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Highland counselor, community member receive awards

6/20/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Scott Kriska

Highland Local Schools Superintendent Catherine Aukerman presented this year’s Highland Pride Awards at the Highland Board of Education meeting June 17.

The awards went to one Highland staff member and one community member in the Highland Local School District. This year, Highland Middle School guidance counselor Robert Gilbert and volunteer Craig Bailey took home the awards.

Aukerman first introduced Robert Gilbert, explaining that he served as the middle school’s only guidance counselor for six years. She said he coordinated many programs for the school, including Career Day, Peer Leaders and BIONIC Night (Believe It or Not I Care), a night of activities and presentations for seventh-grade students. Aukerman added Gilbert also coordinates a parent meeting that addresses the same issues discussed at BIONIC Night, along with parenting skills and the use of technology in education. She said one reason she believes Gilbert deserves the Highland Pride Award is that he communicates with both parents and students on a regular basis. He is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in psychology at Kent State University, Aukerman added.

The second recipient of the Highland Pride Award was Bailey, a retired educator with 37 years of educational experience who currently serves as chairman of the Highland Foundation for Educational Excellence. Aukerman said she believes Bailey deserves this award because his work with the foundation has started funding toward various programs and projects that have helped to improve students’ educational experiences in the district. She pointed out Bailey also has scheduled food drives with the principals of Sharon Elementary, Granger Elementary and Highland Middle schools. She said Bailey is a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Sharon and is active in the church’s youth ministry.

Also at the meeting, the board approved the following:

  • the authorization of various advances to eliminate negative cash fund balances at the end of the fiscal year;
  • the transfer of $15,000 from the General Fund to the Uniform School Supply Fund;
  • social studies end-of-course exams for the 2013-14 school year, to ensure high school students have mastered American history and American government academic standards;
  • Highland High School wrestling team’s overnight trip to the Jeff Gordon State Champ Camp at St. Paris High School in St. Paris from July 7-11;
  • a contract with parents and guardians of students for whom local transportation is impractical;
  • a transportation release for a high school sophomore to Copley-Fairlawn City Schools for transportation purposes;
  • the acceptance of a high school senior as a tuition student for the 2013-14 school year;
  • middle school and elementary school students fees for the 2013-14 school year;
  • various donations to the Highland High School speech and debate team, Hinckley Elementary and Granger Elementary;
  • applications for use of facilities and waiver of associated fees;
  • agreements with the Alliance for High Quality Education, the North Coast Council, Steps Behavioral Consulting Services, ABC Therapy, Sendero Therapies, KTW Consulting, the Goodwill Vocational Services Division of Goodwill Industries of Akron, Richard Buesch Epilogue Inc. and Solutions Behavioral Consulting LLC.; and
  • personnel items involving employment, an extended time contract and a change of status.

In other business:

√ Aukerman reported she received a thank-you note from Nowak Tour and Travel commending the eighth-grade students and staff of Highland Middle School on this past school year’s Washington, D.C., trip.
She also announced a new teacher evaluation policy has been postponed. She explained the policy can not be adopted because the state is still discussing budget items. She said the policy will be adopted as soon as the budget issues are settled.

√ Sharon Elementary School Principal Connie Marzullo announced the employment of Emily Young as the school’s intervention specialist. Marzullo said Young taught fourth-grade intervention students in the East Liverpool School District for three years. She said Young also coached track, was a camp director and comes from a family of educators. Marzullo said Young is currently pursuing a degree in educational administration.

The next Highland Board of Education meeting is scheduled for July 15 at 7 p.m. inside the Media Center at Highland High School, 4150 Ridge Road.

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