Piqua Schools to establish severance fund


By Eamon Baird

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PIQUA — The Piqua Board of Education approved establishing a termination of benefits fund during its meeting on Thursday, March 28.

Treasurer Jeremie Hittle addressed the board saying this will act as a sort of severance fund for retired teachers.

“As our staff is starting to age, we’re going to have more and more retirements coming,” Hittle said. “So, to not impact the general fund budget in the future putting this money aside will help dampen that expense.”

During his superintendent’s report, Superintendent Dwayne Thompson said all Piqua School campuses will be closed on April 8.

“The reason we’re doing that is the day after the eclipse we have school, and they’re predicting a large amount of people coming to the community, and from what we’ve been told people pretty much park anywhere,” Thompson said. “We just don’t want a lot of problems to come back to that next day.”

The board also heard a summer school report from Teresa Anderson, and Scott Bloom, directors of curriculum for Piqua City Schools.

Anderson, director of the K-6 curriculum, said there will be a special session for just third graders from June 10-21 to assist students who need to pass their Ohio State Test (OST).

Ohio requires all third-grade students to earn a score of at least 683 in reading on the OST to move on to fourth grade.

“The last week in June, the students have an opportunity to retake the OST tests to see if they can improve their scores to meet those requirements,” Anderson said.

Scott Bloom, director of curriculum for grades 6-12 said Piqua Schools will be using Oddysseyware over the summer to assist students or help them earn extra credit before the fall semester.

“Students typically have the ability to earn up to half a credit or to kind of find those credits that they need,” he said.

Bloom added that this system allows students to take these summer courses with a more flexible schedule.

“If they need face-to-face support, they can schedule that with the teacher. But there are no set days when they’re coming to the high school,” Bloom said.

The board approved the personnel agenda which included Family and Medical Leave for the following employees: Danielle Dillon, a third-grade teacher at Washington Primary School, from Feb. 20 to March 1; Heather Monroe, an intervention specialist at Piqua High School, effective Feb. 16; Nick Schemmel, a science teacher at Piqua Central, beginning on April 16 for two weeks.

The following new hires: Chasity Bachman, A-4 aide at Piqua High, effective March 11; Debra Billheimer, TR-1 part-time bus driver, effective March 18; Corey Bryant, intervention specialist at Piqua Central, effective Feb. 26; Bethany Luciano, intervention specialist at Washington Primary, effective April 9;

The resignations or retirements of the following effective at the end of the school year: Amanda Anverse, as science teacher at Piqua Central; Christina Battson, as intervention specialist at Piqua Central; Richard Doak, BC-2 custodian at Piqua Junior High; Melissa Feree, as second-grade teacher at Washington Primary; Shelby Holp, as a psychologist at Piqua High and Piqua Junior High; Damian Skeans, as a media teacher at Piqua High; Christina Watts, as title teacher at Washington Primary and Springcreek Primary; and Timothy Weisman, as social studies teacher at Piqua High.

Tony Lyons, assistant superintendent provided a special mention to teachers and staff for their many years of service with Piqua Schools including Doak, Ferree, Snapp, and Watts.

“I think she’s been here for 44 years, and I think it’s a total of 47 years of education,” Lyons said speaking about Watts. “She has been a staple for Piqua City schools, and she served in a lot of roles.”

The next Piqua City Schools Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 25.

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