Effective July 1, Milan High School will have a new principal. Ryan Langferman was unanimously approved at the April 18 meeting of the Milan Board of School Trustees for a two-year contract.
Langferman will replace Paul Ketcham who will move into the role of superintendent on that same day, replacing Dr. Thomas Reale. Dr. Reale said that four people were interviewed by a ten-member committee for the principal position.
Langferman thanked the board for the opportunity to serve the schools and went on to say that he has been a student at Milan, as well as a teacher and now, an administrator. Langferman said that he believes in the school and in the community.
A three-year contract was unanimously approved for Ketcham. Ketcham told the board that he is humbled to be in the position of superintendent, as well as excited and thankful to have the opportunity to continue to work with staff, students and parents.
The math instructor vacancy was filled by Andrew Miller. Miller had previously student taught under Alecia Fryman, who highly recommended him for the teaching position.
The board accepted the retirement of high school treasurer, Norma Newton, effective May 31. The duties of the high school and middle school treasurer will be combined in conjunction with the school's long-term savings plan. The board, under the recommendation of Ketcham, then unanimously approved hiring Newton part-time as the new corporation data coordinator. The position entails preparing and submitting numerous monthly state reports, many of which she is already familiar with according to Dr. Reale. The salary for the position is $7,000-$8,000 per year.
During the April 18 meeting, principals explained why they felt hiring Five-Star Technologies for technology support services was the best long-term solution for the schools. The need arose when the school's technology director, Brian Sturgeon, resigned his position recently. Dr. Reale recommended approving a one-year contract of $8,000 per month to begin on July 1, reminding the board that the contract can be terminated at any time at no cost to the school corporation with a 30-day notice. Dr. Reale explained that Five-Star will work with Sturgeon during the month of June at a cost of $2,000. The board unanimously approved hiring Five-Star.
The elimination of the positions of technology director and computer technician were approved effective July 1. Dr. Reale said that Karen Hunter, computer technician, would be offered another position for which she is qualified should one become available. Board member, Randy Kirk, expressed that hiring Five-Star was not a reflection on anyone who applied for the position of technology director. Dr. Reale said that he would notify applicants of the board's decision.
Cafeteria managers at the school received a memo recently mandating an increase in school lunch prices, since Milan has the lowest price in the area. The price at the elementary school will increase to $1.60 and the high school and middle school to $1.75. Adult lunches will be $2.50.
Dr. Reale was granted permission to apply for a Common School Fund Loan to fund the remainder of the one-to-one technology initiative. The $100,000 loan has a low interest rate of 1%, and can be repaid over a five-year period and ensures book rental fees will not be increased when students receive their school-provided computers.
The grand opening of the newly renovated '54 Museum will take place on June 8. Dr. Reale recently met with the '54 committee and several requests were made. The committee is planning a reconstruction of the victory parade from the high school to the museum with the '54 players being escorted in vintage convertibles. The high school band has been asked to march as frontrunners for the cars. The committee would also like high school students to be in charge of street games on Carr Street. Dr. Reale expressed that this would be a good community service project for the student council or National Honor Society.
The '54 committee plans to use the high school gym to host a showing of either the original '54 game or the movie, Hoosiers. The day's events will conclude with a sock hop in the gym. The school's athletic department will be handling concessions for the event.
Dr. Reale informed the board that the '53 and '54 banners have been completely restored and are ready to be hung. He said that restorers recommended encasing the banners in glass or Plexiglass to minimize the risk of damage and to protect the investment. The cost would be around $4,000. Dr. Reale noted that the Rising Sun Regional Foundation granted the school $17,000 to restore the banners and asked the board to consider the enclosure project. He plans on requesting for permission to move forward with this at the next meeting.
Karen Schmidt, an instructional aide at the middle school, addressed the board with a complaint about not being permitted to be a chaperone at her son's fifth grade field trip. She said she had previously spoken with Pat Murphy, middle school principal, and Dr. Reale, but was not satisfied with the response she received from them. Board president, Timothy Tuttle, told Schmidt that the board would take her comments under advisement while they look at the way things have been done in the past and possibly make changes when the new administration starts in July.
The following fundraising requests were approved: high school band members to sell magazine subscriptions from Aug. 20-Sept. 4; middle school band members to sell candy bars from Oct. 22-Nov. 15; high school band members and band boosters to sell raffle tickets from Nov. 18-Dec. 2; eighth graders to sell raffle tickets from Sept 23-Oct. 7; eighth grade parents to hold the annual chili supper on a selected Friday before a basketball game; and sixth, seventh and eighth-graders to sell butter braids and cookie dough from Feb. 21-Mar. 10.
An athletic contract with Adidas was presented by Dr. Reale on behalf of John Prifogle, athletic director. The contract says that Adidas will provide mandatory athletic apparel to the coaches, as well as other promotional products. Players will receive a 30-percent discount on Adidas brand sportswear; however, they are not required to purchase from Adidas. The contract was approved 5-0.
Other business conducted and/or discussed included:
• A lease agreement for MIST (swim team) to use the pool at various times from May 1-July 31 was unanimously approved. It was noted that there will be no charge unless the pool is used in the evenings or on weekends. The cost would then be $17 per hour, which would cover custodial clean-up costs.
• The reading textbook adoption recommendation from the elementary committee was approved to use Treasures from Macmillan McGraw-Hill. Those serving on the committee were teachers Melissa Sanders, Stephanie Siemer, Robbi Gray, Cinda Ahlrich, David Wall and Judy White. Parents on the committee were Heather Thomas and Monica Strzok.
• A resolution to transfer $130,000 from transportation, $30,000 from bus replacement, and $32,000 from the general fund to the rainy day fund was approved. This makes the total in the rainy day fund $901,000.
The meeting concluded with the superintendent's report. Dr. Reale congratulated Ketcham on his new position and wished him good luck. He said that he is looking forward to working with him. He also congratulated Langferman, calling him an outstanding individual and a wonderful choice for the position. Other board members congratulated Ketcham and Langferman, also.
Board member, Edward Amberger, thanked everyone for their attendance. He also commended Pat Healy, high school guidance counselor, and Carol Jackson, middle school guidance counselor, on their outstanding work at the recent career day, saying it was top-notch and he was very impressed.
With no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m. The next regular meeting of the Milan Board of School Trustees will be Monday, May 20, at 7 p.m. in the school administration building.