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Long-term Copley-Fairlawn district employees retiring

4/24/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Pam Lifke

Several long-term Copley-Fairlawn City School District employees submitted resignations for retirement purposes at the April 16 Board of Education meeting.

Instrumental music teacher and Copley-Fairlawn Middle School band director Lori Ciulla will retire effective May 30. Ciulla has been with the district since 1983, according to district officials.

Herberich Primary School first-grade teacher Diane Merkle will retire effective at the end of the school year. Merkle has been with the district since 1996, according to district officials.

Tutor Nancy Shehata will retire effective July 1, and she has tutored English as a second language students since 2006.

“These are three very large sets of shoes to fill,” said Superintendent Brian Poe. “As we certainly move closer to 2015, we’re going to see some retirements, and we have our work cut out for us [to replace them],” said Poe, adding he wanted to thank the three for their hard work and for the number of students and parents they have touched over the years.

Poe said he reluctantly presented their resignations to the board, and he wished the three good luck in their retirements.

Food Service Director Dale Panovich, also a Copley trustee, and Herberich Primary School Library/Media Associate Emily Vanke also are retiring. Panovich, who was hired in 1985, will retire effective June 30 and Vanke, who has been with the district since 1989, will retire at the end of the school year.

Poe said Panovich has “done a terrific job” working with classified personnel and communicating with administration and the central office staff.

“Dale certainly will be missed,” Poe said.

Vanke has been “a terrific support” for the Herberich staff, said Poe. Vanke’s students were her priority, Poe said.

Board members also approved a resolution declaring the week of May 5 as Copley-Fairlawn City School District Staff Appreciation Week.

“Our staff and administration have done a terrific job of keeping us near the top in terms of our scores, not only in Summit County, but in the top percentile in the state of Ohio,” said Poe. “I certainly appreciate the hard work they do on a daily basis.”

Poe said staff will be honored with a luncheon May 9.

The board also recognized March students of the month, including Luke Norman from Arrowhead Primary School, Megan Collins from Fort Island Primary School, Zachary Estephan from Herberich Primary School, Danielle Parrish from Copley-Fairlawn Middle School and Makenzie Mozik from Copley High School. The Athlete of the Month was Copley High School sophomore Arman Samouk, who in his weight class was ranked among the top 20 wrestlers in the state, according to district officials.

In other action, the board:

  • designated Treasurer John Wheadon to attend public records training on behalf of the board;
  • accepted resignations of special needs assistant Kay Makishi and cafeteria worker Holly Sickle;
  • implemented a reduction in force for culinary arts teacher Bradley Smith. Poe cited a decrease in enrollment in the program for the layoff;
  • hired tutors Jodi Chalfant, Jessica Fattlar, Julie Markin and Meghan Morris; and special needs assistants Claudia Beard, Elizabeth Kirk, Maria Spengler and Laura Thutt for the summer extended school year. All positions are dependent upon enrollment;
  • hired classified staff, including Crystal Landals as a part-time fiscal assistant effective May 5, Holly Sickle as part-time cafeteria manager retroactive to April 7 and lifeguards Emilio Bloch, Matthew Kimberly and Seth Koellner effective April 17;
  • hired Scott Chouinard as Copley High School integrated social studies teacher for the 2014-15 school year pending routine background checks; and
  • awarded supplemental contracts for fall athletics.

The board will hold its next regular meeting May 20 at 6 p.m. in the Copley High School Conference Room, 3797 Ridgewood Road.

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