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West Side Education News & Notes

5/22/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

APS District treasurer retiring

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Jack Pierson, treasurer of the Akron Public Schools (APS), will retire as of July 31.

His retirement was accepted by the APS Board of Education at a special meeting May 20.

Pierson, 61, has been treasurer of the district for 21 years, but has 30 total years of service to qualify to retire under SERS (School Employees Retirement System of Ohio), he said.

While Pierson is technically retiring from the APS District, he will continue to work. He has accepted a position as treasurer of the Howland Local School District in Warren, he said.

“I’m not ready to retire,” Pierson said. “I have a great staff and things are going very well here in Akron. I wouldn’t leave if I didn’t have a really good offer.”

The Howland district is closer to his home in Canfield, he said.

As treasurer, Pierson has been responsible for the finances of a district with a $300 million General Fund and $547 million total for all funds, according to district officials.

“Jack Pierson has done an amazing job,” said Board President Lisa Mansfield. “When he took over 21 years ago, the district was in serious financial straits. His careful planning and wisdom over the years has put us in much better fiscal shape now, even with a more difficult overall economy. His will be big shoes to fill.”

According to district officials, the APS Board now will begin a search for a new treasurer. For more information, visit the district website at www.akronschools.com.


APS Board agrees to move Akron Opportunity Center

DOWNTOWN AKRON — In an effort to streamline and bolster its alternative programs for students with behavior problems, the Akron Public Schools (APS) will move its Akron Opportunity Center (AOC) to the former Barrett Elementary School, 888 Jonathan Ave.

The AOC works with middle school students with academic and behavioral problems. It is currently located at the former Riedinger Middle School, 77 W. Thornton St.

Other alternative programs are already located at Barrett, where the APS partners with the YMCA and Summit County Juvenile Court system, through Judge Linda Teodosio, with counseling and intervention services.

At a special meeting May 14, the APS Board of Education approved the AOC move as well as moving its Alternative to Suspension programs for elementary and middle school students to the Riedinger building.

“As we open the new AOC and expand our ... Alternative to Suspension offerings at Riedinger, APS will increase services to students who have had behavior challenges,” said Superintendent David James. “We believe this will result in greater success for the students and safer learning environments in our regular school settings.”

The changes will not require an increase in funding, James said.


Norton Music Boosters hosting food truck roundup

NORTON — The Norton Music Boosters will sponsor the Norton Food Truck Roundup May 25 from 3 to 7 p.m. at Norton High School, 4108 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road.

The following trucks are scheduled to appear: Wholly Frijoles, The Orange Trük, Stone Pelican Rolling Cafe, Boca Loca Burrito Factory, Pig Lickin’ Good BBQ, Premier Crepes, Get Stuffed and Donut Lab.

There will be seating and beverages on sale by the Norton Music Boosters. Ten percent of all proceeds will go to Norton music programs, according to the Boosters.


Wet and Wild in the Parks combined workshop set for July 8-9

CUYAHOGA FALLS — A combined Project Wild/Project Aquatic/Project Wet Workshop will take place July 8-9.

The curricula teach ecology, wildlife and water resource principles that are correlated to the Ohio Academic Standards, according to workshop officials.

Participants in this workshop will engage in cooperative, hands-on activities and simulations. Upon completing the training, participants will receive the comprehensive Project Wild, Project Wet and Project Aquatic Curriculum and Activity Guides, as well as other resource material and leave prepared and inspired to teach about ecology, wildlife and water in their classroom or informal educational setting, according to workshop officials.

The Curriculum and Activities Guides are written for learners of all ages. The lessons incorporate a variety of formats, such as large- and small-group learning, whole-body activities, laboratory investigations, discussion of local and global topics, and community service projects.

Support for this workshop comes from Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Summit Soil and Water Conservation District and the city of Cuyahoga Falls. The workshop will start at Lion’s Lodge, 641 Silver Lake Ave., and also will take place at Water Works Family Aquatic Center, 2026 Munroe Falls Ave.

Presenters will include Gene Easter, a volunteer with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and Sandy Barbic, of the conservation district.

The cost for July 8 is free, and July 9, or both July 8 and 9, is $30.

Send registration and the fee of $30 for both days to: Gene Easter, 540 S. Ridgecliff St., Tallmadge, OH 44278, or, for more information, email Gleaster@sbcglobal.net, call 330-928-6691 or fax to 330-971-8172.

The registration deadline is June 27, and the workshops are limited to 25 participants.


Becky Tompkins, Stephanie Kist and Becky Tompkins contributed to these reports.

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