By Aimee Hancock
For the Troy Daily News
NEWTON — At its Wednesday meeting, the Newton Board of Education approved the school district’s five-year financial forecast, which estimates revenues, expenditures and other financing uses for fiscal years 2017-2021 in comparison to actual expenditures and revenue totals from fiscal years 2014-2016.
The forecast is based on historical patterns and takes into account any tax increases.
Treasurer Nick Hamilton also told the board that auditors plan to begin work on the district’s audit next week. This is a regularly scheduled audit that takes place every two years.
The board also approved an annual resolution for transportation reimbursement. According to the Ohio Revised Code, students who live in Newton School District, but attend other schools, are still entitled to transportation to and from school by the district. This puts excessive pressure on the district, which has a lack of equipment, maintenance, and personnel to carry out such duty while sustaining existing transportation schedules, according to Hamilton. Thus, according to the annual resolution, parents of these students will be compensated the average cost of transportation for each student, he said. This cost is computed by the Ohio Department of Education. According to Hamilton, the district received six and seven applications for reimbursement last year, with each repayment totaling around $250.
The board meeting began Wednesday with public participation from four of the district’s high school students.
The students participated in a school-funded trip to Costa Rica over the summer, and had come to the meeting to tell of their experiences, as well as to express gratitude to the board for its role in making the trip possible.
The group went on to share their favorite parts of the trip, which included visiting Manuel Antonia National Park, leatherback turtle sightings, swimming at secluded beaches, and the “crazy warm” Pacific.
The trip, which lasted from June 3-10, consisted of 10 Newton students, six adult chaperones, including four parents, and two school chaperones, teacher Neal Hans and IT technician Stan Fessler.
Hans teaches anatomy, biology and life sciences at Newton High School, and is advisor of the science club. He was also in attendance at Wednesday’s meeting, and said the educational value of the trip was priceless.
“I don’t think there is any substitute for actually going somewhere and experiencing something,” he said.
Hans also credited the students for their noteworthy behavior and show of character throughout the trip.
“They represented your school tremendously,” Hans said to the board.
The board approved an overnight field trip to the National FFA Convention for approximately seven to 10 students, along with teacher Mr. McCullough. The convention takes place Oct. 25-28 in Indianapolis, Ind.
Also approved was the hiring of personnel, including Eric Schindler as assistant baseball coach, and Hanna Garber as substitute cafeteria worker/classified substitute.
Lastly, the board discussed the planting of two memorial trees in honor of 2016 Newton graduate Sierra Flanary, who passed away Sept. 4 of this year after a battle with sarcoma cancer. The trees will be planted on Oct. 30, and will include plaques with Sierra’s name. One tree will be located in front of the school, and the other by the soccer field.