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Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Kindergarten class to go all-day, daily

By Margie Wuebker
MARIA STEIN - School board members on Monday approved all-day, everyday kindergarten for next school year.
"We've been taking a waiver for the past three or four years," board president Greg Garmann said. "We're one of only a few that doesn't offer all-day, everyday kindergarten. It's time we get on board with other schools."
Superintendent Mike Pohlman introduced the topic at the March meeting, saying the time had come. The district currently offers all-day, every-other-day kindergarten classes.
The expanded program would receive funding under Ohio Gov. John Kasich's education plan, according to Pohlman. An additional teacher would be hired, but school officials did not have cost figures.
Pohlman reported receiving a letter from the Mercer County Commissioners regarding a Tax Increment Finance exemption to assist in road improvements for the development of Indian Trail Pullets LLC. Taxes on new buildings at the farm would be diverted into an account for road costs for the next 10 years.
An estimated $110,000 will be spent on widening and paving Reichert Road from Indian Trail to Huwer roads and Indian Trail Road from Cassella-Montezuma to Reichert roads.
Pohlman presented the proposal for informational purposes and said action would be taken in May.
The board approved the retirements of four teachers - Robin Garman at the middle school, Bill Elking at the high school and Diane Zimmerman and Lisa Everman at the elementary school. The quartet has a combined total of 130 years in education with 124 years at Marion.
Board members also,
• approved a long list of contracts including those of technology coordinator Dot Garman, transportation supervisor Ted Heitkamp, food supervisor Cindy Moeder and special education supervisor Sue Bruns.
• hired Treva Fortkamp and Kelly Wilker as groundskeepers at an hourly rate of $10.37 retroactive to April 1. Brad Luthman also was added as an assistant varsity football coach.
• learned Mercer County Emergency Management officials will sponsor a hazardous material exercise 8 a.m.-noon April 20 on school property.
• approved a summer intervention program for at-risk students in grades K-3.
• endorsed student handbooks for next year. In addition to revised wording and date changes, the definition of plagiarism and rules regarding sexting were added to the student code of conduct.
• authorized field trips for the FFA to attend the state convention May 2 and 3 in Columbus, the Art Club to attend the Ohio Governor's Show in Columbus April 24 and the Industrial Technology Club to tour Lingenfelter Performance Engineering and Fleetfoot Motorhomes April 16 in Decatur, Ind.
• watched as Garmann received a certificate recognizing 15 years of board service to the school district. The honor was bestowed by the Northwest Region Executive Committee.
• congratulated Malorie Bergman as this year's nominee to the Franklin B. Walter scholarship program. She chose teacher Lynne Yates to accompany her.
• learned student Laura Dirksen had artwork placed in the Ohio Department of Education Cameo Show. She is also one of six Marion art students whose projects are included in the Artistry Under the Dome program at St. Charles Senior Living Center. The display runs through Wednesday.
• approved a list of 64 prospective graduates pending completion of all local and state requirements. Commencement exercises will are 1 p.m. May 19 at the high school gym.
• met in executive session to discuss the employment of personnel. No action was taken following the closed-door discussion.
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