Allison C. Gallagher
For the Troy Daily News
The Covington Board of Education chose to approve the contract put forth by the Covington Education Association, or CEA, Thursday night during their meeting.
The only member of the school board who chose not to vote for it, Brad Hall, stated that his opposition came because of some wording that he felt violated a teacher’s freedom of choice.
“In one part of the contract, there is a part about teachers having an amount of money taken from their paycheck, as a fee, that goes to a particular organization the teacher may or may not support,” Hall said.
Hall states that the wording goes against his personal value system that supports freedom of choice.
“I have nothing against the teachers, increasing salaries or otherwise enabling them to do the best job for our kids, but I can’t support that language,” Hall said.
Marti Cain, president of the CEA, stated that the negotiations team enjoyed working with the Board’s team and called the process very amicable.
“The CEA is extremely happy with the outcome of the contract,” Cain said. “It has been a long time since we ratified a three-year contract, and we look forward to working with the board of education in helping the students of Covington become productive citizens.”
Prior to the ratification, board member W. Dean Pond chose to present Superintendent David Larson with a plaque for his service. Larson is leaving the Covington to go to Piqua after five years with the school board and thanked everyone for making his time with the district good.
In an addendum to the agenda, Larson and the board approved the hiring of six new teachers. Matthew Gibbins is now the physical education teacher at the elementary school, Kimberly Dunn is a seventh/eighth grade science teacher, and Heidi Anderson is the business/technology teacher at the high school. Additionally, Julie Scott has been hired as an eighth grade language arts teacher, Darleen Steen is the elementary and middle school art teacher, and Julie Scott is the invention specialist for kindergarten through second grade.
Resigning from the district is Heidi Anderson as high school secretary and Sharon Root as middle school librarian. Middle school principal Jason Ahrens resigned to accept a position in Versailles, and Ken Miller will resign his position as central office administrator to begin his role as superintendent.
School district nurse Susie Hileman gave a presentation regarding the issue of lice in schools and the national policy. Currently, the national “No Nit” school policy states that if a child has lice eggs, known as nits, then they need to be sent home until the problem is taken care of and they can safely return to school.
Hileman says that research from the Centers for Disease Control has found that nits are not contagious and oftentimes are pulled out by the child if they are running their fingers through their hair. The spreading of lice is fairly rare, so the current national policy contributes to 12 to 24 school days lost annually from children being sent home. Hileman and the board discussed changing school lice policy to reduce the levels of absenteeism caused by nits.
Annexation was approved by the board, which allows the school to annex land that belongs to the district, which consists of 7.2 acres are located in Newberry Township.
The board approved of a resolution to proceed with the proposition of a renewal income tax. It was determined at last month’s meeting that at least $1,192,178 is needed to keep the school district running and to cover expenses. Voters will get to decide on whether the renewal