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Riverside BOE: Students, parents flock to meeting

Board addresses concerns about teacher placed on leave

Shook Tim

TIM SHOOK

The Riverside Local Schools auditeria was a sea of red Tuesday evening during the board of education’s regular meeting, as a number of students wearing red marching band T-shirts and their parents were in attendance to show their support of a teacher who has been placed on administrative leave.

More than 60 people filled the meeting room, but remained orderly throughout the session.

District officials report that marching band director and music teacher Tim Shook has been on paid, non-disciplinary leave since Feb. 4.

A parent complaint had been received at that time about improper conduct in the classroom, and the matter was reported to Logan County Children’s Services and then to the Logan County Sheriff’s Office, Superintendent Scott Mann said.

The sheriff’s office has concluded their investigation, and the findings have been turned over to Logan County Prosecutor William T. Goslee, who continues to investigate the matter.

No charges have yet been filed against Mr. Shook, who has worked for Riverside since the 2010-11 school year.

“We’re in a holding pattern right now until we hear about the results of the investigation,” the superintendent said after the meeting.

Parent Jennifer Bowman spoke during the public participation portion of the meeting in support of Mr. Shook, noting all that he has done to improve the Riverside band program and the values of respect and hard work that he instills in the students.

“He has helped to put the Riverside band program on the map,” she said. “He expects the best of our students.”

Following Mrs. Bowman’s comments, President Don Klingler also addressed the crowd.

“Thank you for coming out tonight to show your concern. We appreciate your input. I can assure you that at the conclusion of all these matters, the board will disclose the details about the situation.”

In administrative matters, members accepted the resignation of interim treasurer Paul A. Carpenter, and approved the hiring of Jennifer D. Blackford as the district’s treasurer, effective Feb. 26.

Ms. Blackford has been working in the district since September, when she was hired as an assistant treasurer while completing the necessary school treasurer licensing requirements through the Ohio Department of Education.

Also at that time, she was extended a contract that is effective from Oct. 15 through July 31, 2015, at a salary of $59,000 per year.

She has been employed at the state auditor’s office for the past 15 years.

“I’ve enjoyed working in this community these last several months, and I thank Paul for all the guidance he has given me for this position,” she said.

Members also approved the purchase of a 78-passenger bus through Myers Equipment Corporation at a cost of $83,837 after seeking competitive bids.

Riverside will be able to utilize about $17,000 worth of state allocation bus funds toward this purchase, with the remaining funds coming from the district’s permanent improvement fund, Ms. Blackford said.

The purchase price also includes the trade-in of the district’s 1991 handicapped-accessible bus that will no longer meet specifications to transport students after this school year.

During the treasurer’s report, Ms. Blackford noted that two recent audits of the district’s finances have come back clean and with no findings of non-compliance — an ODE federal Desk Audit and also the state’s audit report for fiscal year 2012.

In other action, the board:

• extended the following supplemental contracts: Tim McGill, weightlifting coordinator for remainder of school year and for 2013-14 school year; Chad Lump, varsity boys track; Gregg Johnson, varsity girls track; Logan Whitaker, junior high boys track; Andy Phelps, head softball; Katie Manahan, JV softball; Jill Kelsey, volunteer assistant softball; Kylee Ransbottom, volunteer assistant JV softball; Scott Mann, head baseball; Derrick Purtee, varsity assistant/JV baseball and varsity assistant/JV football; Chuck Stevens, varsity assistant/JV baseball; Tim Davis, Dan Robb, Jason Bell, varsity assistant/JV football; Jennifer Walls, Annette Lump, varsity football cheerleading; Mandy Cotterman, junior high football cheerleading; Wendy Cromer, head volleyball; Tim Doty, high school and junior high football coverage;

• approved Shelley Shivley and Dawn Core to run an after-school program for third-grade students from Feb. 18 through April 18 to prepare students for the requirement of the third-grade reading guarantee, with staff paid at the rate of $15 per hour for two hours per day, paid with Title I funds;

• approved an inter-district contract for services with the Logan County Educational Service Center in the amount of $4,880 for one-on-one service for the remainder of the school year;

• approved the eSchoolView hosting contract effective July 1 through June 30, 2016, at an annual cost of $2,352;

• approved the wireless Internet service contract with the Western Ohio Computer Organization through June 30, 2016, at an annual cost of $5,357;

• accepted the donation of two propane vaporizers from the Ohio Hi-Point Career Center; and

• approved a severance payment of $22,539.01 to Tim Walls.

The next regular meeting is 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 26.

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