ELO school board approves cuts through attrition

EAST LIVERPOOL — During July’s regular meeting, East Liverpool school board streamlined operations by reducing five teaching positions. One each second-grade and fourth-grade teaching positions will be eliminated at LaCroft Elementary School, while Westgate will lose one fifth-grade teacher and East Liverpool Junior-Senior High School one science teacher and one intervention specialist.

According to Randy Taylor, who wrapped up Monday with his last meeting as school superintendent before turning over the reins, this reduction in force is being implemented through attrition and will not result in any contract suspension of any current employee. No programs will be eliminated by this action, which was made in accordance with the board’s contract with the East Liverpool Education Association.

Additionally, the board approved reduction of one monitor at each the junior high and high schools as well as one paraprofessional library aide at each the North and LaCroft elementary schools. He explained these staff positions will be abolished, so displaced employees will be able to bump into another positions under the master agreement with the Ohio Association of Public School Employees.

On other personnel-related issues, the resignations of Angelene Shannon, a third-grade teacher at LaCroft Elementary School for two years; Gary Blake, a two-hour cafeteria worker who took a position as an eight-hour custodian at Westgate Middle School; and John E. Kiger, associate principal at East Liverpool Junior-Senior High School for 33 years.

Kristen Crish was appointed as a speech pathologist for the district, and Barbara Jeffries as a fourth-grade teacher at North Elementary School. Elizabeth Connor also will serve as the district’s varsity assistant basketball coach.

The following substitutes also were hired: Kim Allen, Valerie Barker, Gary Blake, Kathleen Blake, Jack Croxall, David Freeman, Tracy Hall, Mary Lee Ludwig, Tammie Reed and William Thorn as bus drivers; Linda Allen, Valerie Barker, Gary Blake, Kathleen Blake, Jack Croxall, Mary English, Cassandra Felekey, David Freeman, Kelly George, Tracey Hall, Leigh Headley, Mary Lee Ludwig, Tammie Reed, William Thorn, Gloria Williams, Tammie Wolfe and Michael Woodyard as bus aides; Chadwick Kelly as a mechanic; and Mary English, Natalie Harrison, Jackie Hyde, Rebecca Jordan, Debra Schmidbauer, Jenna Six, Amy Swoger and Cheryl Wright as secretaries.

As requested by Treasurer Kathy Jo Laughlin, board members approved all the financial reports and appropriations as well as a resolution proceeding with the renewal of an existing emergency levy.

Board members unanimously voted against paying the 50 cents per pupil to participate in the coalition, as they said that they have not seen any results from it. Richard Wolf voiced his belief that it was “a waste of taxpayer money,” while Board President Sarah Porter agreed that the district has had no need to utilize the lobbying group.

The treasurer’s requested transfer of $2,700 for the Westgate field trip to Camp Fitch also was approved.

In other action, members approved:

— Step increases for teachers Kylie Shuman and Gerald Bartlett as well as development stipends for Karen Hazel, Suzanne Hoppel, Pam Schleef, Misty Shaw, Daniela Sutton, Sandra Walgate and Amber Gill.

— Colin Loosemore as a volunteer soccer coach.

— The purchase of reading materials from Great Minds, which will provide uniform targeted resources to improve reading in context with science and social studies standards for K-4 students.

— Creation of the position of electronic/alternative education teacher.

— Replacement of three chillers at the junior-senior high school campus totaling $30,108 and two natural gas water heaters at Westgate for $24,901.16.

The board met briefly in executive session at the meeting’s conclusion to consider employing exiting superintendent Randy Taylor in an administrative role, which will finalized at 9 a.m. Aug. at the Westgate Administrative Building. The board’s regular meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 22.