Tipp superintendent, treasurer to look into legal duties of school board president


By Blythe Alspaugh

[email protected]

TIPP CITY — A motion authorizing the Tipp City Schools treasurer and superintendent to check with the Miami County Prosecutor’s Office on the legal duties of the board president was unanimously approved Monday evening.

The motion authorizes Treasurer Melanie Fox and Superintendent Mark Stefanik to contact the Miami County Prosecutor’s Office regarding President Simon Patry’s legal duty to respond to and submit a Fraud Risk Questionnaire to the Ohio State Auditor.

The motion was added to the agenda after Patry had received the questionnaire from the Ohio State Auditor on Feb. 2, 2022, and did not feel that he had the authority granted by school board policies to answer any questions on the document.

“My suspicion is that this is related to some Ohio Administrative Code statutory requirement that the district is to follow, but because it is not outlined in the policy, I thought that it would be prudent to just request authority to fill it out,” Patry said.

Patry said that he had looked through the policies of the school board and did not find anything involving the audit committee that required a response to the questionnaire. Additionally, he said that he looked through the Ohio Administrative Code and statutes and couldn’t find anything other than an administrative code that requires to participate in the questionnaire. Patry also contacted the Ohio School Board Association to ask about any statutes, policies or codes regarding a response to the questionnaire and said that they did not have any information.

“This is (…) an assessment questionnaire, and I do not feel comfortable doing that without the board’s understanding of it and their approval,” Patry said.

Theresa Dunaway, who has served as school board president in the past as well as on the audit committee, said she has never seen the questionnaire before nor had to fill one out. Stefanik asked if she had ever had a sit-down meeting with the auditor in place of filling out the questionnaire, and Dunaway specified that any meetings with the auditor were always done as a group.

“I’m not opposed to the president having the authority to do that, I think it’s a good idea, but I don’t feel I have that requisite authority, and so I want to put it to the board and how they wish to proceed,” Patry said.

The school board also voted on the following agenda items:

• Amending the 2022-2023 academic calendar to eliminate two-hour delays on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, Friday, Jan. 27, 2023 and Friday, April 14, 2023 and have a full professional development day on Jan. 27, 2023 was approved in a 4-1-0 vote with Dunaway abstaining.

• The NEOLA 40.1 Fall 2021 update, originally discussed in the Oct. 2021 regular board meeting, was approved unanimously.

• Three overnight and out of state trips for the Florida Baseball Beach Bash in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, the Business Professionals of America State Leadership Conference in Columbus and the Double Header Competition in Akron were approved in a 4-1-0 vote with Dunaway abstaining.

• A five-year copier lease and maintenance agreement with Perry Pro Tech failed in a unanimous vote.

• The resignations of High School Boys Assistant Tennis Coach Adam Southers and Educational Aide Melinda Shaw were unanimously approved.

• Moving board work sessions from the second Tuesday of each month to the second Monday of each month was unanimously approved.

The next regular Tipp City Board of Education meeting will be held Monday, March 28 at 6 p.m. The next work session will be held Monday, March 7 at 5 p.m.

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