Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Celina board OKs contract with non-teaching staff

By Claire Giesige
CELINA - While negotiations with Celina City Schools teachers are on hold, the board of education Monday night approved a new two-year contract with the union representing the 148 non-teaching employees.
The board approved a two-year contract with the Ohio Association of Public School Employees Local No. 457. Employees will receive a 3 percent raise this year and another 3 percent raise next year. Because of the Affordable Care Act, board president Connie Paulus said, new employees who work less than six hours per day will no longer receive insurance coverage.
Negotiators had agreed upon a deal earlier this summer but board members rejected the pact June 3 because they were uncertain how much funding the district would receive from the state.
The previous two-year contract expired June 30, according to Paulus.
Negotiations with the Celina Education Association, which represents the district's 198 teachers, are on hold while the CEA and the board work to schedule sessions with a federal mediator.
The board contacted the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services in July after two days of bargaining indicated the two sides were far apart, particularly on financial issues, board member Matt Gilmore, who was on the negotiating team, has said. The teachers union's current two-year contract expires Aug. 31.
School board members at Monday night's meeting also expressed concerns about what Mercer County Educational Service Center's new Aladdin Alternative School means for the district.
ESC administrators recently merged Aladdin Academy, formerly a charter school, with the county district's alternative education program.
Celina officials have academic and financial reservations about the change.
Treasurer Mick Davis said Aladdin's budget will be about $360,000 for 2015-2016. That cost will be divided among school districts based on how many of their students receive instruction.
Traditionally, Celina students have made up about 80 percent of the program's pupils, Davis said.  
"That's horrible," board member Amy Hoying said. "We're shouldering most of the burden."
Most students would be eligible for state funding under their Individualized Education Programs, which would help with the cost, Davis said.
Superintendent Ken Schmiesing said about 24 of the program's 30 students for the upcoming school year were Celina students, adding the program is worth the cost.
"Most of these kids would be a disruption to the classroom," Schmiesing said. "And their needs are better served at Aladdin."
However, Schmiesing has doubts as well. Hoying asked him about his thoughts on the program based on his previous experience with behavioral schools and intervention programs.
Aladdin will likely help current juniors and seniors who are credit hour deficient for graduation, he said. However, the school might not be viable long-term.
"Starting with the class of 2018, students have to pass seven end-of-course exams. With the rigor that's involved in preparing to pass those exams, we're not seeing Aladdin being prepared to meet those rigors for students," he explained.
In other business, school board members,
• discussed a sample resolution from the Ohio School Board Association opposing the state takeover of the troubled Youngstown school district.
"If a school board can't be financially or academically smart, why shouldn't the state take over?" board member Cindy Piper asked.
Board members agreed they were unlikely to approve the resolution at the Sep. 28 meeting.
• learned from assistant superintendent Dean Giesige that air-conditioning repairs at the middle school will cost $40,000 and roofing repairs to the educational complex, high school, intermediate school and primary school cost $61,860 total.
• accepted a $1,500 donation from Robin Link, of Coldwater, for the Tri Star reserve capital account and the donation of a 2005 Dodge Durango valued at $7,456 from Keith and Andrea Faber to the Tri Star automotive program.
• approved supplemental contracts for Katherine Dirksen, assistant varsity volleyball coach; Lori Davis, Intervention Assistance Team; Allie Slavik, high school student council adviser; Dan Gudorf, mock trial adviser; and Tess Watson, assistant mock trial adviser.
• approved pupil activity program contracts for Matt Schindledecker, assistant football coach; Jim Kimmel, head eighth-grade football coach; Dean Miller, ninth-grade football co-head coach; Jeff Stein, ninth-grade football co-head coach; and Don VanderHorst, junior varsity girls soccer coach.
• accepted the retirement of Mary Jan Robbins, bus aide, with 21 years of service; and the resignations of Hayden Heiby, high school educational aide, freshman baseball coach and seventh-grade football coach; and Chris Antill, assistant marching band director.
• approved 2015-2016 bus routes. Route information is available on the school website.
Subscriber and paid stories on this date
4-H club dedicates fair booth to late club adviser
CELINA - The Happy Hearts 4-H Club of Coldwater is short a volunteer but long on memories this year.
The club's 2015 fair booth is dedicated to longtime adviser, volunteer and founder Anna-Louise Gross, who died in March.
FORT RECOVERY - A contractor involved with the restoration of North Wayne Street recently indicated the bricks are to blame for the street's deterioration, according to village administrator Randy Diller.
CELINA - A petition for a liquor option in Coldwater's southeast precinct was certified Monday morning by the Mercer County Board of Elections even though it contained signature irregularities.
FORT RECOVERY - Contrary to rumors, village officials are not holding up construction of a Dollar General, village administrator Randy Diller said at Monday night's regular council meeting.
MINSTER - A project to protect homes and cars from foul balls at the district's baseball field on Melcher Street is expected to cost more than $100,000.
MINSTER - A dinner and auction event to raise money for ALS research and support is Aug. 21 at The Bunker at Arrowhead Golf Club, Minster.
The auc
The Ohio Governor's Cup Regatta - one of the oldest, most historical events in Mercer County - offers new features this year when it returns to Grand Lake on Saturday and Sunday.
Area Roundup
Compiled by Gary R. Rasberry and Colin Foster
The Mercer County Elks had plenty of high school golf action on Monday as two MAC boys' matches and two MAC girls' matches were played through the day.
The 53rd annual Farm Science Review, Ohio's premier ag event, is planned for Sept. 22-24 at the 2,100-acre Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London.
CELINA - Veteran Celina cross country coach Dan Otten has experience coming back on both his boys and girls teams.
The Bulldog boys finishe
COLDWATER - The off-season was a tough one for the Coldwater cross country.
In addition to graduating two-time state champion Sarah Kanney and All
FORT RECOVERY - The Fort Recovery girls have much of last year's team coming back along with some talented incoming freshmen.
All in all, the outlook is a good one for the Indians as they ready for the 2015 season.
MARIA STEIN - The Marion Local girls have their eyes on getting to the regional after narrowly missing out last season. The Flyer boys are hoping to be more competitive with a group of returning letterwinners.
MINSTER - As Larry Topp embarks on his fourth decade in command of the Minster boys' cross country program, the veteran coach is quick to point out that things are shaping up a little differently for 2015 than in recent years.
NEW BREMEN - With veteran runners returning, both the New Bremen boys and girls cross country teams are looking to break out of the pack for the 2015 season.
ROCKFORD - The Parkway cross country program might not be considered one of the best in the area.
But they're laying the groundwork to hopefully b
The successes of the Minster and Versailles cross country programs are known by many across the state.
But over the last several years, another team from the MAC - St. Henry - has developed into a force on the state level as well.
ST. MARYS – With just five runners dotting his boys' varsity roster for the upcoming season, St. Marys head cross country coach, Rob Cisco, has ple
CELINA - The Celina golf program is on opposite sides of the spectrum this season.
The boys team has numbers, but experience is lacking with just two returning golfers back from last year's league tournament lineup.
COLDWATER - While the Coldwater boys golf team has plenty of experience and some returning depth from last season, the Cavalier ladies are young with just one returning golfer.
FORT RECOVERY - Following a successful 2014, the cupboards are again stocked full for the Fort Recovery golf teams.
And that could amount to an even greater run for both programs this fall.
A lot of familiar names from Marion Local will be out on the golf courses this season.
The Flyer girls have back six letterwinners and some new faces to challenge for spots and the boys' team will feature four returning letterwinners in hopes of improving on 2014's production.
MINSTER - Jim Stubbs' inaugural season in the coaching ranks in 2014 held plenty of excitement as the Wildcats finished with an unblemished 9-0 recor
NEW BREMEN - A lack of depth and experience will be early hazards for both the New Bremen boys and girls golf teams this fall.
Dane Cook is i
Two Parkway Panthers who made the 2014 boys and girls All-MAC teams - Hayden Lyons and Taylor Hesse - are out there again this year. They'll be joined by a cast of familiar characters.
ST. HENRY - The St. Henry girls want to remain a top-tier team in the MAC. With several players back, they've got a good shot.
As for the boys team, they will try to build off last year with four young letterwinners returning.
ST. MARYS - Former St. Marys golf standout Paul Carmean takes over his alma mater's program this season. Although he inherits a squad that graduated its top two golfers from a season ago, Carmean is thrilled about the opportunity which lies ahead.
CELINA - A season after having one of the most successful runs in program history, Celina boys soccer coach Ryan Jenkins will look to build upon last year's regional runner-up finish and a 15-3-3 record.
CELINA - Veteran Celina girls soccer coach Cal Freeman will miss some key contributors from last season, especially All-Ohioan Bekah Carr along with Elyssa Sheriff, Mahlaey Durbin and Morgan Beatty, all of whom graduated.
COLDWATER - After a 6-9-1 overall record and a 3-3-0 mark in its inaugural season in the West Ohio Soccer League, the Coldwater girls soccer team will look to build upon the successes.
ST. MARYS - The St. Marys' boys' soccer program turns 20 years old this fall and after concluding the last two campaigns with WBL championships, head coach Dave Ring is all for keeping the tradition that has been built rolling for the 2015 season.
ST. MARYS - With the majority of his squad returning for the 2015 season, St. Marys girls' soccer head coach Seth Hertenstein is optimistic that his crew will continue to climb the WBL ladder from the fourth-place rung that they landed on a season ago.
CELINA - The 2014 girls tennis season was a rebuilding season for Celina.
Without a senior in the lineup, the NetDogs finished 5-4 and placed fift
ST. MARYS - Last season the St. Marys girls' tennis team took their share of lumps along the way in finishing eighth in the WBL and ninth in the leag