MOUNT VERNON — Julie Grinstead was named the Outstanding Teacher of the Month when the governing board of the Knox County Educational Service Center met in regular session Wednesday.
Grinstead, now based at Mount Vernon High School, has taught students with emotional difficulties for the past 13 years. Her supervisor, Connie Hatley, said Grinstead is not only a strong advocate for her students, but teaches them to advocate for themselves. She said Grinstead works to maintain a positive classroom atmosphere and works cooperatively with other teachers in the school.
Alternative Center director Glenn Marchal discussed the success of the new suspension alternative program at the center, and Kelly Hawkins talked about the various after-school activities.
In giving a legislative update, board vice president Richard McLarnan said of the proposed state budget, “We don’t know yet how it’s going to go [with regard to school funding].”
Superintendent Dave Southward said a lot of fine-tuning is going on and indications are that the funding formula is going to change to make it more equitable for smaller districts.
Regarding personnel, the board employed Marge Rhodes as purchase service grant coordinator for the Family Fun learning nights, with her salary to be paid from the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund grant. It also moved Ina Marie Curtis from a tutoring position a classroom position to teach special-needs students at the Alternative Center, retroactive to March 1, for the remainder of the 2008-09 school year.
Administrative and supplemental contracts for consultants and Marchal were approved, as were additions to the substitute teacher and teacher aide lists. The board approved a six-week maternity and and a six-week family leave for preschool teacher Amy Bickel, beginning around March 18, and hired Sarah Hanna as an intervention specialist at the Alternative Center. That is on an as-needed basis, retroactive to March 5. Dr. James Laboski and Brenda Luhring were employed to conduct leadership training seminars for administrators, to be paid through state support team professional development grants.
Besides approving routine fiscal actions, the board accepted a donation $4,000 from The Community Foundation of Mount Vernon and Knox County for the Youth Enrichment Series, and a $5,400 grant from the Knox County Family and Children First Council for family fun learning nights. It also voted to provide $400 toward scholarships for the 2009 Summer Honors Institute program, and approved an agreement with New Hope Industries to provide lab space for special-needs students. That space will be a simulated home environment to be used to teach students independent living skills.
Other action taken by the board included the approval of Sally Noble as a bus driver for the Centerburg Local Schools, and the adoption of new and revised policies to comply with changes in state and federal regulations.