Walter Award winner puts Lisbon schools in positive light

LISBON — It took 27 years before a Lisbon high school senior won a prestigious local award that recognizes academic excellence and leadership. Now the school district has its second in as many years.

Junior/senior high school principal Keith Edenfield told the school board at last week’s meeting that Branson Brownfield will be the 2018 recipient of the Franklin B. Walter Scholastic Award, joining Lisbon’s Linsday Chludzinski, who won the award in 2017.

Named for the first state school superintendent, the award recognizes one student from each of Ohio’s 88 counties for academic performance, student academic honors achieved, leadership, work ethic and community service.

Edenfield said Brownfield scored a 31 out of possible 36 on his American College Test, or ACT. Although the dollar amount is small ($500) compared to other scholarships, Edenfield described it as the “academic equivalent” of making the finals in the state basketball tournament because only students with ACT scores of 31 or more are allowed to apply.

He noted Lisbon has two juniors who scored 31 on the ACT, which means they can also apply for the scholarship next year.

In related academic news, Superintendent Joseph Siefke reported the district received vary favorable ratings from Niche, a Pittsburgh-based tech startup that operates a ranking and review website for K-12 schools, colleges and neighborhoods around the country.

Niche gave the school district an overall grade of A-, the highest among districts in the county. Lisbon was also ranked as having the best district, best teachers and best district to teach in the county, among other categories. It was also given a B for preparing students for college.

In other action, the board approved a request by treasurer Vicki Browning-Prowitt they go through Huntington National Bank to obtain a virtual credit card for use by district employees but only on Amazon. She said this is to replace the current system of district employees using their credit cards and then seeking reimbursement, a cumbersome process made more complicated because they are not allowed to reimburse the employees for sales tax expenses.

Browning-Prowitt believes switching to a virtual credit card will be easier to administer, more efficient and she can monitor purchases online. It was be closely monitored, and there will a number of controls in place.

“The system will be locked down so tightly because something like this makes me uneasy,” she told the board.

The board also:

— Adopted the school calendar for 2018-19, with classes beginning Aug. 20 and ending May 29, 2019. Superintendent Joseph Siefke said the number of professional development days for teachers was increased from two to four because more time is needed to address issues such as school security.

— Renewed its contract with Hahlen’s Turf Care of Alliance for maintenance of the football field at a cost of $1,419, which is $2 more than last year.

— Accepted the retirement of long-time McKinley Elementary custodian Ernest West Jr., who is stepping down at the end of the school year.

— Rehired Scott Gallo and Frank Morrell as assistant football stadium caretakers for the next two years, with both being paid $13 an hour.

— Rehired Hayes Lawn Care of Lisbon to mow school property this season for $400 per cut and a maximum of 21 cuts per year. The contract is for two years.

— Approved Devin Johnson and Tyler Sweeney as volunteer baseball coaches.

— Acknowledged Browning-Prowitt for receiving an Auditor of State award for again having an unblemished state audit. She said less than 10 percent of the 6,000-plus government agencies audited by the state receive the award.

“I’m proud of that,” she said.

“You should be,” said board president Gene Gallo.

tgiambroni@mojonews.com

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