MP renovation committee submits first check

There were plenty of donations and pats on the back to go around at the Oct. 21 meeting of the Madison-Plains school board.

Among them was Steve Adams’ presentation of an $80,000 check to the district. Adams represents the Golden Eagle Complex Renovation Committee, and the check represents the committee’s first installment in repaying the district for fronting the money for the new home bleachers at the football field.

The committee has raised $190,000 in pledges toward the $220,000 project, and continues to collect donations. One of the recent donors was the Ohio State Eagles Charity Fund.

"I’m happy to report that everybody that’s pledged has come through with their pledge," Adams said, noting that the project would have cost $300,000 if it hadn’t been for volunteer labor and assistance from school district staff in putting up the bleachers.

Wayne Holland, a member of the renovation committee, praised the administrators for the sweat they’ve put into the project—pointing to high school principal Chris Clark, superintendent Bernie Hall, treasurer Scott Hiles, and school board member Michael Brandt.

"They were consistently at every work session we’ve had," Holland said.

The renovation committee has more improvement projects in mind, including regrading the football field and putting in a well to get a water source near the field and practice fields.

Anyone who wants to make a donation of money or time can contact Steve Adams or Wayne Holland or call Chris Clark at the high school, 740-852-0364.

The school board also accepted $300 for the high school band and $250 for the middle school band from the West Jefferson Community Association, as well as $2,500 from Walmart to purchase a smart board for Mount Sterling Elementary.

Marching band takes three firsts
In other good news, band director Derek Scoles informed the board that the high school marching band won first place in three of its four competitions this season. At the most recent contest, held last weekend in Copley, Ohio, Madison-Plains came within five points on a 300-point scale of qualifying for state competition. It’s the closest the Golden Eagles have come to qualifying in 12 years, Scoles said.

Members of the school board and individuals attending the board meeting praised Scoles for the band’s achievements and asked about the program’s future.

Scoles said this year’s sixth-grade band has over 50 members and is the largest it’s been in a decade. Altogether, the middle school band has 120 members, 44 of whom are eighth-graders, which bodes well for the high school’s band size next year. This year, the high school band has 60 members; next year, it has the potential to have 75, Scoles said.

Right To Read state recognition
Pam Drone, the district’s Right To Read coordinator reported that Madison-Plains will be recognized at a conference of the Ohio Council of the International Reading Association on Nov. 7. The district was one of 44 districts in the state to record 100 percent participation in Right To Read activities last year across all grade levels. Madison-Plains was the only district in Madison County to earn that distinction and one of only six in central Ohio, Drone reported.

Retirees honored
Each fall, the school board recognizes the staff members who retired during the previous school year. This past year, they included:

• Sharon Vallery—middle school librarian, 20 years of service to Madison-Plains;
• Gary Simms—high school science teacher, 28 years with the district
• James Miller, eighth-grade science teacher, 33 years with the district
• Mary Beery, first-grade teacher at Midway Elementary, 30 years with district
• LaDonna Reeder, fifth-grade teacher at Madison Rural Elementary, 20 years with the district; and
• Sharon Blowers, second-grade teacher at Madison Rural Elementary, 35 years with the district.

Vallery thanked the board and said, "I have five grandkids at Midway School. My time of enjoying Madison-Plains isn’t over with."

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