Covington BOE hears updates on fall sports teams


By Kelsi Langston

For Miami Valley Today

COVINGTON — The Covington Board of Education recognized the school’s fall sports teams at its September meeting.

Students from the boys’ and girls’ golf teams, cross-country teams, football team, and volleyball team spoke before the board and those in attendance. They shared updates on how their seasons are going as well as records that have been broken. Four records have been broken on the boys’ golf team, three records have been broken on the boys’ cross-country team, and three records were broken on the girls’ volleyball team.

“I know it’s not easy, even as an adult, to stand in front of a room with a bunch of other adults. But I think we as a community should be so proud of our kids here — all of our sports,” said Superintendent Joseph Hoelzle. “The kids are working hard, and I was impressed with how well-spoken we were, and their ability to stand up in front of us and tell us and give us a report from their perspective of how things have gone. So, I appreciate them coming. And great job representing yourself and your school.”

During the open forum, Covington alumni Robert Brumbaugh, Class of 1959, addressed the board about the school football program.

“I would ask the board, ‘What has happened to our football program here?” inquired Brumbaugh.

He went on to share that he does not care for the football coach, nor for the decision that was made to join the Three Rivers Conference. Brumbaugh said he hopes the school will hire a new football coach for next year’s season who will connect with and motivate players. He expressed frustration that the team is so small, and that several students have transferred to Bradford and are playing for the football program there. He questioned leadership not attending sporting events, but also stated the football field has been up-kept very well.

In other business, the board approved the agenda as well as two addendums, minutes from the August meeting, the August financial reports, and annual appropriations in the amount of $14,482,676. Board members were informed an audit has begun and the auditor will be reaching out to each of them to collect the materials needed to conduct the audit. Hoelzle gratefully accepted donations from the OHSAA, Covington Optimist Club, Robert Brumbaugh, BUCC Boosters, Steve Blei, Color Green Creative, and Eagles AERIE No.3998. Due to donations, the school has been able to create a welcoming indoor space for students while they wait for transportation to Upper Valley Career Center. The board approved these donations, with Board member Steve Blei abstaining from the vote. The board also approved the early graduation of Sarah Nicole Hutton, who has completed all the necessary credits to receive her diploma.

Personnel consent items were approved including both FMLA leave and a continuing contract for business teacher Kristi Homan, nine certificated substitutes from the Miami County ESC, and three certified supplemental contracts for a new multi-media/communications advisor, assistant play director, and seventh grade girls’ basketball coach. Three classroom volunteers were approved, as well as a proposal to start a Middle School Art Club Program. The board also approved substitute pay rate for bus routes and authorized the superintendent to enter into a contract with Elite Air, who will repair a failed compressor in the high school’s HVAC chiller system. The board heard a first reading of revisions to existing policies due to changes in state law. Hoelzle said the state report cards will be presented at the next board meeting by Jim Sagona.

Heather Schneider (Fields) addressed the board on behalf of the Fields family, who have a long history in both the town and school. The family is selling a property near the school and believes it would potentially be a good option for the school to purchase for expansion of its own property. The board went into executive session to discuss the purchase of property for public use. They returned from the session and approved the purchase of property located at 800 E. Walnut St. at a price of $150,000.

The next board of education meeting will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at 5:30 p.m.

The writer is a regular contributor to Miami Valley Today.

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