Tipp BOE approves leadership changes

Begins process of becoming partially self-insured

By Cecilia Fox

For Miami Valley Today

TIPP CITY — Tipp City Board of Education approved leadership changes and voted to withdraw from its current health insurance plan and become partially self-insured.

The board approved the resignation of Steve Verhoff as the high school principal in preparation for taking over the role of assistant superintendent. At a previous meeting, the board accepted the resignation of Assistant Superintendent Galen Gingerich, who will serve as the principal of Nevin Coppock.

“I’m very excited about this change. I’ve served the district as a teacher, as assistant principal, as high school principal and now transitioning to this role where I will be able to help advance academic achievement for all of our students, help with our staff and really work to develop the whole child,” Verhoff said.

The board voted to inform the Southwest Ohio Educational Purchasing Council (EPC) of its decision to withdraw from the organization’s medical and prescription plan.

Board member Theresa Dunaway said the district is unhappy with rising health insurance costs, citing a recent 26 percent increase.

“I’m looking for the stability in financial budgeting, as well as the cost savings,” district treasurer Dave Stevens said. Superintendent Gretta Kumpf agreed and said the unpredictable jumps in cost made it difficult for the district to plan financially.

Board member Sam Spano asked if the district would need to adjust its appropriations to cover the expense of self-insurance. Stevens said the amounts listed in the district’s appropriations include the increase in costs associated with its health insurance through the EPC and should not need to be increased.

The board also discussed the implementation of Latin honors for graduation seniors, which replaced the naming of valedictorians and salutatorians.

A parent raised concerns about the new system, saying that it does not take weighted GPAs into account. She said that her son was ranked third in his graduating class, but did not receive higher Latin honors because his weighted classes were not factored in.

Kumpf said the administration will “have to really look at” and learn from the implementation of the new system.

“I didn’t realize that there was that level of a mismatch,” she said.

In other business the board hired a new athletic director, Kregg Creamer, on a two year contract. Creamer previously held the same position at Dixie High School in New Lebanon.

“We’re very excited to have him on board,” Kumpf said.

Athletic Director J.D. Foust left the district to serve as the athletic director for Middletown City Schools.

The board also approved the replacement of the polyurethane track surface at a cost of $184,500. The work includes the repair of the asphalt base and resurfacing of the track oval, chute runoff, high jump, long jump, and pole vault runway.

Stevens said the district had originally budgeted $250,000 for the work in the general fund. The current track surface is about 12 years old, which Stevens said is past the normal lifespan.

The board also approved the 2020 tax budget for the Tipp City Public Library.

Begins process of becoming partially self-insured