(Posted July 16, 2015)
By Linda Dillman, Staff Writer
The lightness of summer carried over into the Jefferson Local school board’s July 13 agenda with swift action on new hires, resignations and monthly financial reports following a brief, closed-door session on contract negotiations.
The lone speaker during public presentations was high school sophomore Andrew Weber, who expressed concern over the resignation of vocal teacher John McClain and the future of musical productions.
“I wanted to ask about the music program and if there’s going to be a musical this year,” Weber told school board members. “(McClain) was a really great teacher and got me interested in the musical.”
High school Principal Dave Metz assured Weber nothing is changing with vocal music programming. The only change is the instructor. Board members later approved a contract with Rachel Herman as the new vocal music teacher for grades six through 12 and a second contract with her for the high school/middle school musical.
According to Metz, McClain—who worked for the district one year before resigning effective Aug. 13—was approached by Logan High School (where he graduated) and offered a similar position.
“The one thing he always wanted to do was to go back to his old high school,” continued Metz. “Rachel is an OSU graduate and did her student teaching in Upper Arlington. She’s been playing piano since the age of 10.
“She’s a graduate of Dayton Christian High School. This is her first teaching assignment and during her interview, she came across as a very confident young lady.”
In other action, the board approved donations from the West Jefferson Music Boosters for miscellaneous items valued at $3,425. The organization also donated 55 marching band uniforms valued at $21,623.
Superintendent William Mullett updated school board members on district litigation up before the Ohio Supreme Court later this summer against Jefferson Industries and their appeal of a property tax appraisal.
“The issue with Jefferson Industries is still ongoing,” said Mullett, “and there’s a great deal at stake.
“Jefferson Industries is the only industry we’re having a difference of opinion on taxation. The auditor appraised the property at $32 million and Jefferson Industries appraised it at $10 million.”