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Published: Wednesday, March 07, 2018 @ 4:00 AM
HAMILTON — A historic change may be coming for Hamilton High School students, as talks begin with Butler Tech to merge the high school’s job training program into the larger county-wide career school.
Hamilton schools have for years been the lone holdout among nine other Butler County public school districts in not partnering with the Butler Tech career schools spread throughout the county.
The Hamilton High School’s Career Tech Education (CTE) center, located adjacent to the high school, has offered nine career training programs annually for about 500 juniors and seniors.
Staying with a local career training program, which Hamilton has offered in various forms since the 1940s, provided advantages including saving on transportation costs and allowing students to easily participate in other school activities while in the program.
But Steve Isgro, president of the Hamilton Board of Education, said, “while having local control of these programs has its benefits, the district is limited in the offerings it can provide as compared to Butler Tech.”
In a joint statement issued recently, Isgro said, “we are committed to maintaining the best programs for all of our students. Based on what we have learned to this point, we believe a partnership with Butler Tech could reduce operational costs and expand educational opportunities for our students at the same time.”
Butler Tech is one of the largest career education systems in Ohio and offers dozens of constantly updated job-training programs – many with the cooperation of area industries – for thousands of high school and adult students.
Jon Graft, superintendent and CEO of Butler Tech, said, “we are excited to collaborate with Hamilton City Schools and explore how a partnership might provide additional value and opportunity for students and the community.”
“We are on the leading edge of a cultural shift that is placing greater emphasis on career technical education in preparing students for 21st century careers and lowering the cost of higher education. Hamilton has an outstanding CTE program today, and a partnership with Butler Tech could significantly expand the choices Hamilton students have to start pursuing their dreams,” said Graft.
Hamilton schools enroll 10,000 students and is one of the largest school districts in southwest Ohio.
Butler Tech serves about 1,400 students on its high school campuses and approximately 15,600 students daily through programs based in its associate high schools, middle schools and junior schools in local school districts. It serves more than 2,000 adult students a year in its adult education programs.
Besides nine Butler County school districts, Butler Tech also serves as the career education provider for Northwest schools in northern Hamilton County near the Butler County southern border.
Officials from both school systems said that although discussions have begun, no decisions have been made regarding any possible timelines for completion, programming changes or school facilities.
Middletown schools joined the Butler Tech system in 1995, and Monroe schools joined in 2000.
Published: Friday, June 15, 2018 @ 8:35 AM
CENTERVILLE — Centerville City Schools has named Tammy Drerup as the districts new director of student services. Drerup will begin her new post beginning Aug. 1.
Drerup comes into the new position after serving as the director of Special Education for Sidney City Schools since 2013. She said she is looking forward to joining the school district.
“I am honored to be the next Director of Student Services for Centerville City Schools,” Drerup said. “After interviewing with a variety of staff members from across the district, I am confident I am joining a team which shares my values and puts students first. I am grateful for my time in Sidney City Schools, as they have helped me develop my skills in advocating for all children. I am excited to begin the 2018-19 school year as a Centerville Elk.”
Drerup has 25 years of experience in education, including roles as an intervention specialist, curriculum specialist, early intervention coordinator and Director of Special Education.
In her new position, Drerup will oversee a variety of programs for Centerville Schools, including special education, Section 504 plans, programming for English Language Learners, school health, home instruction, gifted acceleration, and school attendance and truancy.
The position was posted in April, and a committee reviewed more than 40 resumes before interviewing seven internal and external applicants prior to making its selection according to school officials.
Drerup’s contract is expected to be approved by the Centerville Board of Education during its June 18 work session.
She will replace Laura Collier, who has accepted another position within the district after serving as director of Student Services for three years.
Published: Saturday, June 09, 2018 @ 4:25 PM
MIDDLETOWN — There were Middletown Middie memories for sale on Saturday during a public auction in the historic and soon-to-be-demolished old high school.
A pair of auctioneers went from classroom to classroom, moving almost as fast they rattled off cut-rate bargain prices for anything left in the former Middletown High School, which is the oldest school building in Butler County.
Want a book cart on wheels? It was yours for $5 — and maybe even $3 if dented.
How about a plastic replica of the human heart from the old science lab?
Or a thick, wooden classroom door? Or a chalkboard? Sheets of plexiglass used in ceramics class? Yours for 75 cents each.
Dozens of potential buyers — and among them the simply curious — wandered around the old school for the last time as Middletown school officials prepare to clear out and gut the building in preparation for its demolition.
Used in recent years as a middle school, the old Middletown High School first opened to students in 1923, while Warren G. Harding was president of the United States.
The massive, nearly city block-long school was once Middletown High School and the storied home for the city’s sports legends – including NBA Hall Of Famer Jerry Lucas - and tens of thousands of graduates.
One of them was Suzanne Tadych. Her children then attended the school when it was converted to a middle school.
“We are having fun today finding our old lockers and going to our old homerooms,” said the Middletown resident.
She came with friends who were looking to buy school items, but Tadych said “we really wanted to reminisce and explore.”
“It’s part of our history and our family. It holds a lot of memories and it’s something you can connect to the generation before that went to high school here so it’s kind of a connection we all have,” she said.
Published: Saturday, June 02, 2018 @ 10:44 AM
— As officials gathered last week to break ground on the Fairborn Primary School, school board President Andrew Wilson was asked what will be different in the new building.
“Just about everything,” he said.
The new school will replace a 60-year-old, outdated building, officials said. The new two-story, 132,000-square-foot building will be constructed next to the playground at the current PreK-2 school. It will cost between $26 and $27 million and accommodate 1,214 students and 110 employees. The design incorporates colors and suggestions from staff.
Students will remain in the existing primary school until fall 2020, when they will move to the new school. Intermediate students will then move from the school on Dellwood Drive to the former primary school while a new intermediate school is built. In summer 2022, the city plans to demolish the old primary school, and intermediate students will return to a new school on Dellwood Drive that fall.
Moving intermediate students into the current PreK-2 school will prevent the district from needing to create a temporary space for those students and save money, they said.
The 2.95-mil bond levy funding construction for the new primary and intermediate school buildings passed by nearly 60 percent in November.
At a Friday morning groundbreaking ceremony at the current primary school, a few hundred staff members, teachers and parents celebrated the new building. Fairborn Mayor Paul Keller said in his speech that the building is “a huge step forward” for the city.
Keller said the current building doesn’t have the correct power distribution to handle modern equipment and computers. When it rains, water runs across the floor. Staff have been taping fans to electrical components to keep them from overheating.
The old building has a sprawling layout. Wilson said there are probably a half-mile of corridors inside it. That poses challenges when staff move students around the buildings for events such as tutoring.
“Right now it probably takes five minutes to go and get the student and then five minutes to walk him back,” he said.
The new building will be more compact. It will also have centralized air conditioning, while the old building only has window units.
Rooms in the new building will be paired together with removeable dividers. The gymnasium meets the requirements to serve as a tornado shelter.
“I think it’s awesome,” said Cheryl Wylie, who works as a special education aid to kindergarten students.
Wylie is most excited for the separate bathroom that will be attached to the room where the aids work with students. Current bathroom layouts would make it difficult for aids to assist students in wheelchairs who wear diapers, she said.
No students who use wheelchairs currently attend the school, but Wylie said it’s good for the school to be prepared in the future.
Keller brought up the Fairborn slogan, “a city in motion,” and said the new buildings are part of several new improvements for the city, including economic development and new housing.
Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 9:38 AM
MASON — The Mason City Schools Board of Education this week unanimously approved hiring Robert “Bobby” Dodd as Mason High School principal beginning Aug. 1.
Dodd will replace Dave Hyatt, who is retiring at the end of the school year and moving to Vermont.
“We love Mr. Dodd’s commitment to connection, his experience, and exciting vision — especially his mantra of working collaboratively to find ways to say ‘yes’ to students in order to honor their ideas, hopes, and dreams,” said Jonathan Cooper, Mason’s deputy superintendent who will become superintendent on July 1.
“He is a student-centered instructional leader who is excited to co-create the next iteration of MHS.”
Dodd has served as the principal of Gahanna Lincoln High School since 2014 and was the principal of New Lexington High School for three years prior to that.
RELATED: Mason principal stepping down
Dodd developed digital academies, college summer camps, a fabrication laboratory that includes a graphics design lab which manufactures and produces products for sale around the world, Early College High School and personalized learning environments, Mason said in a news release announcing his hiring.
Dodd has received awards for his contributions as a connected educator including the 2016 NASSP National Digital Principal of the Year award.
“As difficult as it is to leave Gahanna Lincoln, I am excited to be a part of the Mason City Schools team. I can’t wait to start building relationships and help our students, staff and community do amazing things. Mason High School is one of the finest schools in the state and I hope to work with all of our stakeholders to continue the tradition of excellence,” Dodd said in the release.
Dodd received a bachelor’s degree in history from John Carroll University in 1995, a law degree from St. Thomas University in Miami Lakes, Fla., in 1999, a bachelor’s degree in information technology from DeVry University in 2000 and a Master of Arts in educational leadership from the University of Cincinnati in 2009.