School Board Discusses Vandalism; Hears Presentation on Two Levies

By Jane Maiolo

Concerns about vandalism on school property prompted a Rossford Board of Education member to ask what could be done to curb the problem.

At the January 22 meeting board member Joseph "Moe" Minarcin asked operations/maintenance director Ron Weeks if he had developed any solutions to the problem.

"Not as yet," Mr. Weeks replied. "We need to get a handle on this."

Board member Diane McKinney said the problem is not limited to school property. Mrs. McKinney, who also is a board representative on the Rossford parks and recreation committee, said the city has been dealing with its share of vandalism as well.

In a telephone interview last Friday, treasurer Jamie Rossler said that the damage to school property has not been extensive, but it has increased in frequency.

"It seems like it's one thing after another," he said

The district has had problems with broken windows, spray painting and damage to concrete and handrails, he explained.

He believes the chipped concrete and handrail damage is caused by those who use school property for skateboarding. "There's not any malice,"  he added.

He said a few years ago skateboarding was not a problem because the City of Rossford had a skateboarding area at Beech Street Park. After that closed, "kids would go elsewhere," he said.

He pointed out that children also use school parking lots to play street hockey, which was fine until windows began to get broken. "It becomes a problem when it harms property."

Mr. Rossler said the damage is covered under the district's insurance, but he would like residents to be more vigilant, adding that when he sees youth skateboarding on curbs or using the rails, he instructs them to practice in another location.

"It's a tough thing to deal with," said Mr. Rossler, adding that damage often occurs in areas which aren't visible to the general public.

"The frequency of this is getting out of hand," he said.

Levy Campaign

Superintendent Luci Gernot provided the board with a brief overview of the district's need for a levy.

Area voters will decide on two replacement levies at a special election on Tuesday, February 6.

The five-year, 7.9 mill operating levies are expected to generate about $3 million apiece if passed.

Mrs. Gernot said funds from the levies will be used to pay for a variety of operating costs, including textbooks, transportation, technology, utilities and personnel salary and benefits.

If approved, owners of a $100,000 home can expect to pay about $84 more anually, or $168 more for a $200,000 home.

The superintendent said the district can't expect to rely on revenues from Bass Pro or other projects in the Crossroads. "Crossroads businesses won't yield dividends for several years," she said.

Mrs. Gernot reminded voters that a limited number of precincts are open for

the special election and encouraged everyone to vote [see related story for locations].

Other Business

In other business, the board:

  • Approved the employment of several certified personnel. They include Nicole Heban, Pam Nickel and Amiee Vogel as special education teachers who provide home instruction for students on an Individual Education Plan.

Peggy Burke, Brooke Mershon, Kristen Vargo, Judy Converse, Erik Somers and Ginny Tesar  will serve as tutors at Indian Hills through April 2007.

  • The board also agreed to employ Bobbi Tussing as a bus monitor, effective January 23.
  • Observed a stacking cups demonstration by students in kindergarten through sixth at Eagle Point Elementary School.

Terri Reichert, physical education instructor, told the board that the task improves students' hand-eye coordination, ambidextry skills, concentration and focus.

  • Issued 16 supplemental contracts. Named to the Intervention Assistance Team were Dan Saygers, Shawn Singh, Jim Snider, Kadee Poiry, Shelley Bertsch and Trent Katter.

A variety of coaching contracts also were awarded. They are: Jason Biniker, varsity baseball coach; Troy Adams, assistant varsity boys baseball coach; Tom Kralovic, varsity softball coach; Dan Wyandt, varsity girls tennis coach; Todd Eckel, varsity track coach; Jamie Clay, Diane Gladieux and John Burnworth, assistant track coaches, and Jim Lorenzen and Mark Briggs, assistant softball coaches.

  • Heard from Jackie Brown of Eleanor Avenue who would like the district to look into obtaining a grant writer. "I'd like to see us get more grants," she said.

Mrs. Gernot said the district can look into the matter. "We haven't procured a grant writer, but we can certainly try," she added.

The next meeting of the board of education will be at 7 p.m., Monday, February 26 at the Rossford High School cafeteria. The meeting is open to the public.