By Martha B. Jacob –
The Western Brown Local Board of Education met in regular session on Feb. 20 and after approving the minutes, the financials and the investments, Superintendent Reagan White introduced Kevin Kratzer, superintendent of Southern Hills Career and Technical Center.
Kratzer was at the meeting to update the board on some of the satellite programs at Western, (Southern Hills teachers actually in the schools.)
“Each February, Ohio recognizes career and technical education month, and so I try to get out to all the Brown County ‘boards of education’ meetings,” Kratzer said.
“Today I’d like to talk a little bit about what’s happening here at Western in your linked IT classes. This school has a lot of career education classes occurring.”
Kratzer talked about the IT classes not only in the high school but also in the middle schools all linked to Southern Hills. He said Western is fortunate to be involved in these classes because they prepare young people for the workforce and life after school.
Kratzer introduced Mike Goins, the DECA Business teacher who spoke briefly about how well his students are doing in the business class. DECA is a student based organization designed to prepare students for careers in marketing, management, business and entrepreneurship.
Goins said his students take care of the concession stands during school activities, works with the school treasurer, takes care of all the records. He said he plans on making a few changes in the program including changing it from a marketing program to a business program which would make it more eligible for funding.
The other business teacher, Kristin Openbrock also spoke about the program and how it is helping students. . She concentrates on employable qualities.
Sophomore students Ethan Brooks, Paige Correll and Evan Brooks from the engineering program, taught by Andy Creighton, talked to the board about how the program has helped prepare them for the future.
Also speaking briefly at the meeting was Lacee Stephens with the School Based Health Center at all three of the Western Brown schools.
Stephens, a nurse practitioner, stressed that the health center is not meant to replace any students primary Care physician, only to expand on care at the schools.
Several teachers and members of the community commended Southern Hills for hosting the “Night to Shine” event (prom held at the Georgetown Church of Christ on Feb. 9. which was sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation.
Superintendent White updated the board on a lot of good things happening in the school as well as a few comments on regarding the student shootings in Parkland Florida.
“That tragedy at the Parkland, Florida school has brought a lot of issues up for all schools,” White said. “It has actually re-introduced issues, and a lot of different things being looked at right now.
“A lot of people are pointing fingers this way and that way, and who’s fault is it and what needs to happen now. Well, I don’t have all the answers, but I do think it’s important to update you all what we’re doing here at Western Brown to help keep our students safe.”
White said that each of the buildings in the district has an emergency operation plan. These plans guide the schools on what to do in a major event.
“These operations plans tell everyone exactly what they should be doing in the event of a catastrophe,” White said. “They are all registered with the state. We meet annually to upgrade our plans.
“We also have safety drills, including lock-down drills. We also have ALICE (Alert-Lockdown-Inform- Counter- Evaluate) training and we have resource officers.
He discussed strobe lights to alert students outside the building, and other classrooms that are loud and students might not know something was right. White said he will continue to look for other ways of keeping students safe.
In other business at the meeting the following actions were taken:
• accept resignations from David Pelphrey, assistant track coach and also from Amy Attinger, middle school math teacher;
• employ a long list of coaches, aides, custodians and other positions (available upon request)
• approved the 2018-2019 school year calendar;
• approved several field trips.