Superintendent search continues in Greenfield

By Angela Shepherd - For The Times-Gazette

The search for a permanent superintendent for the Greenfield schools continues with the resume deadline this week, Interim Superintendent Ron Sexton reported at Monday’s school board meeting held at Rainsboro Elementary.

Sexton said so far 19 resumes have been submitted and a couple more are anticipated by the end-of-the-week deadline. From there, applicants will be assessed and interviewed, and then candidates will be presented to the board.

Sexton, who retired from Wilmington City Schools after nearly four decades, officially began as interim superintendent on Feb. 1, the day after former superintendent Joe Wills retired from the post after more than five years.

In other business, the security swipe card technology that has been getting installed throughout the Greenfield campus for some time could be fully operational in the next couple weeks, Sexton said.

As previously reported, at each door on the Greenfield campus, devices are being installed that will allow entry via a key card, which all staff members will have. In between classes, due to the nature of the campus with students having to change buildings for different classes, the doors will unlock during that brief time, then lock again. All doors will be able to be locked or unlocked individually from administrative computers where activity and persons at those doors can be monitored via camera.

Sexton reported that over spring break the process of putting in new flooring in the music and band rooms, in the hallway outside those rooms, and in the hallway between the old and new gyms will begin. Whatever is not accomplished during that break will be completed over the summer break.

According to board president Sandy Free, she and other board members traveled to Wilmington to see the same sort of epoxy flooring at Wilmington Schools. Free and Sexton said the flooring is attractive, durable, easily cleaned, more safe and cost effective. McClain Principal Jason Potts added that after 10 years, the top layer of epoxy is removed and a new layer applied and the floor is essentially as good as new.

Sexton said there will be many other things accomplished to the buildings and grounds over the summer break which will include painting in the pool area and draining the pool and regrouting some areas.

He also enthusiastically praised the robotics program, which recently held a competition that Sexton described as “incredible.” He said there were 42 teams and “the place was packed.” And seeing the students combine things like math and science to craft their machines was a remarkable thing, he said. He was so impressed by the display that he said he went straight to Wilmington and told them they had to start a program like Greenfield’s.

Monday’s meeting also brought educators forward to tell about things going on at Rainsboro Elementary.

First up was music teacher Victoria Mikkelsen, who recently attended the Ohio Music Education Association’s annual convention in Cleveland. She said the event is huge and brings in thousands of educators not only from Ohio, but across the country. It is a place to learn new things with fellow educators, she said, and also learn about new instruments, something Mikkelsen said she saves for every year so that her students can experience the instruments, some from different cultures.

She showed board members different drums from distant lands, a wooden xylophone that she plans to make with the students, and a drum made out of tape and cardboard.

“It’s a wonderful experience,” she said, encouraging administrators to attend the two and a half day convention when they could.

“Thank you for allowing me to go and for always supporting my music program,” Mikkelson said.

Next up was fourth grade teacher Amy Cockrell with three of her students who have been engaging in “real world math.” Cockrell, who is personally connected to dirt bike racing that takes riders all over the country has been providing the students with information regarding a certain rider they are assigned. With the information, students have calculated things like the mileage traveled by their rider, points earned, and money earned over a given period of time.

The next step is for the students to write letters to their riders, then Cockrell will deliver them at a race she will be attending next month.

The whole exercise is not only a real world scenario for the students to engage in mathematically, but something they are also having fun with, Cockrell said.

Lastly, Rainsoro Principal Quincey Gray introduced her building’s spelling bee winners. They were Kyser Gossman (first place), Eli Douglas (second place), and Audrey Champlain (third place). Each of the students was recognized by the board.

On another matter, Sexton commended Transportation Supervisor Bradley George and his department for their organization of the garage and the fleet. A recent spot check by the Ohio State Highway Patrol saw two buses checked and both buses were without fault, Sexton said. Additionally, damage sustained by a deer strike was not major, and the repairs should be able to be handled in-house, he said, which will mean the bus won’t have to be sent away and will be back in service in a much shorter period of time.

Recommendations as approved by the board were: Joe Pat Smith, treasurer, five-year contract; Marcus Coleman, IRS monitor; Kaitlyn Sue Ashcraft, certified substitute; Madison Knisley, cafeteria; Nathan Luke, robotics; Rachel Soards, art club; and Logan Rhonemus, baseball volunteer.

Sexton spoke of the outstanding achievements of the winter sports programs, which will be recognized at the next regular school board meeting. That meeting is scheduled for March 25 at 7 p.m. in the McClain cafeteria.

Angela Shephered is a stringer for The Times-Gazette.

By Angela Shepherd

For The Times-Gazette