Tipp BOE discusses students’ return to meetings


TIPP CITY — The Tipp City Board of Education once again discussed the return of students at the regular session Board of Education meetings.

The board also discussed the creation of new superintendent committees at their work session on Monday, Jan. 9.

The return of students at the Board of Education meetings was a discussion topic introduced by board member Theresa Dunaway. She said she feels that since students and their education are the first priority of the board, they should be present at meetings in some capacity. Multiple ways to decide which students will attend the board meetings were presented by the board members.

The first thought was to go alphabetically through students at each district and let each board member choose a student to attend each month, giving board members two choices a year. That idea was struck down when Anne Zakkour brought up the problematic possibility of favoritism. The second thought was to assign each board member to a different building in the district to go out and offer to students and teachers the opportunity to come and participate in the board meetings. Simon Patry countered that option with the idea of having the building administrators choose students to attend.

“My thought is that we have the school principals or someone at the campus get to select either a student or a group that they want us to highlight versus us choosing someone, because I think they’ll have a better understanding of what they want to put forth,” said Patry. “That way we’re getting a slice that we may not be familiar with because we’re not selecting it and it’s coming from people who know things and may want to make us aware of different things that are going on.”

Patry then moved to have Mark Stefanik, superintendent, and every superintendent after him to contact the building principals in a rotating manner to have them designate a student or group to come present or participate in the board meetings for up to 15 minutes at the beginning of each regular session, including if they just wish to lead the board in the Pledge of Allegiance. Dunaway seconded Patry’s motion and the motion passed unanimously.

The invitations to board meetings will start with the high school. If they are not able to attend the January regular session meeting on Jan. 23, the inclusion of students at meetings will begin in February with the high school.

The board also discussed the creation of superintendent committees, committees directed and facilitated by the superintendent or a stand-in.

The topic was brought to the agenda when Zakkour noted the assignment of a board member to the Tipp Pride Committee was left off of the list of committee assignments approved at the organizational meeting on Jan. 4.

During this discussion during the Jan. 9 meeting, Dunaway mentioned the creation of a bullying committee and a safety committee, considering the issues currently facing the district. The committee members would be appointed by Stefanik, who stated he would like to have at least one board member on each committee.

Patry stated his support for a Tipp Pride Committee to help facilitate communications and mend the relationship between Tipp Pride and the Board of Education. He also spoke out with his support of a technology committee due to the ever-changing technology and the pressing need for technological security, especially for data privacy in the district.

Patry also mentioned he would want community members involved in these committees to make them more diverse and more effective for serving the community and school district.

Stefanik did note a Safety Team is already in place in collaboration with the Tipp City Police Department, but he would like to see a board member invited to sit on the team.

The formations of a Tipp Pride Committee, Bullying Committee and Technology Committee were approved unanimously by the board.

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