After more than five years with the Greenfield Exempted Village School District, Superintendent Joe Wills is retiring at the end of February.
Following an executive session at Monday’s school board meeting, board members accepted Wills’ resignation for the purposes of retirement effective Feb. 28, 2019, he said.
“I want to thank the current and former members of the board for the opportunity entrusted to me to be the superintendent of the Greenfield Exempted Village School District,” Wills said Tuesday. “I cannot express my appreciation enough for the support I received during my time in the district. I believe we worked together toward common goals that were and will benefit the students of the district for many years.
“I would also like to thank our students, staff and community members for the hard work and support during my time with the district. I have enjoyed being a part of this community along with the many traditions that make our community and school district like no other.”
Wills has been with the Greenfield schools since August of 2013.
After Monday’s meeting, school board president Eric Zint, on behalf of the school board, expressed thanks for Wills’ “hard work and dedication to the district.” Zint added that the board “wishes him well in his retirement.”
In other business, the five-year forecast presented by assistant treasurer Sue Ann Baird showed the following projected year-end balances: 2019 — $7.75 million, 2020 — $7.76 million, 2021 — $6.74 million, 2022 — $4.63 million, 2023 — $1.39 million.
District treasurer Joe Smith has previously said the twice-yearly forecast, required by the state to be done in May and October, typically shows a pattern of accounting for no increases in revenue, but allowing for increases in expenditures, which is why the projections tend to be smaller the farther out they are.
As Smith said previously, the forecast is affected by many variables, the largest one being the state budget. As the variables become known and are factored in, the projections are modified accordingly. Each forecast, he has said, is “a snapshot in time of what we know right now.”
According to the forecast distributed to board members on Monday, the actual year-end balances for previous years were: 2016 — $7.24 million; 2017 — $7.41 million; and 2018 – $7.73 million.
Board members also heard from Laurel Oaks Dean of Instruction Kevin Abt about the 2.7-mill levy renewal coming up for the school that serves 36 school districts in southern Ohio.
Abt said the four campuses of Great Oaks, which includes Laurel Oaks, Scarlet Oaks, Diamond Oaks and Live Oaks, serves about 18,000 high school students each year and offers a wide range of career programs. Thousands of adults also take courses at the Great Oaks campuses each year. He said there are currently 37 McClain students at Laurel Oaks.
Abt said recent surveys have shown that more and more people know about Great Oaks and believe the school does a great job, but a much smaller percentage realize their tax dollars provide the bulk of funding of the school. According to Abt, the 2.7-mill levy makes up about two-thirds of the school’s funding.
Former Greenfield school board member and current board of education delegate to the Great Oaks board, Greg Barr, stressed to the board that “this is not new money, but a renewal.”
Barr called the school a “world class” institution with “outstanding programs” that offers “so many good opportunities” to high school students and adults.
Also at Monday’s meeting, the school board recognized the McClain girls golf team for its accomplishments this year, which included going undefeated in the Frontier Athletic Conference (18-0) and 41-4 for the season, according to coach Jarrod Haines. Haines and several golf team members were on hand for the recognition.
On other matters, employment recommendations approved by the board of education were: Mary Dawn Halterman, clerical; certified substitutes Alex Butler, Lori Shonkwiler, Taylor Alsop, Courtney Michael, Amanda Adams, Cynthia Allen and Howard Zody; Jaclyn Raike, annual assistant; Leann Thieman, seventh grade girls basketball; Vanessa Penwell, junior high basketball cheerleading; Samantha Rowe, basketball cheerleading advisor; Tyler Carman, girls bowling; and Keegan Rawlins, middle school wrestling.
The Greenfield Exempted Village School District Board of Education is scheduled to meet in regular session again on Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. at Buckskin Elementary in South Salem. The meetings are open to the public.
Angela Shepherd is a stringer for The Times-Gazette.