School board has 30 days to appoint new member


Photo: Bryanna Buerkle, the new student representative to the Hillsboro City Schools Board of Education, is sworn in Wednesday by treasurer Ben Teeters.

By Jeff Gilliland – [email protected]

The process for filling a vacancy on the board and the addition of four practice athletic fields at the new school site were discussed during Wednesday’s meeting of the Hillsboro City Schools Board of Education.

Sam Barnhouse, a Hillsboro teacher, administrator and coach for 35 years who was serving on the school board, passed away Sept. 11. The board has 30 days to make an appointment to replace Barnhouse. If the board does not make an appointment within that time, the responsibility will fall to Highland County Probate Court.

Barnhouse’s second term on the board would have expired Dec. 31, 2017.

Anyone wanting to apply should submit a letter to district treasurer Ben Teeters.

The board voted unanimously to approve board president Terry Britton’s recommendation that board member Tom Milbery take Barnhouse’s place on the Board Policy Committee.

At the start of the meeting, Britton asked for a moment of silence in memory of Barnhouse.

“As most of you know, we lost a great friend and colleague last week,” Britton said. “… With his love of education and his students, Sam was elected to the Hillsboro School Board. … Sam gave back to the Hillsboro community for 42-plus years. On behalf of the board of education, Hillsboro staff and Indian nation, our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. He will be missed by all…”

The board also voted unanimously to authorize Civil & Environmental Consultants Inc. for engineering services for practice fields at the new school site.

Superintendent Jim Smith said there will be two practice football fields and two practice soccer fields located between the tennis courts and track stadium. He said one of the football fields will have goal posts and will be close to regulation size, while the other will be a little smaller, and that the two soccer fields will be a smaller than regulation, but will be fine for practice.

“The plan is to try to be ready to practice on the sites by the beginning of next school year in August,” Smith said.

The board also agreed to apply for a $50,000 grant to support the construction of baseball and softball fields from the Baseball Tomorrow Fund sponsored by Major League Baseball. Smith said that assistant athletic director Darci Miles has been working on the grant and that it looks like the school district has a decent shot of receiving it.

In other business from the meeting:

• The board approved the purchase of 324 additional Dell Chromebook II’s and the license that goes with them at a cost of $53,136. The school district purchased another 1,000 Dell Chromebooks this summer for what it felt was a good price of $170 apiece. But when the shipment came in there were an extra 324 Chromebooks. Smith said the school’s technology director, Eric Hennison, was able to negotiate a deal to purchase the extra Chromebooks for $140 each.

• The board approved two field trips, one for the FFA to go to the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind. from Oct. 19-22 and another for high school students to have a global education opportunity in Florence, Venice and Rome, Italy from June 12-19, 2018.

Student representative to the board Bryanna Buerkle, who was sworn in at Wednesday’s meeting, said 55 FFA students are making the trip to Indianapolis.

The cost for the trip to Italy is $3,555 and Smith said it’s open to any high school students as long as they can foot the bill. The school has held some small fundraisers to help defray the cost of the trip.

• The board approved the creation of an assistant transportation supervisor position, which will replace the head mechanic position. Smith said the change would free up hours for transportation supervisor Ron Ward to run some bus routes because he’s currently tied up on the telephone a lot, and that it will make the entire bus garage staff more flexible.

• The board accepted the resignation of Ashley Cumberland as middle school cheerleading coach, effective Aug. 22.

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.

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