Alder must fill vacant school board seat


(Posted Nov. 16, 2017)

By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer

Once this year is up, Jonathan Alder Local Schools will need to fill a vacancy on its five-member school board.

Two board seats were up for election in the Nov. 7 general election. Only one candidate, incumbent Mary Jo Boyd, was certified for the ballot. Shannon Foust had planned to run for re-election, too, but the Madison County Board of Elections rejected his candidacy petition because it was not filled out properly.

The district is accepting letters from school district residents interested in filling the vacancy. Letters should be sent to Superintendent Gary Chapman by Jan. 10. Foust expressed interest in the seat at the board’s October meeting.

It’s up to the remaining board members to appoint someone to fill the vacancy. Typically, new board members are sworn in at the board’s annual organizational meeting in January. Currently, that meeting is set for Jan. 8.

“We could move the meeting to Jan. 11 and appoint someone at that time,” Chapman said.

School calendar

At the board’s Nov. 13 meeting, Chapman shared his draft plan for the school calendar for the coming two years.

In the 2018-19 school year, classes would begin Aug. 22 and end May 30. The following year, classes would begin Aug. 20 and end May 28.

While the proposed calendars are posted on the district’s website, Chapman emphasized that they are only drafts.

The public is invited to comment on the calendars during a public hearing at the board’s next meeting, set for 6:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at Canaan Middle School.

Social work update

Social worker JoLynn Whatley gave a review of the “Signs of Suicide” program recently presented to parents and students. The program was first presented to Canaan Middle School students, then to sophomores Nov. 13-15. The eighth-grade presentation is set for Dec. 4.

About 20 percent of the sixth-graders were found to need some kind of follow-up, Whatley said.

“We’re going to continue this program every year,” she added.

Whatley also talked about a recent opiate and heroin awareness presentation made to seniors. She said only 30 students completed a survey after the program, but 53 percent of that group said the presentation changed their thinking while 93 percent recommended that other students see it.

“I plan to meet with Mr. (Mike) Aurin (high school principal) to schedule other grades for this presentation,” Whatley said.

“Bully Proof” presentations given to all staff and bus drivers during a recent professional development day are being given to students this month.


The board recognized several donors: Marysville Elks Lodge 1130 for their annual gift of a dictionary to every third-grader; Madison County Vineyard for gifts to students at Plain City and Monroe elementary schools and Canaan Middle School in support of Kindness Day; and the Plain City Police Department for their drug and alcohol awareness presentation during a recent professional development day.

The board’s next meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at Canaan Middle School.

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