New Laurel Oaks dean at Greenfield board meeting


Two new programs at Laurel Oaks were introduced and several other topics were discussed during a regular meeting Monday evening of the Greenfield Exempted Village Schools Board of Education.

Kevin Abt, the new dean of instruction of Laurel Oaks, told the board the vocational school has added two new programs this year – heavy equipment operator and college agriculture – Greenfield Superintendent Joe Wills said.

During a similar meeting last month with Hillsboro school board members, Abt said there were 22 students enrolled in the heavy equipment operator program, which can have a maximum of 25 students, and three students enrolled in the agriculture program.

Abt said Laurel Oaks is working with Southern State Community College on the ag program and that high school students can earn an associate’s degree through it. He said that currently the program focuses on plant science, but that the school is also looking to add an animal science element. Students enrolled in the ag program can still be a member of the FFA program at their home school.

During his report to the board, Wills said he talked about a new robotics team at McClain High School that will begin competing in December. He said some of the team members are scheduled to make a presentation at an upcoming board meeting.

Wills said he also discussed a recent evacuation drill, which was one of three required annually by the state. Wills said the drills are held for safety reasons in case the school would have to be evacuated or if there was an active shooter situation.

The superintendent said he also introduced the Ohio Public School Deregulation Act to the board. The act, introduced at the statehouse last week as SB 216, seeks to remove nearly 100 regulations on school districts covering topics from testing to teacher evaluations.

According to information provided by Wills, conversations between Senator Matt Huffman, a Republican who represents all or parts of Allen, Auglaize, Champaign, Darke, Logan, Mercer and Shelby counties, and Waynesfield Goshen Superintendent Chris Pfister led to the formation of the bill.

Many school superintendents claim there are too many school regulations, according to numerous reports. They say not only are the regulations costing schools money, they’re negatively affecting students.

According to one report, Huffman told an Ohio newspaper that too often what sounds like a good idea in Columbus translates instead to burdensome paperwork and tedious tasks that distract teachers and superintendents from their primary role in schools — educating students.

The bill addresses numerous education topics and standards including teacher licensure and aide permits, Ohio teacher evaluation systems, state testing and student assessment, student management and safety, College Credit Plus and preschool operating standards.

In other news from the school board meeting, the following recommendations for employment were approved, pending completion of required documentation: David Nathan LeMaster, custodian; Lee Snyder, Lisa Ater and Brittany Mullikin, certified substitutes; Robert Warden, aide/monitor; Tricia Shope, bus driver; Vanessa Penwell, cheerleading advisor junior high basketball; Travis Snyder, junior class adviser; Bradley George, head boys swimming coach; Jennifer Highley, junior class adviser; Ryan Olaker, seventh grade boys basketball; and Daniel Morris was approved as a volunteer for bowling.

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or [email protected].

Wills introduces Ohio Public School Deregulation Act

By Jeff Gilliland

[email protected]

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