Belpre BOE handling big shifts in personnel

BELPRE – The Belpre City Schools District Board of Education continued to prepare for the upcoming school year by approving the resignations and employment of new personnel during the regular meeting Monday evening.

“We will lose a lot of good people here,” said board member Fred Meredith.

The resignations approved included literacy specialist Christy Boothby, sixth-grade math teacher Shane Freshour, Belpre High School assistant principal Ben Cunningham and district treasurer Eva Elliott.

Superintendent Tony Dunn said he was proud that all of the resignations are allowing those people promotions in their careers with most of them moving on to higher positions with other school districts.

Longtime board member Rod Hineman said he is most disappointed Elliott is leaving, but he is excited for her to have the ability to spend more time with her husband.

“When she came here in September 2000, she took what had been a volatile situation and calmed it down,” Hineman said.

Dunn added that Elliott will be missed in the district.

“She has been a wonderful partner for me the past two years,” he said.

The board is continuing closed-door discussions as to who to hire to replace those leaving the district.

Dunn also honored longtime employee Larry Lorentz, who will retire at the end of this month after 41 years as director of instruction.

“I have the sad duty to say goodbye to one of our most esteemed colleagues,” said Dunn. “Larry Lorentz has done more good for the kids in Belpre than any other employee.”

Lorentz said he has enjoyed his time with the school district.

“The years I have spent in Belpre have been wonderful and I have met many wonderful people,” he said.

In other business:

* The board was apprised of the schedule for the opening of the 2013-2014 school year, which will begin at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 13 with a back-to-school rally at the elementary school and continue with teacher orientation on Aug. 14, the first day for all staff on Aug. 15, professional development on Aug. 15 and 16, teacher work day on Aug. 19, the first day for students in first through 12th grades on Aug. 20 and staggered start dates for kindergarten on Aug. 20, 21 and 22 with all students in attendance on Aug. 23.

* The board approved a calamity day alternative make-up plan, which will allow the students learning opportunities even when schools are closed for reasons specified by the Ohio Revised Code as calamity days and in excess of the number of days authorized.

This will allow students to make up lost hours with online learning instead of attendance on excess calamity days.

According to the Ohio Revised Code, districts can use up to three excess calamity days on top of the five they do not have to make up.

* The board approved ticket prices for athletic events as amended to include veterans at a special rate, at the request of Meredith.

Season passes are $150 for family, $50 for adult and $25 for student, senior citizen and veteran; individual ticket prices are $5 for adult and $3 for student, senior citizen and veteran.