New Alder program aims to boost girl’s self-esteem

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(Posted July 3, 2018)

By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer

Jennifer Korn, director of student services for Jonathan Alder Local Schools, is picking on girls–in a good way.

Korn is recruiting female students for a new self-esteem program called Ruling Our Experiences (ROX). This national program aims to equip girls with knowledge and skills to live healthy, independent, productive, and violence-free lives.

Female staff members will go through 22 hours of training over three days to become facilitators. During the school year, participating students in grades five through 12 will gather in small groups for 45 minutes after school. They will learn to communicate effectively, develop healthy relationships, support other girls, form a healthy body image, navigate social media, manage stress and pressure, stay safe and defend themselves, plan for college and their career, and become leaders.

“It’s like getting girls to talk about things they are uncomfortable with,” Korn said during a presentation to the school board on June 25.

School board member Shannon Foust expressed support for the program. Board member Steve Votaw seemed to be in favor of it, too, but wanted to know if a similar program is available for boys.

After Korn’s presentation, Misty Swanger, assistant superintendent, guided board members through a draft plan for the district’s science curriculum.

“It’s going to less of what has become traditional, the cookbook labs, and memorization and more of inquiry-based lessons, students creating journals, and individual projects,” she said.

Swanger distributed copies of science books that the board later approved for use in the lower elementary grades this coming school year.

“We continue to review curriculum for grades five through eight and will probably have it approved by the end of the calendar year,” Swanger said, adding that adoption at the high school level is a year away.

The board recognized students and staff who performed in outstanding ways on the athletic fields this spring:

* The softball team, head coach Dave McGrew, and the team’s assistant coaches were applauded as district and regional champions and state qualifiers. Individual honors went to Lindsey Potter, first-team all-state and Central District Player of the Year; Emily Walker and Katelyn Perkins, first-team Central District, and Jillian Jakse, conference sportsmanship.

* In baseball, Preston Eisenaugle, was conference Player of the Year, first-team all-state, and picked to play in the All-Ohio All-Star game. Austin Hurley and Logan Smith made first-team all-conference. Tyler Hilbert was recognized for conference sportsmanship.

* In lacrosse, Nolan Larison made second-team all-region as a faceoff specialist.

* The girls’ track 800-meter relay team of Maddie Davis, Morgan Hicks, Maddy Killian and Lexi Thorpe placed second at state. Helena Hall was recognized for conference sportsmanship.

* In boys’ track, Jase Headings placed fourth in the 800 meters at state.

Regarding the school calendar, Superintendent Gary Chapman announced that professional development days will take place Sept. 17, Oct. 19, Nov. 6 and Feb. 15. Make-up days, after five days missed for calamity days, will be Feb. 15, Feb. 18, April 22 and, if needed, more days at the end of the school year.

The board also approved:

* a revised agreement between Jonathan Alder and Tolles Career & Technical Center for high school and junior high programming and career awareness at Canaan Middle School;

* a softball overnight trip to Panama City, Fla., during spring break 2019;

* a request to sell former junior high and high school athletic uniforms. Mindy Donelly, junior high cheer coach, said all of the uniforms, some dating back to 1992, have been cleaned and pressed.

“They’re not being used,” she said. “Why not sell them and buy things we need, like pom-poms.”

The board then adjourned into an executive session for Chapman’s annual review.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting is July 17 in the board meeting room at the high school.

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