McClain partners with Harvard

School board hears updates from McClain principal, students

By Angela Shepherd - For The Times-Gazette

McClain High School will collaborate with Harvard University to research and improve student attendance and college and career readiness, McClain Principal Matt Shelton reported at the Greenfield Exempted Village School District (GEVSD) Board of Education’s last regular meeting of the year.

The collaboration will begin in January.

The Harvard program, National Center for Rural Education Research Networks (NCRERN), is a partnership with McClain High School for the next four years to provide specific interventions that address student attendance and college and career readiness.

The collaboration came about when one of Shelton’s doctorate program classmates began conducting rural education research for Harvard University.

“There’s a lot of data analysis that we will do throughout the process as well, which allows us to evaluate the effectiveness of these interventions and make changes if necessary,” Shelton said Tuesday. “In the end, it’s all about helping more students to find success post-graduation.”

In other news from the GEVSD school board’s Monday meeting, those in GEVSD will be able to access the very first “State of the District” report on Jan. 7, which is meant to inform about various matters in the school district, superintendent Quincey Gray reported.

The presentation will be pre-recorded and is an opportunity for district administration to speak about things like instruction, athletics, and projects. It will be available to view beginning at 6 p.m. on Jan. 7 on the district’s website and Facebook page.

In other meeting business, Shelton, with the help of some students, shared some updates of things going on at the high school.

First up was McClain student Nick Cunningham, who told board members about Drug Free Clubs of America, which is in its first year at the school. The club, Cunningham said, “is designed to protect and to inspire kids to live drug-free.”

So far, there are 87 students involved, he said.

Students involved are randomly drug tested. Following a drug test, students receive a “goodie bag,” Cunningham said, which they are allowed to enjoy in class. Participating students also get a reward card, which can be used at participating businesses, and there are also in-school rewards and incentives.

Cunningham said being involved in the program gives students a way out of “high-pressure” drug situations as member students never know when they will be tested, therefore they must always be ready.

Shelton next introduced Mia Snyder, who together with Sara Snyder, is implementing a recycling program at the high school that Shelton said will kick off when school resumes the first week of January.

Snyder said reducing waste at the school and inspiring others to do the same and make positive environmental changes were behind their desire to get the program going. She noted with gratitude the support that has been received from the school, the community, and the village of Greenfield.

Aly Murphy with McClain FFA next spoke to the board, telling them about her experience in the FFA job interview contest. Murphy has advanced through four preliminary rounds so far. She said she is thankful for the opportunity as the process is providing her with real-life experience that she will use in the future.

Next, Shelton spoke about PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) and how the administration is seeing the effectiveness of the program. The state has implemented the program to facilitate a climate in all schools that supports student well-being, academic achievement, and student success, according to the Ohio Department of Education’s website. For more information, go to

In other meeting business, Talented and Gifted (TAG) teacher Alanna Eikenberry spoke to the board about the middle school spelling bee, held on Nov. 23 without an audience due to Covid.

The winners of the bee were eight-grader Harmony Peyatt (first place), seventh-grader Jason Calhoun (second place), and seventh-grader Olivia Stegbauer (third place).

In the superintendent’s report to the board, Gray announced that the school district has received the 2020 Ohio Energy Efficiency Award from AEP.

Over the last couple of years, the district has replaced all its lighting with LED and updated its heating and HVAC control systems. Maintenance supervisor Jeff Pence, Gray said, has overseen all of it, and tracks the savings. She said the award will be given to him for his efforts.

Students will not have school on Dec. 21 and 22, as was initially the plan with the current schedule. Now, students will attend through Dec. 18 before beginning Christmas break. School will resume on Jan. 5.

As part of the consent agenda, board members approved McCarty Associates as the firm to serve as architect, as well as provide design and construction administration services, for the bus garage and storage building project.

At last month’s school board meeting, McCarty Associates architect Doug Karnes presented conceptual plans for development of the practice field — a block from McClain High School and between Eighth and Seventh streets — as the potential home of a new bus garage.

For information and updates, go to the district website at or go to the district’s Facebook page. The individual buildings also have Facebook pages. The district’s central office may be reached by calling 937-981-2152.
School board hears updates from McClain principal, students

By Angela Shepherd

For The Times-Gazette