andrews was nominated and elected to the position by the board.
“I am very honored to be chosen to serve as president of the Miami Trace School Board,” Henry, who is serving his ninth year as a member, said. “I grew up in the Miami Trace district and I have known all the men and women who have served on the board in the past. It is an honor and a humbling experience to be able to serve the community as president. I have outstanding board members to work with, they are quality people. Their hearts are toward the district, they love the district. We really just want to move the district forward. We feel in the past we have chosen good administrators to continue what has been done in the past. We are thrilled with Mr. (David) Lewis as our superintendent. Kim Pittser (assistant superintendent) pretty much handles our curriculum and works with the testing. We have other people in positions that are very qualified and we feel like our administrative staff is outstanding. We are thrilled with our entire staff. This is an exciting time for Miami Trace, we are building our new high school, and that is the last piece of the puzzle.”
Three presentations were part of the Winner’s Circle this month – the first to be honored was past president Dawson who was honored by Lewis for his work in the position in 2017. He was awarded a special plaque during the meeting. Those honored next were the entirety of the BOE for Board Member Recognition Month, which is held during January. Each member was given a special award from Lewis.
The final presentation was for the Miami Trace FFA Parliamentary Procedure state champions. Several students and the advisors for the chapter were all presented with a certificate. Members honored were Aubrey Schwartz, Abbi Pettit, Kylie Pettit, Adam Ginn, Garrett Hagler and Meri Grace Carson, as well as advisors Wendi Mizer-Stachler, Amanda Swigert and Bruce Bennett. Additionally the team had two alternates: J.M. Perrill and Khenadi Grubb.
The board approved the consent agenda and moved on to the regular agenda.
Treasurer Debbie Black began with a recommendation to approve the 2017 financial report. The board discussed many aspects of the district’s finances, including a transfer of $12,435.54 from the general fund to the MITRA fund to pay for an invoice from Walsworth in the same amount for the 2017 yearbooks. Rob Enochs, principal at the high school, explained to the board what steps he has taken to ensure, moving forward, that yearbooks will be done cost-effectively. The board also approved, at the amount of $2 per student, a service fund.
Bill Franke, business manager, updated the board on the high school construction process. Over the past two weeks crews have worked on masonry walls in sections, steel decking in places, and also began wood blocking for the roof. Crews installed a DP&L transformer and are working on a heat pump installation, among other tasks. Franke said work expected to start in the next two weeks includes masonry, foundations that were left out at the main entry, window installation and more. Currently, he said the project is about 12 days behind schedule, which has been steady.
Administration from around the district took time to visit the district office for the meeting to update the board on the many aspects of the schools. Testing at all levels was a big part of the discussions, but holiday sports successes, an upcoming visit from other food directors, the introduction of new programming in the transportation department, and the recent social media threats were all discussed. Many were thanked for their efforts in keeping the school functioning during the recent challenges.
“I feel like we are on the right track,” Henry said. “The state seems to change things almost on a yearly basis. I feel like our staff is working diligently on all of that and I am excited about the progress that is being made. I think looking at where we have been, and thanks to many great presidents like Rob Dawson and the other board members, we have gotten where we are. We feel like we are very blessed with what we have been given at Miami Trace. We are just trying to be good stewards of the trust the community has given us.”
The next meeting will be held on Feb. 12 at 1 p.m.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy