Covington BOE honors SRO Russell McNeil


By Matt Clevenger

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COVINGTON — Members of the Covington Schools Board of Education recognized School Resource Officer Russell McNeil during their regularly scheduled meeting held on Wednesday, Feb. 21, in honor of School Resource Officer Appreciation Day.

“Feb. 15 was School Resource Officer Appreciation Day, and I wanted to take a minute to publicly recognize Officer McNeil,” Covington Schools Superintendent Dr. Joseph Hoelzle said. “He started with us this year; he’s been a police officer for a long time, but this is his first time in the role of School Resource Officer.”

“We’ve enjoyed having him here,” Dr. Hoelzle said. “He’s just a positive role model for our kids.”

“It’s been a pleasure being here,” McNeil said. “These kids are awesome.”

“I enjoy coming to work,” he said. “It’s a pleasure to be here, and I thank everybody for having me.”

In other business, board members also voted to adopt resolutions approving the district’s annual membership in the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA), and authorizing agreements with META Solutions for internet access and the city of Piqua and Hampton Golf, Inc. for the golf teams to use Echo Hills Golf Course for practice and matches.

Board members also adopted resolutions approving the purchase of two serving lines for the kitchen, at a cost of $38,825, and upgrades to the lighting for the high school staff and student parking lots at a cost of $6,015.66.

During the public comment portion of their meeting, board members also heard comments from Matthew Swigart, who suggested the possibility of raising funds to reduce the cost of school supplies for K-5 students in the district.

“The goal is to try to eliminate this, if we can, or lower this cost as much as possible,” Swigart said.

Funding to help pay for school supplies could come from state or federal grant money, local donations or additional field advertisements, he said.

“Ultimately the goal is $7,000,” Swigart said. “This would cover the supplies for K-5.”

“We’re always looking for ways to save money,” Board President Kerry Murphy said.

“I like your ideas,” Murphy said. “I like the grant portion of it better.”

“We appreciate the thought, and the research,” Dr. Hoelzle said.

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