Allison C. Gallagher
BETHEL TOWNSHIP — The Bethel Board of Education is gearing up for the upcoming school years with some new faces and new goals.
One of those new faces is superintendent Virginia Potter. Potter introduced herself to the board and shared her goals for the upcoming school year, one of which is bringing technology into the strategy for enhancing the educational experience of students.
“I don’t think computers can ever replace teachers,” Potter said. “But we do live in a world where most if not all of the parents and students utilize the internet.”
Potter’s focus is on introducing more communications from the superintendent’s office through technology, including her newsletter, The Super Buzz.
“I thought it was clever,” Potter said, followed by a laugh. “We’re the Bethel Bees, so we buzz, and it comes from the superintendent’s office. Get it? Super Buzz.”
Elementary school principal Jodi Petty shared her updates with the board. According to Petty, the elementary school now has a record 577 students enrolled for the 2014-2015 school year, which is 40 more students from last year. She shared that reading and math scores for third, fourth and fifth grade have come back and that the district as a whole is ranked in either first or second place in the county.
Craig Vasil, who is coming in as the new principal at the junior and senior high schools, shared future changes to junior and senior high school procedures.
“The sophomores this year will be the last class to take the OGT [Ohio Graduation Tests], since the state has decided to do away with the OGT and replace it with other testing procedures, starting in the 2015-16 school year,” Vasil said.
He also shared that the modulars, which had been in the back of the campus, have now been moved to the front of the school and that the teachers who conduct classes in them have already been inside and getting adjusted to the change. Additionally, Vasil clarified that schedules were ready to be picked up on Aug. 13, can be changed on Aug. 15, and that the open house will be Aug. 19 at 6 p.m.
In other business, the board voted to approve several appropriations to teachers in the district for the junior high music program, technology-based instruction and common core sciences and social studies instruction. Vasil was approved for a two-year contract with the school, as was Alexis Dedrick who is the incoming dean of students and Melissa Rhoades for her position as a district bus driver. 14 substitute teachers were approved for the 2014-2015 school year.
The board approved two high school band trips. The first trip, which will take place on Oct. 4 and end on Oct. 5, is to Sandusky, while the second trip, which begins on April 1 and ends on April 7, is to Virginia Beach, Va. Both trips are no expense to the board.
The district’s July 2014 earned income tax collection generated $421,937, which is $78,801 greater than the collection in July 2013.