COVINGTON — The Covington Board of Education (BOE) recognized the retirement of former head cook Tammy Furrow at the Feb. 15 meeting. The board congratulated her on 28 years of service with the district.
Positive reports were delivered from all three principals following the recognition. Covington Elementary principal Josh Long shared he recently recognized nearly 160 students during the quarterly Principal’s Breakfast. He noted the elementary school is anticipating large kindergarten enrollment for the 2023-2024 school year. Kindergarten registration has opened, and the school has already received 25 registrations for screenings.
There are currently 420 students total in the elementary school, which is the largest enrollment since 2020. The elementary is also accepting both internal and external applications for a third-grade teaching position. Long also shared the Covington Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) has sponsored multiple field trips for students this year, including a recent STEM Day for fifth-graders at 36 Skate Club.
Junior High School Principal Courtney Downs reported a number of new clubs have been brought by students to the administration, including a chess club for grades six through eight, and science and writers’ clubs for grades seven and eight. The junior high recently recognized 110 award winners from grades seven and eight who achieved perfect attendance, honor roll, Principal’s List, and improvement awards. Twenty-four students were inducted into the Scholarship Club on Thursday.
In the high school they also recognized students for achievements such as honor roll, perfect attendance, and Principal’s List. High School Principal Bridgit Kerber shared the FFA chapter has a communications competition going on, and two students were sent to the state competition as well as the entire communications team.
The Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) was recently recognized for their participation in the national budget competition.
“This is a national, nationwide competition. They do it online and they participate in class and then they have projects that they do on the outside of class. And we had one class that came in first in their division and then another class that came in second, so that’s really cool,” said Kerber.
Ten students from the Business Professionals of America (BPA) chapter have qualified for state, and several students along with the women’s ensemble received Superior ratings at the Solo and Ensemble competition. The band will go to the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) contest in March. The high school drama club is gearing up for their play, Night at the Wax Museum, which will be performed in March. National Honor Society inductions are coming up soon, and those who qualify academically will be asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding activities the participate in outside of school.
The board approved an allocation of $273,835 from the last quarterly income tax revenue to the permanent improvements fund. A total of $73,000 is required to be transferred, with the additional $200,000 being moved to accrue interest in the hopes of continuing to build the fund for any future projects, though there are none designated at this time. There is currently $37,144 in outstanding student fees district-wide, and statements were sent home with elementary students prior to parent-teacher conferences. At the January organizational meeting, the board authorized the treasurer to seek advances on property tax distributions, and the district received $398,300 earlier this month with a second advance request pending. These advances enable the district to earn interest on the property tax distributions that would normally not be received until mid-March.
A transportation committee meeting was held on Jan. 24, during which the committee reviewed bus mileage, repair costs, fleet inventory and current routes. The committee recommended the purchase of a Blue Bird Bus at a cost of $122,206 at a special board meeting held on Jan. 27.
Numerous donations were gratefully accepted and approved by the board, including three band instruments through the Weikert Trust, one from Joyce Robertson to the cafeteria blessing account, and one from Levi Weldy Kiosk Fundraising to the purchase of a military recognition kiosk. There were also numerous scholarship donations from Sherry Moore, Bowman & Associates, Moore Funeral Home, Optimist Club, Covington AERIE, and Minster Bank.
The board approved four certified substitute teachers for the remainder of the 2022 to 2023 school year, accepted the resignation of Ronda Pritchard, and approved Scott Fisher as a long-term certified substitute for high school biology and anatomy courses. There were multiple personnel reassignments approved within the cafeteria and janitorial staff. The board approved classified coaches for junior high track and high school baseball, three volunteer coaches for softball and track, two substitute lunchroom workers who also work as aides or custodians, and a substitute bus driver.
The district will remain a member of the Ohio High School Athletic Association, as the board authorized its membership for the 2023 to 2024 school year. Megan Boothe was approved as a new board of trustees member of the J.R. Clarke Public Library. The board approved a settlement offer through which Shon Schaffer will be reinstated in his employment as a bus driver beginning July 1 for the district, and through a signed agreement approved an unpaid leave of absence for Schaffer beginning on Feb. 17, 2021, and ending at the close of business on June 30.
Superintendent Dr. Joseph Hoelzle brought before the board the opportunity to keep the “Home of the Buccs” painted on the village water tower, which sits behind the school. According to a conversation between Hoelzle and village administrator Kyle Hinkelman, the village plans to have the water tower painted.
“They plan on painting it, and with their quote comes the village of Covington logo. If (the school) wants to put ‘Home of the Buccs’ or wants to put anything other than the village of Covington logo” … Hoelzle said, “well (the school) can pay for the cost to put that other logo up there.”
The board decided to ask the village for a quote to have the current wording put on the water tower, and to reach out to organizations within the community that may be able to raise the funds needed.
The board then went into executive session with no action intended. The next board of education meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 8.
The writer is a regular contributor to Miami Valley Today.