(Posted Jan. 22, 2016)
By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer
When the high school athletic season begins this fall, the Ohio Heritage Conference will have 12 member schools, including Madison-Plains.
This will be Madison-Plains’ first year in the conference, along with Fairbanks, West Jefferson and Enon Greenon, said Athletic Director Matt Mason at the Jan. 13 Madison-Plains school board meeting.
“There will be two divisions,” Mason said.
Schools already in the league are West Liberty-Salem, North Lewisburg Triad, Mechanicsburg, Greeneview, Cedarville, Springfield Catholic Central, Springfield Northeastern and South Charleston Southeastern.
“I’m pleased with this new conference. It fits us well,” Mason said.
All Madison-Plains teams except football will play in the new conference beginning this fall. The football team will begin competition in the Ohio Heritage Conference in 2017.
The next step is to change from the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s Central District to the Southwest District.
“We have to ask the Central District if we can leave and then ask the Southwest District if we can join,” Mason said.
As part of the board’s annual reorganization, Bob Butz and Mark Mason were sworn in as newly elected members of the board. Butz was re-elected in November, and Mason was elected to his first term.
Mike Datz was elected president for the coming year and Butz will serve as vice president.
The board also adopted a meeting schedule for the coming year. Board meet-ings will be held Feb. 16, March 15, April 19, May 17, June 14, July 12, Aug. 16, Sept. 20, Oct.18, Nov. 15, Dec. 13, and Jan. 10, 2017.
The board voted 4-1 to have John Podgurski serve as legal counsel. Dave Hunter cast the lone negative vote on the matter.
“Have we looked for someone else?” he asked.
Superintendent Tim Dettwiller said he would look for someone to serve as a backup and present names at an upcoming meeting.
Dettwiller presented a draft of the school calendar for the next three years. He sought a starting date for school each year.
“Do we want a specific date to start, such as Aug. 15, or do we want a definite day, such as the third Monday of August?” he asked.
Members verbally responded that they prefer the third Monday of August. Dettwiller said he plans to have the full calendar ready at the February meeting.
This year’s graduation exercises will start earlier than normal because, as Dettwiller said, “an administrator has a son graduating at the same time.” He did not name the administrator or what school district is involved.
“That person has the right to be with his son,” Hunter said.
Two high school students were honored out as students of the month: James Lawless for December and Kayle Mast for January. Lawless is active in 4-H and marching band and wants to pursue mechanical and computer engineering. Mast is active in FFA, is a member of the National Honor Society, is a cheerleader and plays volleyball. She wants to study cosmetology and agri-business.
At the close of the meeting, the board went into an executive session to discuss personnel issues.