Tipp BOE OKs memorial at HS stadium


By Amantha Garpiel

For Miami Valley Today

TIPP CITY – The Tipp City Board of Education (BOE) approved a memorial in honor of Carson Robbins, Tippecanoe High School student who passed away earlier this year, to be placed at the entrance of the new Tippecanoe High School Stadium during a meeting on Aug. 28.

In a tear-filled decision, the BOE unanimously voted to allow the memorial rock and plaque paid for and placed by the senior class of 2024 football players in honor of Robbins, their friend and teammate, to stay at the team entrance to the new stadium.

The memorial was in question due to the numerous policies of the school district and the team, parents’ lack of understanding of these policies and the lack of board approval before placing the memorial.

They had received approval from the Tipp City City Manager Timothy Eggleston, which due to miscommunication from BOE office staff, were led to believe that was all that was necessary, as to the stadium is located in the park and not on school grounds.

The board, however, during the Aug. 28 meeting, chose to somewhat disregard the Robbins family’D/football teams’ lack of board approval.

“What you guys did was incredible … the impact of Mr. Robbins’ passing is just tragic and Carson obviously left an imprint on this community and brought us together in a way we haven’t been together in a long, long time. I think that’s worth what you boys have done,” said BOE President Simon Patry. “Unfortunately, we have so many policies, sometimes people don’t know what policies apply, they don’t know how they’re supposed to apply and one of the biggest things we’ve had a problem with in our district is not following policies which has caused a lot of problems. But now you’re here, you’re in front of the board and when I read that policy my interpretation of it is that it applies to naming a school or the facility itself not a memorial within a facility… I fully support what Mr. Mains and Mrs. Drum have said and I want to thank all of you, the Robbins family, for what you’ve done for our community.”

In other business, the unanimously voted to approve a service contract with the Montgomery County Educational Service Center (ESC) for 2024. The service contract, according to Superintendent Aaron Moran is one the district can call upon on an as needed basis to help the schools meet the needs of autistic students. The school will review the needs of students and, if deemed necessary, will bring in an Autism and Low Incidence Coaching Team from the Montgomery County ESC to ensure the needs of the student are met.

The board then approved a third amendment to the sponsorship agreement with Premier Health. The agreement began in 2008 and has since been amended previously. The amendment included extending the term of the original agreement through Oct. 12.

The board then entered a discuss, led by Moran, about the approval of a master plan to provide to the OFCC. The OFCC recommendation for the district is to build a new preschool through sixth grade building and add an addition to Tippecanoe High School to allow the building to house grades seven through 12. However, Moran, board members and the community have come up with what they believe would be better for the district. Tipp City’s suggestion is to build a new preschool through eighth-grade building and leave grades nine through 12 at the Tippecanoe High School.

According to Moran and what he thinks, based on community feedback, the district’s plan would be best for efficiency, meeting student needs and fiscal responsibility.

Moran asked the board to move on this decision during the Sept. 5 work session.

“I think the pre-K — eight solution makes sense based on what I’ve seen and heard from the facilities committee,” said Patry. “Even if we could wait to see if money could come down, it’s not going to, it’s going to get worse and the reality is it needs to happen now. It’s no longer a safe place for our students, for our staff. So, I fully support a pre-K-eight solution as part of a total master plan.”

During the week prior to the Monday, Aug. 28 meeting, Moran held a meeting with about five or six of those who have donated or pledged donations to Tipp Pride Association for the building of the new stadium. He noted that, in his opinion, there were a lot of good intentions behind the association when it began but that it has since stalled.

“I’ve said this before, I think it’s kind of a cloud over the community,” said Moran. “At some point I think the district needs to take over the responsibility of the fundraising piece and we need to make sure we’re supporting the donors that have given and recognizing and showing appreciation for those things that they’ve done.”

He went on to list what he believes should be priorities for the district when it comes to the stadium. Moran noted his three priorities are what he feels are safety issues. The home and visitor locker rooms, putting concrete around for safe walking paths to the bathrooms and bleachers.

“I’ve seen parents pushing strollers that can barely get through there to get their kids onto the handicap ramp. I think it’s a hindrance for anybody to use that ramp because they have to go through all gravel for the most part to get there,” said Moran.

His last concern is the slight incline to get to the bathrooms and concession stands that is often difficult to traverse due to it being washed out from bad weather.

“So, there are things that, to me, are safety issues and if we have to prioritize things, those are three things that we need to prioritize and see if there’s a way we can take control of that,” said Moran. “It’s our facility for our kids and we have to do better than what we’re doing right now.”

Also at the Aug. 28 meeting, the board OK’d or accepted:

· The consent agenda which included resignations, 2023 summer academy additions, revised salary schedule for the district testing coordinator and administrative assistant exceptional children/EMIS offices, new hires, after school supervision, substitutes, supplementals, additional duties stipends, leave requests for the 2023-2024 school year, instructional technology coaches, curriculum committee, 2023-2024 bus schedule and the NEOLA winter update.

· The retirement of Michael Martin, the head custodian at LT Ball for 23 years.

· A second donation of $4,000 from the Tippecanoe Educational Endowment to pay for Dr. Phil Campbell to come speak to the district on Sept. 22.

· A donation of “Stop the Bleed Kits” from the Tipp City Fire and EMS Department.

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