Graham football stadium getting upgrades


ST. PARIS – Graham’s board of education was informed of upcoming improvements to Dallas Stadium during a regular meeting Monday.

The information was shared by athletic supervisor Jordan Shumaker during a summary of the 2014-2015 school year. The improvements include new bleachers for the visiting side of the field and a new scoreboard.

Shumaker said the bleachers on the visiting side of the football field have been removed and the new bleachers will hold 720 seats. The previous seating capacity was 630.

“We wanted to go a little bit bigger because during football season we have to bring temporary bleachers for the visiting band,” Shumaker said. “We bring those down from the softball field. Maintenance has to haul those back and forth multiple times during the year.”

Going to 720 seats, Shumaker said, should allow an equal amount of seating for visiting fans while housing the visiting band in the bleachers.

The Graham Booster Club is paying for the addition, which Shumaker said will cost around $105,000.

“They’ve put in a ton of work to raise that much money to be able to do a project like that for our kids,” Shumaker said. Shumaker also thanked District Operations and Services Supervisor Don Burley for helping get permits and for the removal of the old bleachers.

Shumaker said the bleachers are expected to be completed by the first week of the season.

In addition to the bleachers, a new scoreboard will be added to the stadium. Shumaker said the current scoreboard has been used since 1991 and the school wants to replace it before it fails.

He thanked The First Central National Bank and bank president Jeff McCulla for covering the majority of the almost-$30,000 project. Later in the meeting, the board accepted a $17,408 donation from the bank to go toward the scoreboard.

The scoreboard is expected to be 25 feet tall and have LED lighting, which Shumaker said should be cheaper for maintenance.

Shumaker also provided a report on athletic participation. He said when he was hired one of the areas of focus was to increase participation. In the 2014-2015 school year, Shumaker said, the school had an increase of 52 participants with no significant dropoff.

Personnel action

The board approved numerous hirings set to begin with the 2015-2016 school year. These hirings include:

•Middle school English language arts teacher Lauren Buell; first grade teacher Renee Carnes; middle school English language arts teacher Emily Comer; third grade teacher Jennifer Donnersbach; elementary guidance counselor Melissa Erter; elementary intervention specialist Victoria Huffman; elementary job share teacher Callie Jacobs; district school psychologist Sandra Jacomet; kindergarten teacher Abbey Ledford; elementary job share teacher Beth Maniaci; high school English teacher Erin Merritt; second grade teacher Emily Staley; high school intervention specialist Ryan Swain; second grade teacher Kara Van Fossen; high school science teacher Michael Vlahos; middle school intervention specialist Amy Weinert.

The board also approved hiring 11 non-academic personnel, including varsity football head coach Andrew Woods.

Superintendent Norm Glismann said there were three vacancies, including a fifth grade position at the elementary school, a full-time math position at the middle school and a three-quarters math position at the high school.

In addition to accepting the resignation of Glismann (recently hired as Tecumseh Local Schools’ new superintendent), effective July 31, the board accepted the following resignations:

•Head coach varsity football John Tullis, effective May 28; assistant coach, Andrew Predmore, effective May 28; Molly Wearly, effective June 2; bus driver Kimberly Nave, effective June 18; teacher Christine Greenwood, effective July 3; teacher Jaclyn Murray, effective Aug. 1; teacher Amy Hegyi, effective July 3; and the retirement of secretary Kimylla Zimmerman, effective Dec. 31.