Ceremony marred by errors for some grads

EAST PALESTINE – A district parent told the board of education this week more oversight is needed for graduation ceremonies.

Darlene McElroy said her daughter Bryn was upset by the errors that ruined her graduation experience and hopes similar ones won’t happen for other students in the future.

Bryn McElroy served as a student board member one year before graduating last month and Mrs. McElroy said her name was not listed on the graduation program and her diploma was not correct. When Bryn went to the office after graduation, no one there was aware mistakes had even been made, she added.

She told the board a better “check and balance” system is needed for not only graduation ceremonies but awards banquets as well, which was also ruined for her daughter – whose name was also overlooked during the scholarship awards.

Bryn graduated with honors and was awarded a $1,000 scholarship by the board of education prior to the ceremony.

While Mrs. McElroy said she was especially upset the errors affected her daughter’s graduation experiences, her daughter was not the only one overlooked.

She also wondered why a four-year baseball letterman athlete received a trophy while the other four-year lettermen athletes did not.

“We hope these things will not happen to other students, and the lettermen receive the proper awards,” she said.

Superintendent George Fisk and board members apologized for the errors and said Bryn was a good student and board member.

Board member Ron Novak said the errors were “uncalled for” and that the programs should have been looked over carefully before being passed out.

In other business, the board honored retirees Raymond “Sunny” Hull and Patty Allen, who retired last month. Hull worked as a bus driver the last six years and Allen was hired in the district in 1982 and worked most recently as a middle school teacher.

The board then approved:

– Administrative contracts for Kim Russo, mentoring coordinator, Carol Vollnogle, federal programs coordinator, Laura Griffiths, LPDC member, and Cindy Dunn, assistant athletic director.

– Classified contracts for Jennifer Hiltbrand and Lana Osberg, both bus drivers.

– One-year supplemental contracts for Emily Randolph, yearbook and National Honor Society adviser, Jennifer Dunn, high school assistant cheer adviser, and a shared contract for Laura Spanos and Lisa Bircher, Rotary Interact club advisers.

– Additional supplemental contracts for Kristen Johnson, high school cheerleading adviser, Cheryl Byrd, middle school cheerleading adviser, Anthony Foster, summer fitness coach, Andrew and Alicia Cunningham, co-cross country coaches, and Tristen Reynolds, middle school assistant football coach.

– Ben Gysin, Raymond Woods, and Jennifer Hiltbrand as seasonal employees.

– Forty-three people as substitutes, extended days for guidance counselors Richard Cyrus, (25 days) and Liz Sherry (10 days), and maternity leave of absence for Elissa Wooten, Sept. 15 Dec. 2 and Laura Spanos, Sept. 29-Jan. 19.

– Roberta Brittain, high school and middle school cheerleading volunteer and Eric Lockers, high school soccer assistant.

– Kevin L. McKinstry Insurance as the student accident insurance provider for the 2014-15 school year.

– Forty open-enrollment students from Crestview, Columbiana, Beaver Local Boardman and Springfield districts. Fisk said the amount of students is similar to last year’s open enrollment.

– An amended certificate of estimated resources amounting to $15.6 million.