Ranger alumni step up to the plate

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By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

A recent collective donation to Hamilton Local Schools from 39 Hamilton alumni cleared debts owed by senior students for lunch served in the high school cafeteria.

“The total amount of the donation to clear school lunch debt at Hamilton Township High School was $2,318. Thanks to the incredible generosity of other alumni, the check arriving is for $2,818. Consider it a payment in good faith that I’ll commit to never having a senior class face lunch debt,” wrote HTHS alumni Jeremy Taylor, who spearheaded the fundraiser.

In an email, Taylor told the Hamilton Schools Board of Education he stayed connected on Facebook with fellow graduates and friends from high school and recently shared a post that he planned to clear the lunch debt at the school. He invited others to join in his effort.

“I thought there has to be others who feel similar to me,” said Taylor. “I was floored to see the amount of people who contributed in just 24 hours. Thirty-nine graduates contributed via PayPal, Venmo and CashApp. Hamilton Local Schools has the support of stellar humans.”

Board member Wally Obert expressed his appreciation to the graduates for their kindness in banding together to take care of the seniors’ lunch bill.

“It’s kind of special that people who have been through our school system still participate in that kind of thing,” said Obert, “and I want to say a special thank you to them.

Overseas trip
Hamilton High School science teacher Jennifer Avery wants to take students on an educational trip to Europe for a first-hand look at World War II locations in England, France and Germany they learn about in the classroom.

Avery asked the board to consider approving the 10-day, $4,660 June 2023 excursion, which includes air and ground transportation, hotel accommodations, meals, guided sightseeing, full-time tour director and admission to sites including Rouen Cathedral, Ardennes American Cemetery and Memorial, Imperial War Museum, Cabinet war rooms and Caen Memorial.

“The company (Education First Educational Tours) has been used previously by HTHS for student travel internationally and domestically. All high school students are invited to attend this trip, although they will be held to strict academic and behavioral standards,” wrote Avery in a letter to the board.

Avery is leading a similar student excursion this year to Belize.

Avery said she is most excited about taking students to the Omaha Beach memorial.

“This trip will enable students to get out of their comfort zones and experience different cultures while learning about world history,” said Avery. “Also, students have the opportunity to earn high school credit or college credit.”

Fundraising opportunities will help reduce the cost of the trip for students and for every six who sign up, a chaperone position will be gifted to the board from Education First.

“I think that’s fantastic,” said Obert when the European trip was presented for approval. “Two of my kids got to travel to Europe in their senior year and they still talk about it. To visit that type of history about their grandparents and great-grandparents…I’d really like to see that happen.”

Finances
District financing is going to save taxpayers in the Hamilton Local School district money on their property tax bills, according to Hamilton Schools Treasurer Adam Collier, who is refinancing bonds because of lowered interest rates.

“We’re going to save the community over $500,000 by refinancing some of the few bonds we have left,” Collier said. “We’re in fantastic shape with debt. We only have $15 million in debt and that’s from the 2005 big bond we did for the buildings. That’s fantastic compared to other districts who have over $100 million in debt.”

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