PLEASANT HILL — Newton Local Schools held its organization meeting for the 2020 term and welcomed new school board member Bridget Haines.
Haines said she wanted to run for the school board seat to fulfill her sense of duty to give back to the community. She said she felt it was her time to give back to the district from which she graduated in 1990 and was an active student.
Haines lives in Pleasant Hill with her husband Adam and her daughter Cori who is a seventh grade student at Newton Local School. Haines formerly operated the First Kids Preschool in Troy. She currently is an assistant to the director of parks and recreation for the city of Vandalia.
Haines replaces Tonia Schauer as board member. Schauer’s petition to file for the board seat was rejected by the board of elections due to filing errors.
The board voted to appoint Nate Oburn as president and Lane Robbins as vice president. The board also changed its regular meeting times to 5:15 p.m. every second Wednesday of the month. Haines requested the extra time to allow more time for those who may attend after work hours.
The board approved to continue to receive reimbursement of $50 per meeting up to 15 meetings per year, use Miami Valley Today for legal notices, authorize Newton’s treasurer to serve as public records designee for the 2020 calendar year and authorize the superintendent to accept resignations when the board is not in session, among other action items.
Superintendent Pat McBride reported the Covington Eagles provided $7,000 designated for high school scholarships. The board approved the donation and the appreciation letter that will be sent by McBride to the organization.
The board approved Bill Cornett and James Whittaker as fieldhouse supervisors. They will be paid $12 per hour up to 10 hours each. Board member Lisa Hildebrand said the fieldhouse dedication and ribbon cutting was well done and had a good turnout.
• Parent Mandy Via addressed the board regarding the services for her son, a sophomore, who has verbal and cognitive disabilities. Via addressed the lack of communication, concern and safety issues regarding outside services and therapists going to the school and providing servicing without notification. She explained multiple attempts to communicate her concerns and requests for information such as policy and procedures surrounding the issue. She said of the numerous emails she sent, the only person to respond was an intervention specialist and she never received a response from school administration.
“I have asked legitimate questions that are rooted in safety and communication for my son who sometimes does not have his own voice to do so,” Via said.
Board member Bridget Haines thanked Via for coming to the board meeting after Via was done addressing the board. Via thanked Haines for acknowledging her following her comments. No further comment from the board or administration was made at the meeting.
• Newton High School will hold a College Credit Plus at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, in the Jr. High gym. Information will include the expanded dual enrollment program through Edison State Community College. Parents of next year (2020-2021) students grades seventh through 12th are encouraged to attend. Call 937-676-2002 for more information.