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On the record – Niles

WHAT: Board of education meeting Tuesday by Zoom videoconferencing

PRESENT: President Tony Perrone, Mary Ann McMahon, Kimberly Barrell, Christopher Chieffo, Michele Lamb, Superintendent Ann Marie Thigpen, Treasurer Rhonda Amorganos

The board:

• Approved the updated five-year forecast, fiscal recovery plan and revised versions;

• Approved 26 purchase orders over $5,000 for the upcoming school year. Purchases of $5,000 or more must be approved by the Fiscal Planning Commission after board approval while the district is in state-mandated fiscal emergency. Board member Chris Chieffo abstained from voting on a $30,000 legal service fee for Ennis Britton Co. LPA;

• Approved a $530,000 purchase order for utilities from the city of Niles;

• Approved Tanya Baryak’s resignation as assistant cook at Niles McKinley High School, effective June 9;

• Approved Catherine DeChristefaro’s retirement from her position as administrative assistant at Niles Middle School, effective Sept. 1. DeChristefaro spent 17 years at Edison Jr. High and 17 at Niles Middle School and will be a “huge loss to the district,” according to Thigpen;

• Approved Tracie Parry’s resignation as principal at Niles McKinley High School and hired Stephen Rovnak to fill the position. Rovnak was awarded a five-year administrative contract, effective Aug. 1 through July 31, 2025, starting at the administrative pay for fiscal year 2020. Thigpen wished Parry all the best in her future endeavors;

• Hired Brianna Morgan as a K-12 physical education and health teacher on a one-year limited contract for the 2020-21 school year. She will be placed at salary schedule masters, step 10, effective Aug. 28. Morgan is certified to teach adapted PE for students with unique needs. The district was previously spending $30,000 per year to get those special needs services through the Trumbull County Educational Service Center. Cheiffo voted against hiring Morgan, saying he was glad the position was filled but said it was “financially irresponsible” to hire someone at such a high pay step;

• Approved the following extended time at per diem rate for the 2020-21 school year: four days each for the primary and intermediate dean of students, 10 days for the middle school dean of students, 15 days for the high school guidance counselors, and five days for the high school media center. Chieffo voted no;

• Granted tenure to Jennifer Zorrosa, intervention specialist at Niles McKinley High School;

• Approved local professional development committee representatives for the 2020-2021 school year, Ann Woloschak at $1,500, and Caroline Hines, Carol Pantelis and George Sprague, Jr. at $500;

• Approved Michael Shargo to assist the technology department for the 2020-21 school year on an as-needed basis at $30 per hour, not to exceed 20 days or $4,800;

• Approved K & K Insurance to provide group voluntary student accident insurance coverage for students grades K-12 for the 2020-2021 school year, at no cost to the district;

• Approved the following local seals for Ohio graduation requirements for the Class of 2021 and beyond: 15-hour community service seal, two credit fine and performing arts seal, and student engagement seal;

• Canceled the July 16 regular board meeting and set the next regular board meeting for 6 p.m. Aug. 20, 2020, at the administrative board building. A special meeting may be scheduled in July after negotiations with unions are complete and agreements are reached.

• Heard from Amorganos that the Niles McKinley Class of 2020 donated its remaining funds to the Class of 2021.

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