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Trotwood-Madison schools selects new board member

Published: Sunday, January 28, 2018 @ 10:00 AM

            Trotwood-Madison City Schools is swearing in a new board member on Monday. On Wednesday, the board will seek information from the community on the district’s search for a new superintendent. PHOTO CREDIT: Trotwood-Madison High School
Trotwood-Madison City Schools is swearing in a new board member on Monday. On Wednesday, the board will seek information from the community on the district’s search for a new superintendent. PHOTO CREDIT: Trotwood-Madison High School(Submitted)

The vacant Trotwood-Madison City Schools board seat is now filled.

The board is appointing Boyd Hastings to fill the position left by former school board President Adrienne Heard, who resigned from the board Dec. 31.

MORE: Trotwood school board member resigning

“He’s been in the community for over 18 years. He was just a natural fit,” said board president, Denise Moore.

Hastings has been teaching for 36 years in both public and private schools, according to his resume.

“The last year, I’ve been working with Central State, and I’ve worked with the city in the past, and it seemed like the right timing to help create opportunities for all three parties,” Hastings said. “To me, (being on the board) is the opportunity of a lifetime because of the timing of everything.”

Hastings will be officially sworn in Monday, Jan. 29.

Interviews for the open board position took place Thursday, Jan. 25.

Ohio law requires the district to fill the position within a month of the resignation of the person who held it previously, according to Janice Allen, Trotwood-Madison City Schools Treasurer.

The school board will also hold a special meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 31 to discuss another change in leadership.

The district is looking for a new superintendent. Current superintendent Kevin Bell announced he will retire in December 2018.

The meeting will start at 11 a.m. with student comments and input and end at 8 p.m. after a general community meeting.

“We want the best candidate for the job and we want to make sure we are doing our due diligence to find that candidate,” Moore said. “We need all hands on deck, our board can’t do this alone. One team, one fight.”

MORE: Trotwood candidates propose fixes after schools rank last in state

The district has put out a search profile criteria questionnaire for those who cannot attend the meeting. The questionnaire asks community members what issues facing the district are most important and what characteristics they are seeking in a new superintendent.

The board plans on having more forums in the future, to continue the conversation, according to Moore.

Allen said the district is hoping to have a new superintendent by the end of June.

“This individual is going to touch all aspects of the community, so it’s important we get community input,” Moore said. “I want every parent, every stakeholder to know that they can have confidence in Trotwood leadership. We’re doing whatever we can to turn this ship around.”

The Board of Education will hold a retreat for its members on Saturday, Feb. 3, where, among other things they will discuss selecting a superintendent and the threat of state takeover this summer by an academic distress commission.

MORE: Trotwood-Madison Schools superintendent to retire

Trotwood-Madison schools ranked last in test scores on the state report card, and faces state takeover if state test scores do not improve this spring.

“We’re very optimistic that won’t be an issue,” Moore said. “We’re going in the right direction. We’re following the district wide plan to the letter.”

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Teen accused in Springfield school threat makes court appearance

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 2:33 PM

Extra police presence at Springfield High School this morning

The Springfield High School student charged in connection with a school threat that caused local schools and schools across the country to take safety precautions Thursday will not be charged as an adult.

Clark County Prosecutor Andy Wilson said in a statement the juvenile court system can handle incidents like these.

MORE: Springfield student arrested in Facebook threat: 4 things to know

“On Feb. 23 a delinquency charge of inducing panic as a second-degree was filed against the defendant in the Clark County juvenile court,” he said. “This charge carries with it the possibility of incarceration in the Ohio Department of Youth Services. This case will remain in juvenile court for adjudication and the State of Ohio will not seek to have this defendant bound over to adult court.”

READ: Springfield-Clark CTC investigates social media threat

What the suspect allegedly did was serious, Wilson said, and it will be prosecuted.

“The actions of this defendant caused serious public inconvenience and alarm,” Wilson said. “This defendant and any other person who posts or issues these kinds of threats will have to answer for their actions in front of a judge.”

He said no one should make threats against a school.

RELATED: Attendance ‘light’ at schools across Clark County after threat

“If the threat involves a school and causes serious public inconvenience or alarm, it is punishable in adult court by a possible sentence of two to eight years in the Ohio State Penitentiary,” he said. “Local law enforcement will continue to take these threats seriously and anyone caught making these types of threats will be arrested and charged.”

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Troy lays out plans for finding new school superintendent

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

            Troy City Schools Board of Education is accepting applications for a new superintendent and will begin interviewing candidates in March. Superintendent Eric Herman is retiring July 31.
Troy City Schools Board of Education is accepting applications for a new superintendent and will begin interviewing candidates in March. Superintendent Eric Herman is retiring July 31.

TROY - The Troy City Schools Board of Education will begin interviewing superintendent candidates March 19 following an application and recruiting process that included a community meeting last week for input on characteristics desired in the next district leader.

K-12 Business Consulting Inc. of New Albany is working with the board of education in the search to replace Eric Herman, who is retiring July 31. Herman has been with the district 20 years, serving as interim superintendent in summer 2010 and superintendent in March 2011. He served as an assistant principal; principal; director of curriculum and technology; and assistant superintendent over the years.

The deadline for applicants is March 9.

The process of reviewing candidates and making recommendations to the board was outlined by consultants Dennis Leone and Lawrence Butler, both former school leaders. The company is being paid $17,900 for its services through hiring of a new superintendent, said Jeff Price, district treasurer.

“We’ve learned a lot here,” Leone told around 20 people, including three former board of education members, attending the community meeting.

The consultants spent the day in the district, including meeting with students and administrators, before the community meeting. Among topics of discussion in the community was the district bond issue for new elementary schools that failed in November.

Several meeting participants said a major issue with the failed proposal was lack of communication. Others discussed the proposal to move from neighborhood elementary schools to two buildings at one location. The offerings of different opportunities at the various school locations today was pointed to as a concern by some participants.

Among questions discussed were district strengths. Participants pointed to tradition, community involvement, fiscal responsibility, a strong community foundation, neighborhood schools, a wide range of opportunities for community involvement and a great draw for staff.

“The hiring of a new superintendent is also an opportunity. It is an important time, a transition,” Leone said.

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Want to be a substitute teacher? Northmont seeking help

Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 4:32 PM

Northmont City Schools logo. CONTRIBUTED.
Northmont City Schools logo. CONTRIBUTED.

Finding substitute teachers is harder than usual, Northmont City Schools leaders said.

The district is currently accepting applications for substitutes for all grades, pre-Kindergarten through grade 12, with a bachelor’s degree in any subject.

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Northmont serves the Clayton area and has seven schools total, with a learning center.

The district is trying to be proactive in finding additional substitutes. Officials noted a lack of education majors graduating college, making it difficult to find subs.

If you are interested, visit the school district’s website for the application and requirements from the Ohio State Board of Education. For additional information, contact Northmont City Schools at (937) 832-5011.

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3 alleged threats and lockdowns add to tense week for schools in Butler County

Published: Friday, February 16, 2018 @ 4:14 PM

Kings Schools are 1 of a few area districts using an anti-shooter device to keep students safer in classrooms.

Just days after a horrific mass school shooting in Florida, three Butler County school systems faced their own threats of violence.

A Hamilton High School student was arrested Thursday for an alleged social media threat, and a Middletown High School student was questioned by city police Friday after allegedly fighting with another student and then, according to fellow students, saying he would go home and return with a gun. Multiple Middletown schools went on lockdown after the report of the threat on Friday.

On Thursday, a Ross High School student, who allegedly posted on social media he could “beat” the casualty toll of the shootings at the Florida high school, which left 17 dead, was arrested and remains in custody. That Ross teen now faces felony charges of inducing panic.

MORE: Hamilton student arrested for threat

MORE: Middletown High School questioned by police after threat

MORE: Ross High School student arrested and jailed after threat

The alleged threats were part of an extraordinarily tense week of school security concerns as the nation remains shaken by the Parkland, Fla. school killings.

“We take all threats seriously and will continue to work together with the Hamilton Police Department to ensure the safety of our students and staff,” Hamilton High School Principal John Wilhelm said in a statement.

“Simply put, we will show zero tolerance for any threatening behavior.”

The scene outside of Middletown High School was emotionally tense after the threat became known to school parents, who were alerted by their children ordered to stay in their classrooms during Friday’s lockdown.

Police rushed to the school and closed down the school’s doors, keeping anyone from leaving or coming in, said Middletown Police Major Scott Reeve.

Reeve said parents were “very sensitive” about concerns of deadly school violence after a former student gunned down students and staff members at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones predicted on Thursday the school shooting would produce “copy cats” during a Facebook video he posted.

MORE: Butler County Sheriff calls for armed guards in schools 

Jones also renewed his call from years ago, lobbying Butler County school officials to allow armed personnel – perhaps retired military veterans or retired police officers – to patrol local schools to deter attacks.

In Warren County, the Kings Schools has been a leader in school security measures by using a simple metal device currently employed by only a handful of southwest Ohio school systems. Portable door wedges that secure heavy classroom doors from being pushed or blasted by gunfire into opening hang by each classroom in the 4,500-student, suburban district in Deerfield Township.

Kings Schools is one of only a handful in Southwest Ohio to use door security devices designed to be installed during active shooter attacks. The Warren County district made the devices available to all its classrooms in 2014.(Staff Writer)

Dubbed “Bearacades” and made by an Ohio company of the same name, the door stop, which is quickly and easily secured by a sturdy metal pin inserted into a hole drilled into a school’s cement under flooring, transforms classrooms into safer havens from active shooters loose in a school building, officials said.

“The Bearacade gives us that tool and that option to make sure we can lock down and keep our kids safe, and it’s going to buy us a lot of time to get those (police) authorities here to help us against an armed, active shooter,” said Dustin Goldie, a veteran Kings High School teacher.

But, said Bill Cushwa, Founder/CEO of Bearacade, “there is no magic solution. Bearacade units are one added layer of safety.”

“Getting out and away is always the ideal situation. That is why all response protocols lead with run, avoid or get out,” said Cushwa. “But, as demonstrated in Florida, if there isn’t enough information, the way out is too dangerous, or you are on an upper floor, locking and blocking the entry into your space is the next best option.”

Kings senior Chris Lane said he and his classmates – many of whom are trained in how to install the door devices - appreciate the school district’s extra security efforts.

“It (door device) is really appreciated around here, especially after what happened (in Florida) because it shows us that the teachers want to keep us safe,” said Lane.

Staff Writers Rick McCrabb and Wayne Baker contributed to this story

VIDEO: See an active shooter drill where a Kings teacher uses a special security door device

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