The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Jun. 19, 2019

Mull elected new VWCS board president

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent writer

Scott Mull will lead the Van Wert City Board of Education in 2019.

Mull, who was unable to attend Wednesday night’s organizational and monthly meeting, is taking the reins from two-term president Debby Compton. Anthony Adams will again serve as board vice president and Compton will continue as the board’s representative to the Vantage Career Center Board of Education.

Van Wert City Schools Board of Education Vice President Anthony Adams reads aloud items from the agenda during Wednesday’s meeting. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

The board also has a new meeting venue this year. Instead of the S.F. Goedde Building, monthly board meetings will be held on the third Wednesday of each month in the First Federal Lecture Hall at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.

January is also the Ohio School Boards Association’s School Board Recognition Month, and Superintendent Vicki Brunn praised all five board members: Mull, Compton, Adams, Tom Losh, and Rachel Dickman.

“You are men and women elected to establish the policies that provide the framework for our public schools,” Brunn said. “You represent our larger community and I know you take this responsibility seriously, because you attend lengthy and sometimes challenging meetings, conferences, and institutes where you broaden your knowledge about education.”

“Too often folks forget about the personal sacrifices you routinely make,” Brunn continued. “Too often folks are quick to criticize you as school board members without really knowing all the details that went into any given decision.”

Also Wednesday, board members heard a presentation from three Van Wert High School teachers — Jeremy Kitson, Katie Adelblue, and Bob Sloan — about goals at the school.

Kitson said one goal is to improve biology test scores by 5 percent, compared to the previous school year, while identifying and targeting areas of weakness. He also noted a challenge involving students and “evolution vs. creationism” beliefs.

“We know we have to be sensitive to core beliefs because that comes from the home,” Kitson said. “It’s not our job to dictate how people raise their own children in their own homes.”

A 5 percent increase in social studies test scores is another goal, Adelblue said, one that may be reached by improving students’ analysis skills.

“These are skills that are very transferable between history and language arts and it’s something that they have to do for both of those (courses),” she explained. “This involves reading multiple sources, answering comprehension questions about those different documents, then using the documents to answer a bigger picture question.”

Adelbue also said a web-based aid called Study Island is making a difference.

Sloan said an improved culture is also needed by means of better communication, a staff culture committee, and a student culture survey. He also said it’s important to teach good study habits.

In other business, the board accepted a number of donations, including several through the Van Wert County Foundation: $13,950 from the Gaylord Leslie Endowment Fund, with half going to instrumental and the other half toward vocal music; $2,850 from the Gaylord Leslie Golf Scholarship Fund, and another $1,150 from the same fund for the athletic department/golf; $2,000 from the Flickinger Bequest for the VWHS Robotics Team, and $50 from Associated Charities for the Elementary Wellness Program.

The board also graciously accepted a donation of $13,052 from the Mary F. Marxen Scholarship Fund for music curriculum; $12,607 from the Norman L. Marxen Scholarship Fund for science curriculum; $1,000 from the University of Northwestern Ohio for the High School Robotics Team; $1,250 from the United Way of Van Wert County for the Family and Children First Council; $100 from the Convoy United Methodist Women for clothing needs, and $50 from Brock Blackmore for the boys’ bowling team.

Board members also approved the 2019-2020 school calendar, accepted the resignation of high school paraprofessional Toni Bartley, and approved Laura Rhoades as a long-term Van Wert Middle School intervention specialist.

The next meeting of the Van Wert City Board of Education will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday, February 20, in the First Federal Lecture Hall at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.

POSTED: 01/10/19 at 12:39 am. FILED UNDER: News