By Melanie Williamson
The Vermilion Local Schools Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Monday, December 4. The meeting opened with an introduction of the students of the month from Vermilion Elementary School. Then assistant principal Bobby Figuly showed a video introducing the students of the month at Sailorway Middle School.
Legislative updates: Board member Sara Stepp monitors anything going on in the government that may impact the school district and provides updates on those items each month. This month, she stated House Bill 8 passed, which prohibits the release of information on students involved in bus accidents. There is also Senate Bill 105, which designates October as principal appreciation month, and finally, House Bill 200, which is in discussions and involves the state voucher program.
Athletic awards: Superintendent Phil Pempin announced that Vermilion high School was awarded the Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity School Award from the Ohio High School Athletic Association for the third year and that Vermilion was one of only eight districts in the state to be recognized. Board member Chris Habermehl gave credit to athletic director Andy Stillman for taking the time to make sure the program met the standards of the award. Pempin added that there is a long application process that involved Stillman and many of the coaches.
Superintendent goal review: Pempin briefly went over a review of his goals. While he normally goes over them in detail, he explained that they are still being developed as he is also working on the transition plan. Overall, his goals are divided into five categories: academic performance, staff development and relationships, board and community communication, campus safety and security, and innovation growth.
Treasurer’s report: Treasurer Suzanne Wilson presented the October 31, 2017 financial reports and the amended fiscal year 2018 appropriations, which were approved by the board. Wilson requested approval to establish two new funds, one being a Coach Matt Kobal Memorial Scholarship Fund, which was requested by his parents, Edward and Barbara Kobal. They provided an initial donation to start the fund. Wilson stated that they are already receiving additional donations, and she is expecting that to keep growing. She also presented a list of donations that have been submitted to the district, and all were accepted by the board including five donations for the Coach Matt Kobal Memorial Scholarship fund.
Facility use charges: Following up from the discussion of facility fees at the October school board meeting, Superintendent Phil Pempin explained to the board that after going over expenses, it was determined that the hourly utility cost for the facilities was slightly higher than they had suggested at the last meeting, but that everything else discussed remained the same. After some discussion, board member Chris Habermehl stated that they should get everything on paper, so they can officially update the policy.
Capital conference: Several board members attended portions of the annual Capital Conference in Columbus in November. Board member Stark stated he went to several seminars over the course of three days and found many of them to be very informative. Board member Krystal Russell stated she went to one on working cooperatively with businesses. Pempin stated the district is already working towards through their new tech programs at high school. Habermehl responded that he went to a seminar on creating a business advisory council, which again goes to developing those community relationships. Finally, board member Sara Stepp stated that she went to a seminar on a new superintendent transition since they will be going through that transition in a couple years.
Tennis courts: One of the approved expenses in the consent agenda was $48,160 to Industrial Surface Sealer, Inc. for renovation of the tennis courts on Sailorway Drive. Superintendent Pempin explained that the work will be done in the spring and will involve cleaning out all the cracks in the courts and using a special compound to fill the cracks and low areas in the courts that cause puddling. Pempin explained that they received three quotes for the work, and Industrial Surface Sealer, Inc. not only had the best quote, but their quote included work the others did not. He stated that the work will also be under warranty. Stark asked if there was a local example of their work. Pempin responded that operations director James Williamson did travel to look at courts the company has worked on and was happy with what he saw.
Scissor lift: Another item approved as part of the consent agenda was the purchase of a Skyjack Electric Scissor Lift from Construction Equipment & Supply at a cost of $11,500. Pempin explained that a scissor lift is needed for a number of tasks around the schools including changing lightbulbs in the gym. They have been renting a scissor lift, and use it all the time. Pempin explained that the one they bought was reasonably priced, brand-new, and came with a warranty, so it will save them money to own rather than continue renting.
Upcoming meetings: The school board will meet on Monday, January 8, at 6:45 p.m. for an organizational meeting and then immediately following will be the regular monthly meeting at 7 p.m.