West Jeff Schools will have levy on fall ballot

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(Posted May 13, 2015)

By Linda Dillman, Staff Writer

The Jefferson Local School Board is forging ahead with plans to ask for renewal of a five-year emergency levy in the fall.

While the levy does not expire until the end of 2016, on May 11 the board unanimously approved a resolution of intent, the second and final step before the measure is placed on the Nov. 3 ballot.

The issue does not ask for new money. Previous requests included renewals with an increase, but the board elected to maintain the status quo for the fall ballot. The levy generates approximately $1.4 million in revenue. It has been on the books for 30 years.

According to Treasurer Jill Williams, the levy is for 9.5 mills, but with the state rollback, property owners actually pay taxes on 8.9 mills. By not bumping up the request to cover the rollback, the district is forgoing a potential $150,000 increase in tax revenues in order to benefit taxpayers.

In other action, the board approved job descriptions for a technology integration specialist and a high school/middle school athletic department administrative assistant. Norwood Elementary fifth-grade teacher Kristen Kearns will now serve as the technology specialist.

According to technology coordinator Curt Dennis, Kearns will be instrumental “in helping teachers with professional develop-ment” and assisting them in using technology in the classroom.

“It will really help, and I’m looking forward to that,” Dennis told board members. “We’re going to hit the ground running.”

Ohio History Day state qualifier Allyson Cordle’s project on Ohio University President Claude Sowle will become part of the university’s archives. Sowle led the university during 1970 when student uproar over the Vietnam War was at its peak.

Cordle, a junior, won the Ohio Local History Alliance award for her project, “Claude Sowle, Right Man, Wrong Time,” which took her and her advanced research history teacher, Jenny Siddiqi, to the university and deep within its collections of artifacts in preparation for the Ohio History Day state contest.

“If you go to the OU library website, (Cordle) is on the front page,” Siddiqi said. “They are entering her project into the archives and using her research to pro-mote the naming of a building after (Sowle).”

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