MOUNT VERNON — Student achievements were highlighted when the Mount Vernon Board of Education met in regular session on Monday.
Toby Baumann was recognized for winning the Knox County Spelling Bee three years in a row, the first person in the bee’s 50-year history to do so. Baumann also won the regional contest, and will advance to national competition. A number of winter scholar athletes and winter athletes were also formally honored for their accomplishments, and Superintendent Steve Short thanked the parents of the honorees for taking the time to support and encourage the students in their endeavors.
With regard to school finances, Treasurer Barb Donohue said the impact of the new state budget is still unclear. What is known, the district has been informed it will see a $567,000 reduction in tangible personal property [inventory] tax reimbursements for 2011, and will receive no such reimbursement after that.
Short briefly spoke about the $2.5 million general fund budget reductions which will be made for the 2011-12 school year. He said those cuts are necessary and will be implemented regardless of the May levy outcome.
In addition to approving routine fiscal actions and reports, the board accepted the donation of $3,500 to Columbia Elementary School from Bob and JoAnn Rock. The money is to be used toward a greenhouse, landscaping, plants and materials. The Rocks donated Columbia School memorabilia to the school as well. Columbia Principal Pam Rose said the greenhouse and materials will support the community garden developed in collaboration between the school and the South Vernon United Methodist Church.