Graham hires new principals


Discusses proposed kindergarten readiness program

By Casey S. Elliott - celliott@civitasmedia.com



ST. PARIS – Graham Local Schools board officially hired its next high school principal and elementary school assistant principal at its Monday meeting.

The board approved two-year contracts for High School Principal Ryan Rismiller and Elementary Assistant Principal Robert Hodge Monday, both effective Aug. 1, 2017. Rismiller’s salary will be $82,570 for a 230-day annual contract; Hodge’s salary will be $68,155 for a 215-day annual contract, Treasurer Judy Geers said.

The board also approved a two-year contract for Elementary School Education Coordinator Joseph Jude, effective Aug. 1, 2017. Jude’s salary will be $75,250 for a 215-day annual contract, Geers said.

The board also approved all three for up to 10 additional days for transition time into the new positions, paid at a per-day rate.

Hodge is currently the assistant principal at Focus Learning Academy of Northern Columbus, a kindergarten to eighth grade charter school. He is a graduate of Indian Lake High School, with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Wright State University, Superintendent Kirk Koennecke said. He is working on his doctoral degree in educational leadership.

Rismiller is currently the assistant principal at Harding High School in Marion. He is a past track coach, FFA advisor and assisted several districts with their transition programs. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Education from Ohio State University, and two master’s degrees in Special Education and School Leadership.

Jude is an elementary principal at Worthington City Schools. He began his career as an elementary teacher, moving up to assistant principal in North Union Local Schools. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Marietta College, and a master’s degree in Education Administration from Ashland University.

The board also learned about a proposed new kindergarten readiness program at the district. Director of Student Services Emily Smith said the school district’s percentage of students prepared to enter kindergarten is at 44 percent; the district would like to increase that number of kindergarten-prepared students to more than 75 percent in five years, Koennecke said.

The kindergarten readiness program would provide soon-to-be-kindergarten age students with a program that follows the kindergarten schedule, with some instruction, but has many preschool elements in it. There are similar programs in Lima and Springfield schools, and teachers in the Graham district went to visit those programs to see how they do it.

Smith said they would like to have a full-day kindergarten preparedness class, which would give additional instruction time and the structure needed to ease those students into a typical kindergarten class. The preparedness classes would also be a mix of students needing the class and “mentor” students, to help with that transition.

In other action, the board:

•Accepted donations of $500 from the Graham Youth Basketball Association to the Graham Athletic Department for boys and girls high school basketball; $250 from the Graham Youth Basketball Association to Graham Middle School for student council; $1,000 from the St. Paris Lions Club to Graham Local Schools for the United Service Day; $200 from Marcia Ward to Graham Local Schools for United Service Day; $200 from Steve and Dawn Prince to Graham Local Schools for United Service Day; and $190 from Rosewood Machine and Tool Co. to Graham Local Schools for the KSEA Math Competition.

•Accepted the resignations of Junior Varsity Softball Assistant Coach Chloe Ward, effective March 29, 2017; Lunchroom Worker Theresa Dunn, effective April 7, 2017; Transportation Aide Shane Riggle for retirement, effective May 24, 2017; Bus Driver Julie Kizer for medical reasons, effective May 31, 2017; and Middle School Aide Pamela Ellison for retirement, effective June 30, 2017.

•Approved one-year limited substitute teaching contracts for the 2016-17 school year.

•Approved one-year limited contracts for Tutors for Individualized Services (Home Instruction/Intervention Tutors/Summer School Physical Education) for the 2016-17 school year.

•Approved hiring Junior Varsity Softball Assistant Coach Stephen Graves; Assistant MS Track Coach Jodi Bishop; and Musical Choreographer Tara Bodey; all for the 2016-17 school year.

•Approved a two-year contract with Carrier Draper as network systems coordinator, effective May 22, 2017 to June 30, 2019.

•Approved one-year limited substitute contracts for the 2016-17 school year.

•Approved hiring Girls Varsity Track Assistant Coach Jesse Conley for the 2016-17 school year.

•Approved volunteers for the 2016-17 school year.

•Approved an unpaid medical leave of absence for Julie Kizer from April 7-May 31, 2017.

•Approved non-renewal of winter 2016-17 supplemental contracts.

•Approved an amendment to Middle School Principal Chad Lensman’s contract to reflect it is a new contract, not a continuation of his existing contract as assistant elementary principal, with the new contract beginning Aug. 1, 2017.

•Approved the list of students for graduation June 9, 2017, if all school requirements are met.

•Approved the creation of a certified occupational therapist assistant (COTA), including the compensation schedule; one occupational therapist and two speech therapist positions. The goal is to hire these staff instead of contracting for them through the Madison-Champaign Educational Service Center.

•Approved the Ohio HOSA 2017 Leadership Conference trip to Toledo from April 19-20, 2017.

•Approved the FCCLA Leadership Conference trip to Columbus from April 27-28, 2017.

•Approved the Ohio FFA Convention trip to Columbus from May 4-5, 2017.

•Approved the AEGIS 2017 “Activating and Energizing Girls in Science” trip from June 6-8, 2017.

Discusses proposed kindergarten readiness program

By Casey S. Elliott

celliott@civitasmedia.com

Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.

Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.