The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, May. 25, 2024

VWCS board preps for new school year

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent writer

The 2020-2021 school year and challenges caused by COVID-19, plus personnel matters, were the main topics during Thursday’s special meeting of the Van Wert City Board of Education.

Van Wert City Board of Education President Anthony Adams listens to a statement during Thursday’s school board meeting. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

The board approved a slight revision to the school calendar, pushing the first day of school for students from Wednesday, August 19, to Monday, August 24.

Superintendent Mark Bagley told the board the decision was made after meeting with administrators, teachers, sports staff and other county superintendents.

“We’re going to use the week of August 17 for five days of professional development, and then our whole county will start school on Monday, August 24,” Bagley explained. “From a county perspective, that was a smart plan to try to get all the protocols in place.”

“We know that we’re in uncharted waters — no one’s ever done this before,” Bagley said of the different plans and options for the upcoming school year.”

Bagley also said more information about plans and specifics for the upcoming school year will be posted on the district’s website,, on Friday morning.

The board asked various questions about the status of fall sports and protocols if and when students and/or teachers feel ill, show COVID-19 symptoms , or test positive for the virus. Board Vice President Scott Mull wondered if the district has enough school nurses.

In addition to the revised school calendar, the board approved the district’s remote learning plan. More details about that will be posted on the school website as well.

“Our plan will be more individualized from each building, the ECC, the elementary school, the middle school, and the high school,” Bagley told the board. “The plan gives us the ability to be very flexible if our whole district has to go out, whether it’s mandated by our county or by the state.”

Bus routes and shuttle schedules for the upcoming school year were approved and Assistant Superintendent Bill Clifton noted face masks or face shields must be worn by bus drivers and students traveling to and from school and athletic events. All buses will have disposable masks available and rubber gloves if necessary. All buses will be disinfected regularly, and athletes may be able to ride home with their parents after games, if they have proper documentation.

Students in grades 3-12 and teachers will be required to wear masks or shields in the classroom as well, and Clifton compared state mandates to a moving target.

Clifton also said other safety measures are being looked at, including touchless water coolers in buildings and classroom dividers at the preschool level.

Clifton praised band students and director Bob Sloan and said things went well during the annual week-long band camp.

The district leadership team was also set by the board. It includes Bagley, Clifton, Sloan, Justin Bragg, Chris Covey, Ruth Ann Dowler, Nikki Adams, Angie Stemen, Lori Bittner, Tracy Wehner, Jared Army, Andi Sealscott, Ty Wannemacher, Tracy McCoy, Darla Dunlap, Ben Collins, Tiffany Werts, Anita Zuber, Zane McElroy, Bob Priest, Bob Spath, Kim Doidge, and Katie Bowersock.

Building leadership teams are as follows: Justin Krogman, Jen Simper, Regina Brenneman, Ashley Sinn, Hannah Phlipot, Shelly Place, Alex Schmidt, and Jen Arend, Early Childhood Center/Van Wert Elementary School; Chris Gemmer, Ben Laudick, Rachel Gehrlich, Sarah White, and Susie Semer, Van Wert Middle School; Katie Adelblue, Pam Switzer, Dave Froelich, Frankie Bowen, and Jeremy Kitson, Van Wert High School.

The board approved a lengthy list of supplemental contracts at the high school level, including Katie Adelblue and Tricia Hughes, Beta Club advisors; Melissa Bloomfield, Bob Sloan, school plays and musical; Krista Baer, Excalibur; Eugene Aufderhaar, German Club; Brenda Smith, junior class advisor; Natoshia Wilhelm, National Honor Society advisor; Wendy Howell, Jeff Hood, coordinator of school rewards; Anita Zuber, scholastic bowl advisor; Khandiss Klinger, Spanish Club advisor; Judy Krites, Katie Bowersock, student council advisors; Charles Witten, Varsity “V” club advisor; Melissa Bloomfield, Julia Reichart, high school chamber choir; Nancy Brown, Pam Switzer, Natoshia Wilhelm, senior project teachers; Frankie Bowen, senior project teacher counselor; Matt Saunier, marching band support staff, and Bob Spath and Zane McElroy, robotics club advisors.

Middle school supplemental contracts were approved for Chris Gemmer, Tami Suzuki, Andy Breese and Rachel Gerlich, coordinator of student rewards; Marie Markward, Tricia Ridenour, Ben Laudick, Cougar Leaders;
Susan Semer, yearbook; Marty Hohman, middle school robotics; Marie Markward, middle school after school club manager; Steve Sealscott, Jason Haggerty, Bryce Crea, intramurals; Zane McElroy, Echo support.

The board also approved elementary school supplemental contracts for Stephanie Sudhoff, Michelle Hoffman, student council; Sara Royer, Ashley McElroy, student rewards; Amy Covey, Ty Wannemacher, July Mosier, Colten Royer, Jared Army, RTI managers; Donna Clark, Cindy Etzler, Kathy Long, Josh Early, Drew Bittner, data managers; Betty Holliday, Alex Schmidt, Jumpin’ Jammers; Holliday, road runners, and Marty Hohman and Mary Kramer, summer science.

Ashley Hockenberry and Agnie Stemen were approved as Early Childhood Center managers and Shelly Place was hired as RTI manager.

Multimedia supplemental contracts were approved for Krista Baer, Brenda Smith, Rachel Gehlich, Alexa Terry, Jessica Bear, Alicia Welker, Jen Arend, and Erin Heaslip.

Board members also gave approval to a long list of supplemental coaching contracts, including Cole Harting, Josiah Poletta, Steve Sealscott, Bryce Crea, Demond Johnson, varsity football assistants; Eric Hohman, Jordan Danylchuck, freshman football; Charlie Witten, Nathan Murphy, Brandon Lintermoot, Seth Baer, Chris Heath, middle school football; Megan Hurless, Rachel Dickman (volunteer), Gage Chiles (volunteer), assistant cross country; Natoshia Wilhelm, Bob Spatch, middle school cross country; Matt Krites, JV assistant volleyball; Judy Krites, freshman assistant volleyball; Vicki Smith, eighth grade volleyball; Kendra Goodlin, seventh grade volleyball; Gary Espinoza, volunteer assistant boys soccer; Selena Witten, assistant fall high school cheer; Sarah Vogt, middle school fall cheer; and Eli Alvarez, varsity assistant girls soccer.

The board accepted the resignations of Early Childhood Center paraprofessional Nickolas Kallas and fifth grade teacher Eileen Manken, who’s retiring after 34 years of service. Jordan Shull was hired as a fifth grade teacher.

Agreements with the Van Wert County Board of DD and Head Start were approved, along with agreements with GCL Education Services and the Wood County Juvenile Detention Center.

The next meeting of the Van Wert City Board of Education is scheduled for 5 p.m. Wednesday, August 26, in the First Federal Lecture Hall of the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.

POSTED: 07/31/20 at 7:47 am. FILED UNDER: News