(Posted Aug. 3, 2022)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Madison-Plains Local Schools will be on the Nov. 8 election ballot, requesting a five-year renewal of a 2.5-mill property tax levy for permanent improvements.
“It’s just a renewal. It’s not a new tax,” said Mark Mason, school board president.
The levy generates approximately $350,000 per year for improvements to buildings and grounds and the purchase of school buses. The money cannot be used for operating expenses, such as salaries, benefits and utilities.
Todd Mustain, district treasurer, noted that a large portion of the permanent improvement dollars goes toward the purchase of buses which cost about $110,000 each. The district buys two new buses each year. This rotation schedule ensures that no buses in the fleet are more than 10 years old.
“Our bus fleet is very important in a district of our size to keep quality buses on the road,” said Mustain, adding that quality buses are more fuel efficient and require less maintenance which, in turn, reduces operating costs.
He added that the district’s facilities are “aging more and more every year.”
Over the years, district residents have consistently voted to renew the permanent improvement levy.
“We appreciate the voters approving it as they have in the past, and we hope they continue to do so because it really is vital to our district,” Mustain said.
Madison-Plains officials have created the position of school resource officer. In July, the school board approved the hiring of John Higgins, a longtime Hilliard police officer, to fill the position.
Higgins is charged with helping to promote and facilitate a safe and orderly environment in the schools and on campus throughout the school day. He will float between buildings, providing a law enforcement presence as needed. He also will act as a resource to students, staff and parents.
“School safety for staff and students is our top priority,” said Superintendent Chad Eisler as to why the district created the school resource officer position. “As we have looked around the nation and at what has been happening, we felt this was a direction we wanted to go.”
About Higgins, Eisler added, “He comes highly recommended to us. We believe it’s going to be a very good partnership.”
The district also is welcoming two new assistant principals, Deb Adamczak for grades K-6 and April Sparks for grades 7-12. Adamczak comes to the district with six years of experience as a principal, including two in the South-Western City Schools District in Grove City and four as principal at St. Patrick School in London. Sparks is a Madison-Plains graduate with children who attend school in the district. She most recently worked as a teacher for Northeastern Local Schools.
Zane Scheiderer is Madison-Plains’ new athletic director. He holds a four-year degree in sports management and interned at Jonathan Alder Local Schools. Eric Griffith has been hired as the district’s technology director, a role he previously held via a service purchase contract.
The school board approved a three-year superintendent’s contract for Eisler starting with the 2023-24 school year.
The next regular meeting of the Madison-Plains school board is set for 7 p.m. Aug. 16 in the district meeting room in the elementary building.