PIQUA — Congratulations were in order for several people in the Piqua City Schools district, some of them finishing the year on a high note, while others were looking forward to new beginnings when the 2016-17 academic year begins in the fall.
The board of education welcomed Joshua Kauffman as the new principal of Piqua Central Intermediate School, approving a three-year and 260-day contract beginning in 2016-17. Currently assistant principal, Kauffman will succeed Principal Jake Amlin, who has accepted a position as assistant superintendent of Federal Hocking Local Schools.
The board also doled out certificates to numerous students who made notable achievements this year, including the Piqua High School Men’s Chorus for receiving a “1” — or “Superior” — rating at the Ohio Music Educators Association contest, as well as the PHS Symphonic Band, participants in the Ohio History Day contest, and Invention Convention National Winner Aubree Schrubb, who took home first place in the sixth grade group at the national competition. PHS valedictorian Wade Wenrick and salutatorian Sierra Miller also were honored.
Students in Tony Lyons’ leadership development course at PHS presented a proposal for a new program called Indian Access, which would motivate students to show up to school on time, earn better grades and stay out of trouble. It also would offer such incentives as allowing seniors outside access during lunch period, whether it be in an exterior area at the school or off-campus. To participate, students would have to meet various criteria, including maintaining a 3.0 GPA and having no more than three tardy days.
Also during the meeting, a parent expressed concern about the recent bedbug scare at the high school. In this incident, two student cases of infestation were discovered, and the district sent home letters to dispel rumors of a widespread outbreak that was reported via social media and text messages.
The parent questioned what, if anything, the district is doing year-round to address the problem and suggested that administrators could do a better job of communicating with parents. Superintendent Rick Hanes stated that the district treats such incidents as they arise, using an external extermination company, which he said was “a measure beyond what many districts do.”
Hanes added that if there was a reason to treat the problem year-round, the district would do so, but health inspections have not revealed any need for ongoing treatment.
“We follow all the regulations of the state of Ohio to make sure our buildings are up to what they need to be,” he said.
“We can’t treat something that’s not there,” added board member Clint Bostick.
In the treasurer’s report, Jeremie Hittle noted that the district’s “cash balances are healthy” and “our credit rating is stable at this point.” He said that he anticipated the district would continue in the black, “barring any unforeseen circumstances,” and that revenue should continue to outpace expenses.
State funding, which accounts for 53 percent of district revenue, will continue to be closely monitored for any changes, and the district intends to continue its tradition of operating without deficit spending, Hittle said.
The board of education’s next meeting will be at 6 p.m. June 21 at Springcreek Primary School.
Reach Belinda M. Paschal at (937) 451-3341.