Resignations, contract renewals approved at South Ripley meeting

Wanda English Burnett

Several items concerning employment were heard at the June South Ripley School Board meeting.
The following items were approved unanimously:

• Employment of Justin Griffin to fill the position of band director effective with the 2010-2011 school year.

• Acceptance of resignation of Mitch Harrell as Special Education aide and 7th grade girls' basketball coach at the jr.-sr. high school effective at the end of the 2009-2010 school year.

• Employment of Tracy Kelly to fill the Special Education aide position vacated by Harrell, effective for the 2010-2011 school year.

• Renewal of Bob Meyer’s contract as high school principal for the 2010-2011 school year.

• Renewal of Mark Collier’s contract as elementary school principal for the 2010-2012 school year.

• Renewal of Amy Linkel’s contract as assistant elementary school principal for the 2010-2011 school year.

• Renewal of a contract for Business Manager Lana Miller for the 2010-2011 school year.

• Approval to pay Nicole Johnson for 14 hours of homebound instruction for an elementary student from March 30, 2010 to May 19, 2010.

• The recommended contract approval for Technology Director, Jeff Downs was approved with a 4-1 vote, dissenting vote by Randy McIntosh.

• Superintendent John Mehrle recommended approval of the renewal of Vision Service Plan insurance. The new rate is $14.79 effective July 1, 2010, and is guaranteed for 24 months. This is a 9.4% reduction in the rate.

Under financial news:

• A tax draw was received on June 7, 2010, representing a 60% property tax collection.

• Approval was given for a resolution authorizing the superintendent to make changes to the 2011 budget at any time in all funds. This is an annual resolution needed because of the limited number of days to respond to the budget once it is finalized by the State.

• A fiscal year final 2006 Impact Aide payment was received in the amount of $19,848.00.
The school board approved several projects that will come out of unused building project monies:

• Approval for an estimate from Southern Ohio Door Controls in the amount of $7,867.00 for a security entrance at South Ripley Elementary School. Board members asked that a more complete drawing be attained before the project begins.

• Approval for an estimate from R.E. Grisemer, Inc. of $900.00 to replace two sprinkler heads.

• Approval to purchase science tables and chairs for the physics classroom at a cost of $8,649.00.
Several education agenda items were approved unanimously:

• Effective with the 2010-2011 school year, the band program will not begin until students are in the sixth grade and those who are in band will meet four days per week.

• Approval of the 2010-2011 textbook rental and fees for all schools.

• Cafeteria food bids were opened and read aloud by school attorney Merritt Alcorn. Prairie Farms was the choice for the milk supplier for the 2010-2011 school year.

• Mehrle distributed Junior High ISTEP scores, which show an increase and are above the state average. Seventh grade English/language state average is 72% and South Ripley’s was 87%. Seventh grade math state average is 73% and South Ripley’s was 86%. Eighth grade English/language state average is 69% and South Ripley’s was 75%.

Superintendent Mehrle recognized Meganmarie Dennis for achieving the highest award, Gold Level, in the 2009-2010 School Challenge sponsored by the Southeastern Indiana Solid Waste District.

Congratulations were offered to Dennis and the students and staff who worked on “Leading the Way for a Cleaner Earth.” She was presented with a certificate of recognition and a Raider umbrella.

Mehrle shared an email from school nurse Susie Halcomb about a H1N1 banquet she had attended, sponsored by the Ripley County Health Department. At the event, Ripley County Health Officer, Dr. David Welsh, presented a plaque to each school for the outstanding effort displayed during the H1N1 crisis.

In other news, a subpoena was received from an attorney representing ISTA Insurance Trust. All documentation relating to Claims Stabilization Reserves was requested. Lana Miller will copy and send all paperwork needed.

Superintendent Mehrle recommended approval of a budget timeline as presented by Business Manager Lana Miller. An August date will be set for a budget work session.

Board members present at the June meeting were Robert Garcia, Gil Landwehr, Ralph Miller, and Tim Taylor, Randy McIntosh, as well as school attorney Merritt Alcorn, Superintendent John Mehrle and business manager, Lana Miller.

The next scheduled meeting will be July 19 at the administrative office in Versailles.