Programs that help students were just one of the subjects board members encountered during the most recent meeting of the Greenfield Exempted Village Schools Board of Education.
MHSmart is a program at the high school that allows high school students to request a need — for food, clothing or hygiene products — and do it privately.
According to Gretchen Foltz, a media specialist at McClain High School, high school students in need don’t get the help that younger students do, whether it be for lack of programs to help, or the teenagers not asking out of embarrassment.
Foltz said a student can make a private request through a Google form on the school’s website. When the need is addressed, the student is notified and can pick up whatever they requested when it is most convenient for them.
For requests like coats and jeans and other clothing, Foltz has gone to the Greenfield Area Christian Center (GACC). But she said there aren’t so many clothes there for teenagers, though there are plenty for little kids and older people. Clothing donations, she said, can be made to GACC or the high school office.
Jeans, hoodies, bras, underwear, socks, towels, sheets, school supplies, hygiene products and funding needs are some of the requests the school has fielded.
Foltz said she and other staff are working on a way to handle the food needs and that having a pantry is a long-term goal of the program.
“We get together, we find the money somehow” to make it happen,” Foltz said. “We care about our kids.”
Anyone interested in making a monetary donation can do so at the high school office. Checks should be made payable to MHSmart. Donations of any type may be made to the high school office as well. If anyone has questions about how they can help, call Foltz at the high school office at 937-981-7731.
Board members commended the effort, saying students were “blessed” to have staff members that care so much.
The Tiger Youth Basketball Organization (TYBO), which runs a tournament each year at the school, donated $10,000 for bleachers for the middle school gymnasium where the tournament is played.
According to TYBO board member Darrenn Adams, the funds raised through the tournament are used to help kids throughout the year with things like uniforms and sports equipment.
The program is in its fourth year, Adams said, and the success of the program is due to the effort of hundreds of volunteers every year, which include many students and student organizations.
A proposed renovation of the new gym lobby took school board members out in the cold and into the new gym lobby prior to the meeting.
Mark Heiny of Marquee Construction Inc. first presented board members with a revised proposal based on requests that were made following his initial proposal last month on the expansion of the lobby. Board members viewed the exterior of the building and the interior of the lobby to get a visual understanding in conjunction with the proposed plans.
The overall proposed expansion would extend the east side of the gym facade into the courtyard, allowing more room on the first floor to add ticketing and concession areas, and more space on the second floor for additional locker rooms in both the girls’ and boys’ areas. The project also includes renovating the outdated restrooms in the first-floor lobby.
The second-floor locker room expansion is the “driving force” behind the whole renovation, according to Superintendent Quincey Gray. The additional locker room space would provide more appropriate changing areas for not only home and visiting athletes, but also for student members of the drama department for plays and musicals.
Following the field trip to the gym where board members were talked with Heiny and each other over topics including door and window placement, the regular meeting session took place in the cafeteria.
Middle school spelling and geography bee winners were recognized. The Greenfield Middle School Spelling Bee took place Nov. 25. Winners from first place to third place were, respectively, Olivia Stegbauer, Jaylee Little and Skylar Mazo. The Geography Bee took place Dec. 4. Winners from first place to third place were, respectively, Olivia Stegbauer, Dennis Huang and Tessa Anderson.
Members of one of the high school’s five robotics teams talked to the board about their competitions, and about building and coding “Jimmy,” the robot. The students demonstrated Jimmy for board members, then Blake Gall guided board member Charley Roman in working the robot through picking up and stacking blocks.
The robotics team recently placed second out of 45 teams at a robotics competition sponsored by the Columbus Blue Jackets. According to robotics adviser Nathan Luke, the high school robotics club will partner with Hillsboro for a competition on Feb. 22, which will be held at Southern State Community College. He said they are expecting about 50 teams to compete.
McClain FFA members spoke to board members about not only their recent competition efforts and outcomes, but about some locally-based projects. One of those local projects included FFA members putting together food bags for elementary students for Christmas break. FFA students raised all the money to support the project.
Other projects have included recycling efforts and educating students on healthier food options.
Adviser Chris Fitzpatrick said the McClain FFA is well-versed in competitions, from local to national, but students are also taking a more local approach by identifying problems and trying to make a difference at home.
He also remarked about how career and tech programs at the school like FFA and robotics, are “vital to our kids’ success.”
Jason Allison, who has served on the school board for 12 years, was recognized for his service and was presented with a plaque since the meeting was his last regular school board meeting before his term expires at the end of the year.
“It has been an honor” to serve the school district, Allison said. “We’ve got a lot going on, a lot to be proud of.”
Employment recommendations approved by the board of education were: Andrea Stark, classroom aide; Ashley Ary, classroom aide; Scott Thacker, certified substitute; Angela Shepherd, certified substitute; Bobbi Badgley, clerical, aide/monitor, cafeteria; Angela Shepherd, public relations; Shania Massie, girls basketball volunteer; and Bob Bergstrom, track volunteer.
The next regular school board meeting is yet to be determined. The meeting schedule for the new year will be made when the board meets after the first of the year for its organizational meeting.
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the Greenfield Exempted Village Schools.