By Melanie Williamson
The Vermilion Local Schools Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Monday, February 11. All school board members were in attendance along with district Treasure Justin Klingshirn and superintendent Phil Pempin.
During the meeting, the board heard presentations from Sailorway Middle School students regarding a new recycling club that has formed, as well as students from Vermilion High School about an upcoming Leo Club conference.
Superintendent Phil Pempin addressed the members of the board regarding the partnership being formed between the district, Mercy Regional Medical Center, and the Erie County Health Department. He provided everyone with a copy of a contract sent to them by Erie County. Pempin stated that they had just received the contract and did not have time to review it yet, but he wanted to give each of the board members a copy, so they could have time to review it as well.
Pempin went on to discuss the proposed partnership stating that it has been discussed at previous meetings and will be launching in the next moth or two. The partnership will provide a health center within the high school. This will allow students and teachers to receive medical care on the school grounds, which will provide greater access as well as reduced absenteeism. The goal is to provide a “seamless connection between healthcare organizations by creating a facility within the school.”
This partnership will include a mobile dental center and a physical training room for students receiving physical therapy or athletic training. Pempin stated that he believes this will be a great opportunity for the district and is a first step towards having a medical building on campus. He urged the school board members to review the proposed contract and call him with any questions they may have.
Treasurer Justin Klingshirn reported that so far revenue going into the general fund, food service fund, and all other funds is on par with what it has been in previous years. When looking at cash balances,there is a slight increase across several areas, but Klingshirn asserted that the increase is due to reduced spending, opposed to an actual increase in revenue. He did note that the food service fund was growing, but that money could only be used on food service, so the access was limited. In order to better utilize that fund, Klingshirn stated he will be allocating some of the money to go towards the salaries of individuals that spend a good portion of their time working within the food service program.
The board voted to approve several donations. They approved a motion to move forward with the purchase of two new buses for next school year, which is part of a multi-year process of replacing the 10 oldest busses in the district’s fleet. Finally, they approved a transfer of funds that Klingshirn explained is to cover health insurance payments that were previously paid out of different funds.
During open discussion, board president Mike Stark shared information about two events he recently attended that involved Vermilion High School students. The first event was the Tim Tebow Foundation Night to Shine, which was held at Harbortown Community Church. Stark explained that this event was a prom for those with special needs. There were 120 guests, 80 caregivers, and roughly 80 volunteers that attended.
Stark went on to say that members of both the VHS Peer Leadership program and the VHS National Honors Society volunteered helping to serve dinner. Stark stated they put in a lot of time and effort and connected well with the participants. Additionally, VHS Choral members sang at the event making it extra special with live music. Stark stated that all the students make a great impression and reflected the best.
The second event he attended was the Lorain County Regional Scholastic Art Gold Key Program. Stark stated there are roughly 30 districts represented at this event. 1500 pieces were submitted for judging and 550 were recognized. He shared that showcased gold key winners would move on to nationals in New York.
According to Stark, of the 550 art pieces recognized, 92 of them were from Vermilion students, which was the most of any district there. Additionally, 2 of the 3 films recognized were from Vermilion students. He stated that Vermilion had the most gold key winners of any district and several Vermilion students won multiple gold keys. Vermilion student Sam Dewey also won best of show for a ceramic piece he submitted.