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Bellefontaine BOE: 7 longtime personnel set to retire

ACT Boot Camp slated

Bellefontaine Schools Board of Education members accepted at their Monday evening meeting the retirement resignations of seven longtime personnel members, and also reported on an upcoming program that will help prepare high school students for ACT testing.

Among the retiring staff are three teachers — Penny Cummings, seventh-grade language arts; Carol Maze, Northeastern kindergarten; and James Stein, eighth-grade math, each of whom retires effective May 31.

Mrs. Cummings, who has 28 years of experience in education, has been with the district for nine years, while Ms. Maze has completed all of her 33 years of teaching with Bellefontaine City Schools. Mr. Stein has taught in the district for 35 years.

In addition, Bonnie Versele, high school guidance counselor, will retire effective June 30. She has 35 years of experience in her field, with 27 years completed at BCS.

Three custodial staff also submitted their retirement resignations — Robert Faber, Timothy Harpest and Dennis Schweitzer.

Mr. Faber has worked for the district 36 years and retires May 31. Mr. Harpest and Mr. Schweitzer each retire June 30, and have worked for BCS for 11 years and 34 years, respectively.

Superintendent Beth Harman noted that the majority of these positions will be absorbed by the district through moving around current personnel.

During the committee reports, members reported on an ACT Boot Camp slated for April 23 at Bellefontaine High School for any student in grades 9-11 in Logan County.

The cost is $40 for the all-day event. Students who are interested should contact their guidance counselors.

“It’s a very intensive day of training for students, but also serves as good preparation for them,” said Dennis Showalter, recently retired executive director of instructional services. “They’ll learn a lot of good tips and strategies for taking the ACT test.

“Marysville Schools offered a similar program, and saw noticeable improvements in their students’ scores.”

Relating to the district’s implementation of the new Informational Improvement System, the board approved stipends to be paid with Race to the Top funds to teachers who will help to pilot the program.

BCS is one of 10 districts and community schools in Ohio chosen to begin the state-of-the-art instructional improvement system that allows teachers to store and analyze student achievement data, as previously reported in the Examiner.

According to the Ohio Department of Education, IIS will enable teachers to accelerate and personalize the education experience through online access to curriculum and standards, easy-to-use test administration options that look at students’ progress, and a portfolio of every student’s work.

Participating teachers from each grade level include Katie Davis, Stacy Penhorwood, Lisa Plank, Susan Stahler, Sheridan Storm, Joel Billings, Sandi Chervenak, Diann Jordan, Mindy Zerkle, Alicia Dinovo, Tracy Huffman, Denise Johnson, Matthew King, Aaron Lauck, Garth McLeod, Mary Smith, Willis Wright, Christie Dodds and Carol Fultz.

During the building and grounds report, members approved a 10-foot wide easement and right-of-way grant to allow NetGain Information Systems Company to install fiber optic cables in the area of Lake Avenue. This installation will run through the district’s property near the former Pine Avenue building.

In other action, the board:

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