Lex board of schooling hires elementary principal, hears considerations
LEXINGTON – Scott Curtis wanted a small town vibe.
Curtis was hired as the new principal at Central Elementary School in the Lexington Local Schools District on Wednesday.
He has worked for Marion City Schools for the past seven years, where he served two years as assistant middle school principal and five years as elementary school principal.
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Marion has 4,700 students.
“It’s big, so I was looking for a change,” Curtis said. “I wanted a sense of community. Sometimes you lose that in a city school.”
Curtis also worked for Marion Elgin as a career counselor and assistant principal and elementary school advisor.
Since graduating from Mount Gilead in 2001, Curtis has known what it is like to be in a small town.
“The job became open and I applied,” he said. “The success of students and students is very important to me.”
Curtis said he plans to create “meaningful relationships” with teachers and students.
“These are things that move my needle,” he said.
That’s what Superintendent Jeremy Secrist wanted to hear.
“We’re very excited about Scott,” said Secristo. “He did an excellent job in the interview. He was successful but looks forward to improving.”
The superintendent said Curtis’ time with a larger school district gave him a “unique point of view.”
With Lexington planning to open a building for grades 7-12 in the fall of 2022 and an elementary school building in the coming years, the district is changing. Three of the five buildings will receive new clients in the coming year.
“We will work together here like never before,” said Secrist.
Long-time teacher Cheryl Longnecker said she was positive about the changes and expressed her support for Secrist.
“He has a great opportunity and I believe in him,” she said.
Parents question the COVID-19 guidelines
A number of parents attended the meeting on Wednesday to voice their concerns about COVID-19 and how the district would proceed.
Valerie Hunter declined quarantines and contact tracing, saying she would withdraw her children if necessary.
“We don’t want to go through that again,” she said.
Hunter asked if unvaccinated students must continue to be quarantined and wear masks.
Secrist said the goal is to get back to normal, but added that it is too early to say.
“It will depend on what they tell us,” the superintendent said of government and health officials. “It is our intention to return as 2019 (pre-COVID).”
Anna Delp said her 16-year-old son couldn’t wear a mask because of his special needs. She felt that he was being discriminated against.
“He was the only one in the class who was six feet away,” said Delp. “They were stricter than my husband’s prison where people died of COVID.”
Vice Chairman of the Board, Keith Stoner, replied, “It was about keeping people safe.”
Board member Rob Schuster and President Bob Whitney showed sympathy for the Delps.
Schuster found that quarantines were affecting his family.
“I’m in the same boat as you. I thought it was too far,” he said. “You are seeing the effects of quarantining healthy children.”
Whitney gave the Delps his home phone number and told them to call if their son has problems for the next school year.
District to get money from Charter Next
After a 35-minute executive meeting, the board approved a 35% school allowance payment in lieu of tax agreement with Charter Next under the community reinvestment area agreement with the village of Lexington.
The Ohio Community Reinvestment Area Program is a local and county government-administered economic development tool that exempts property owners from property taxes for property owners renovating existing buildings or building new ones.
The school district will receive $ 62,982 for each of the next 15 years.
Board hears curriculum update
Curriculum Directors Tucker Bacquet and Joy Bowman gave an update on a tough school year.
“I can’t imagine last year without these two people,” said Secrist.
Bacquet, the director of the 7-12 curriculum, said 158 students were enrolled at Lexington Digital Academy – which will be renamed Lexington Learning Lab – in its first semester and 132 in its second semester.
A total of 63 senior citizens completed the digital academy.
The district plans to focus on personal learning in the coming school year. Students wishing to study online will need parental permission and a referral from a counselor or school principal.
In other transactions, the board of directors has:
• Heard an update from TDA about the new 7-12 building, especially the interior design.
• Approved two-year contracts for the following administrators: Craig Clever, Maintenance Manager; Jeff Eichorn, Athletics 7-12, activity director and assistant school principal; Levi Mowry, technology director; Adam Smith, transportation mechanic; Vickie Stima, EMIS coordinator; Tricia Volz, Foodservice Director; Bacquet; and archer.