West Carrollton superintendent search resumes tonight

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 12:49 PM


            The West Carrollton City Schools Board of Education is interviewing several candidates with area ties for the superintendent’s job being vacated this summer by Rusty Clifford. NICK BLIZZARD

The West Carrollton City Schools superintendent’s job is scheduled to be discussed tonight.

The board of education is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. in executive session to discuss the post for which 10 people have been identified as candidates. Board President Roberta Phillips has said the district wants to make a decision by early May on a successor for longtime Superintendent Rusty Clifford, whose resignation is effective July 31.

RELATED: Sixteen administrators applied for post

It’s not clear if tonight’s session will involve candidate interviews or discussion. It is the fifth special meeting called this month involving superintendent candidates. The board also met Saturday regarding the job after holding executive sessions on March 8, 11 and 13.

Sixteen Ohio school administrators applied for the job and the board opted to interview 10, including a handful with area ties.

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Those selected for interviews with the district for the job held since 1999 by Clifford include:

-Amy Baldridge, Greene County Educational Service Center director of educational programs;

-Kimberly Hall, Walter Shade Early Childhood Center principal in West Carrollton;

-Shelley Hilderbrand, Huber Heights City Schools assistant superintendent;

-Matthew McCorkle, former Washington Court House Schools superintendent;

-Jeff Patrick, Franklin-Monroe Local Schools superintendent.

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The other five include: Thomas Bailey, assistant superintendent of Three Rivers Local Schools in Cleves near Cincinnati; Martha Hasselbusch, superintendent of South Central in Greenwich; Robert Humble, superintendent of Fairbanks Local Schools in Milford Center; Michael McCoy, superintendent of Oak Hill Union Local Schools in Jackson County; and Andrea Townsend, superintendent of New Bremen Local Schools in Auglaize County.

Tonight’s session is scheduled to be at the board of education office, 430 E. Pease Ave.

Jefferson Twp. school treasurer on leave as district fixes finances

Published: Friday, March 24, 2017 @ 3:11 PM


            In 2015, Jefferson Twp. Local School District Treasurer Chris Frame accepted this award by the Auditor of the State’s office after a clean audit report. Last month, the state said the district’s books could not be audited, and the school board placed Frame on paid administrative leave. CONTRIBUTED

Jefferson Twp. Local Schools has placed its treasurer on leave and hired someone else to fix the books after a state audit found the district’s financial books “unauditable.”

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Superintendent Richard Gates last month promised to correct problems identified in the state audit. On Friday, he outlined the changes made so far, including submitting corrected books earlier this month and hiring a temporary treasurer, Laura Sauber.

“We have done that. All of our records have been submitted,” Gates said.

Treasurer Chris Frame is on paid administrative leave, and Gates was asked if Frame would return.

“That’s a personnel concern, and if I could elaborate on that, I would. But right now, the direction we’re moving in is the direction that we intend tof continue to go in. Because of the movements that we’ve made,” Gates said.

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In February, State Auditor Dave Yost said Jefferson Twp. Schools’ finances could not be audited for the period of July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016, because of their condition. He gave the district 90 days to fix the issues, but Gates then said it would take one-third of the time.

On Friday, Dominic Binkley at Yost’s office acknowledged receipt of Jefferson Twp.’s revised records and said the audit already has started.

“The district will remain on the ‘unauditable’ list until their audit is completed and released to the public,” Binkley said.

For now, Jefferson Twp. is the only traditional district in Ohio on that list.

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Gates said he did not want the situation with the audit to overshadow positive developments in the district.

“We’re very optimistic,” he said, “very optimistic about the future and the way this is going.”

“We have no intentions of ever having the fiscal responsibilities with Jefferson Twp. not complete and not to the point where they can be transparently interpreted to our public,” the superintendent said.

Last year, Jefferson Twp. Schools had some good news as it ranked third in the state in K-3 literacy improvement.

Miami appoints its newest university trustee

Published: Friday, March 24, 2017 @ 10:09 AM
Updated: Friday, March 24, 2017 @ 10:11 AM


            Rod Robinson, founder, President and CEO of ConnXus, has been appointed to Miami University’s board of trustees.

Gov. John Kasich has appointed Rod Robinson, founder, President and CEO of ConnXus, to Miami University’s board of trustees.

Robinson earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the West Virginia University Institute of Technology and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Dun & Bradstreet fellowship recipient.

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Robinson was recognized by Ernst & Young as an Entrepreneur of the Year finalist in 2012.

He is an advisory board member of the Techstars Foundation, an organization focused on increasing diversity in tech entrepreneurship.

Robinson is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.

Trustees are appointed to nine-year terms. Robinson fills the vacant position formerly held by the late Harry T. Wilks and will serve until Feb. 28, 2026.

Wright State among colleges with food pantries

Published: Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 4:43 PM
Updated: Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 4:43 PM


            In this Feb. 5, 2016, photo, Vedant Kale, a first-year finance student from Aurangabad, India, shelves donated food in a new pantry at the University of Toledo. Photo by Jetta Fraser/The Blade
            Jetta Fraser

College students typically look for ways to cut costs – stay in dumpy apartments, eat Ramen noodles, rent used textbooks, wear thrift store clothes.

But hitting the food pantry?

A new report on poverty from the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies identifies a dozen colleges and universities with food pantries on campus to serve students, including Wright State University. The pantries provide another illustration of Ohio’s college affordability problem.

“You might not see (poverty) on college campuses a lot but I do think it’s still there,” said Mary Case, coordinator of Wright State’s Friendship Food Pantry. “Unfortunately, being a starving college kid is almost expected. It’s almost become a joke.”

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Wright State’s pantry was started in 2011 and is located on the first floor of Allyn Hall. The pantry, which serves anywhere from 10 to 50 students a week, is divided up into three small rooms, Case said.

The first room is where those in need present their student ID and class schedule, Case said. The second room, which is just big enough to fit two people at a time, is where students shop for food or hygiene products. The third room is where the 1,000 pounds of food people donate every month is stored, Case said.

The report found that 64 percent of students who have limited or uncertain access to adequate food also have difficulty with housing. One in four college students are “highly non-traditional” – working part-time or full-time, raising kids, or lack a high school diploma, the report says.

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Food pantries have opened at Wright State, Ohio State, Cleveland State, Kent State, Xavier University, the University of Akron, University of Toledo, University of Cincinnati, and four community colleges, according to the report. One of those community colleges — Owens in Toledo — saw a need and opened the pantry to staff members, said Phil Cole, executive director of the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies.

The Project on Student Debt reports that among the two-thirds of four-year college students who borrow to attend school, the average debt upon graduation is $30,239.

The College and University Food Bank Alliance, a national association, had 400 members by the end of last year. In its report in October, “Hunger on Campus,” the alliance surveyed 3,765 students in 12 states and found 48 percent of them reported “food insecurity” in the previous 30 days.

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The poverty report comes as federal cuts impacting colleges are in the works. The Trump administration is proposing a $3.9 billion reduction in discretionary Pell Grant funding for fiscal year 2018 and House Republicans on the Education and Workforce Committee plan to eliminate $65 billion in mandatory Pell Grant funds over 10 years.

Pell Grants, which cover up to $5,920 per school year, are used by 7.5 million Americans to attend college.

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West Carrollton ‘close’ to picking superintendent, board leader says

Published: Wednesday, March 22, 2017 @ 12:11 PM


            West Carrollton board of education members had five executive sessions to interview superintendent candidates. NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF

The selection of the next superintendent for West Carrollton City Schools may be nearing.

Board of education President Roberta Phillips indicated today the district’s next move “will be making an offer and refining the contract. We are close.”

RELATED: Five with area ties among 10 picked for interviews

Phillips’ comments follow five executive sessions the board scheduled to interview 10 candidates in choosing a successor to longtime Superintendent Rusty Clifford, who is resigning effective July 31.

RELATED: Clifford resigning after nearly 2 decades on job

She did not indicate which candidate(s) the board is considering.

MORE: Fairborn hires Lebanon superintendent

Those with area ties selected for interviews with the district for the job held since 1999 by Clifford include:

-Amy Baldridge, Greene County Educational Service Center director of educational programs;

-Kimberly Hall, Walter Shade Early Childhood Center principal in West Carrollton;

-Shelley Hilderbrand, Huber Heights City Schools assistant superintendent;

-Matthew McCorkle, former Washington Court House Schools superintendent;

-Jeff Patrick, Franklin-Monroe Local Schools superintendent.

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The other five include: Thomas Bailey, assistant superintendent of Three Rivers Local Schools in Cleves near Cincinnati; Martha Hasselbusch, superintendent of South Central in Greenwich; Robert Humble, superintendent of Fairbanks Local Schools in Milford Center; Michael McCoy, superintendent of Oak Hill Union Local Schools in Jackson County; and Andrea Townsend, superintendent of New Bremen Local Schools in Auglaize County.