Highland school board approves bus routes, new hires
The Highland Local Schools Board of Education swept through a light agenda during the regular meeting Aug. 13, which was the last meeting before students return from summer vacation.
Among the necessary items of business was to approve bus routes for the upcoming school year.
The routes are the same as last year with one exception, said Jim Reusch, supervisor of operations. One high school route was cut due to numbers, but affected students will be absorbed by another route, he said.
According to the district’s website, the Transportation Department is in the process of mailing postcards to families regarding bus numbers and pick-up times. Families who do not receive a postcard or are new to the district should contact the child’s school building.
Also at the meeting, the board approved hiring Stacey Keller, Middle School intervention specialist, who will work with seventh-graders.
Another new hire will serve in a dual role, said Highland High School Principal Dana Addis. Bernard Bolha, who was officially hired at the meeting, will work at Highland High School as an intervention specialist and also will be the new head coach for the girls basketball team.
Bolha has a bachelor’s degree in education/physical education from Youngstown State University, as well as a master of education degree in curriculum and instruction in the area of special education, according to district officials.
He has served for the past 14 years as a physical education teacher and intervention specialist, and also has coaching experience, noted Addis.
According to district officials, Bolha served as varsity boys and girls basketball coach at Youngstown Chaney High School for six seasons, from 2005 to 2011. He also formerly served as head coach for the boys varsity team at Howland High School for three seasons (2002-05) and led the team to its first winning season in five years, including its first district appearance in the Cleveland Tournament, as well as district runners-up in the Boardman Tournament. Additionally, he served from 2001 to 2002 as the assistant boys coach at Cleveland Benedictine High School; from 1998 to 2002 as the assistant boys coach at Lakewood High School; and from 1997 to 1998 as the assistant women’s basketball coach at Youngstown State University, where the women nabbed the conference championship and a first-ever win in the NCAA Tournament. To date, it is the most winning season in Youngstown State history.
“As with any new coach, we are excited to welcome coach Bolha to our Highland athletic team,” said Athletic Director Curt Johansen. “He brings coaching experience at both the high school and collegiate levels, and we look for the program’s continued growth under his leadership.”
According to Addis, Bolha not only understands the dedication and commitment needed to run a successful basketball program, but also a successful classroom.
“We are fortunate to have someone of Bernard’s caliber and experience here at Highland,” he said.
In other business, the board:
• appointed board member Dr. Norman Christopher to serve as their delegate to the annual business meeting of the Ohio School Boards Association, set for Nov. 12;
• waived all fees for the upcoming school year for Jan-Luca Penner, a foreign exchange student from Germany;
• approved middle school student fees for the 2012-13 school year;
• approved several special education services agreements;
• approved a contract with Mann Architects for professional design services. Superintendent Catherine Aukerman said the firm will provide conceptual drawings for a new athletic stadium to be used by a private group to raise funds for the project;
• approved the retirements of two longtime district employees and wished them well: Dolores Grentzer, who is a Middle School library aide, and Mary Moehring, who is a transportation aide, both effective Aug. 31; and
• approved other personnel items on the consent agenda.
The next regular meeting is set for Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Highland High School Media Center, 4150 Ridge Road.
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