Pickerington Schools honors top teacher; moves forward after lev
Pickerington School Board members opened their May 11 meeting with a big "thank you" to the community for their support and passage of Issue 7, the no new tax levy extending the schools maintenance levy until 2032.
Time tables and plans were presented for the upgrades and maintenance that now will be possible with the $50 million dollars that is estimated to be raised by the passage and from funds from the state.
In other news, Pickerington High School North teacher Meg Winkler was recognized as the District Teacher-of-the-Year as determined by votes from her fellow teachers and other colleagues.
Winkler was also one of 11 teachers who received commendations from the board for being voted teachers-of-the-year in their respective schools. The 11 are May Redding, Fairfield Elementary; Greg VanKannel, Heritage Elementary; Jean Monnin, Pickerington Elementary; Denise Fortenbacher, Tussing Elementary; Curt Householder, Violet Elementary; Jody Schwartz, Diley Middle School; Molly Zeiher, Lakeview Junior High; Joseph Uher, Ridgeview Junior High; Katie Weekley, Pickerington High School Central; and Meg Winkler of PHSN.
In addition, four Support Services Employees were recognized as employees-of-the-year. The four were Charles Bailey, Custodial/Maintenance; Diana Browning, Food Services; Mary Jo Carlisle, Instructional Assistant; and Gloria McDaniel, Secretary.
The board tabled the second reading of a revision to eligibility procedures, as suggested by the Executive Athletic Board. The revision calls for a change in the way academic eligibility is determined for participation in extra-curricular activities.
As the rule is now, a student must have a 1.75 cumulative grade point average (GPA) to participate in extra-curricular activities. The new rule being suggested calls for a student to achieve a 2.0 GPA for the grading period immediately before or during the term of the activity.
The goal is to allow students who have been able to improve their grades to be able to participate in their chosen activities without being held out because their cumulative GPA does not reflect their improved academic performance.
Board member Wes Monhollen continues to oppose the change to a 2.0 grading period GPA from a 1.75 cumulative GPA because he feels it is not fair to raise the bar above state minimum grade requirements.
Monhollen does agree with removing the requirement for a cumulative GPA and would like to see the rules changed so that a student may participate with a single term GPA of 1.75.
The auditorium and balcony of Heritage Elementary was filled with more than 70 lacrosse playing students, their families, coaches and fans who turned out to support a call for the board to reconsider their March decision not to recognize lacrosse as a school sport.
As the fastest growing sport in the United States, since 2002, the number of teams in Ohio has doubled from 51 to 102. More than 250 Pickerington students from elementary through high school, boys and girls, are now playing lacrosse.
Recognition of a sport allows the student athlete to receive an athletic letter for their varsity team achievements, makes available greater opportunities to compete for college scholarships, and provides team coaches and staff the full weight of the school district to enforce academic eligibility requirements as well as school standards and rules.
Currently, fees paid by Pickerington students playing lacrosse do not go toward the district's pay to play funds.
A student participating in a district-recognized sport pays $190 each to play, while lacrosse players pay $150 each to participate. Parents of lacrosse players have said that they are willing to pay the additional $40 each to have the sport recognized. The parents have also offered three different proposals to cover any new costs the district may incur by recognizing lacrosse.
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