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Manchester officials considering new bus purchase

8/28/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Joyce Rainey Long

Manchester Local Schools officials heard routine business matters and plans for getting prices for two school buses at the Aug. 26 Board of Education meeting.

The board approved the Metropolitan Education Council (MEC) to advertise and receive bids for two 77-passenger conventional school buses.

“This does not guarantee we will purchase two buses,” said Treasurer Jennifer Rucker. “This just gives us a price and we may get a cheaper price, with schools getting together.”

The MEC will have the costs of the buses finalized in October, she said.

The MEC is comprised of more than 210 districts and related organizations across Ohio, according to its website. The MEC analyzes costs and negotiates with vendors to pool collective purchasing power.

“The MEC is for shared services so districts can save money. We want to save the district as much as possible,” said Superintendent James Robinson in his first meeting as head of the district.

Robinson told the board he gave speeches to the teachers in the district on orientation day, Aug. 18, and to the Old School Class Reunion held Aug. 24 at Coventry Oaks Pavilion for Manchester graduating classes of 1944 through 1960.

“I talked about the importance of community and how important traditions are here. The schools are a focal point of this community,” he said.

In another matter, the board approved a supplemental appointment of Scott Cantrell as the varsity football team’s first assistant coach, replacing Robinson. Cantrell has served as an assistant football coach for the varsity team since 1985, said Robinson.

The board also approved the following coaches for boys basketball: Bob Eckert for seventh grade, Kurt Snyder for eighth grade and Joshua Chadima for ninth grade. Nick Jordan will volunteer as the boys soccer assistant and Kyle Oberlin will be the high school track assistant. The board also approved three certified and four classified appointments and accepted one certified and one classified resignation.

The board accepted a $500 donation for the Manchester Band from the Kaderly Foundation, which was formed to honor Richard Kaderly, a longtime board member and New Franklin City Councilman who died in 2011.

“The Kaderlys have done an exceptional job of raising money for sports and extracurricular activities,” said Rick Sponseller, board president. “The foundation is an organization that is very dedicated to the community.”

In other business, Lisa Sobnosky, a New Franklin resident, asked the board if there could be a conflict of interest if someone is both a board member and PTA president. Board member Kelly Dolan is also president of the Manchester Middle School PTA.

Robinson asked Sobnosky, who currently has two children in the district, to put her concerns in writing to him.

“I wouldn’t be prepared to give you an answer tonight,” said Robinson, adding he needs to review the district’s policies and discuss the matter with legal advisers.

After an executive session that followed the regular meeting, Rachel Shutte was hired as the new curriculum director. According to district officials, Shutte previously taught seventh- and eighth-grade language arts. She earned a master’s degree from Ashland University, a principal’s license for fourth through 12th grades and is licensed for middle school language arts, social studies, math and reading.

Also, Jennifer Mothersbaugh will replace Shutte in her previous position. She has a master’s degree from Marygrove College, 12 years of experience teaching third through eighth grades and is licensed for grades one through eight, with a reading endorsement, according to district officials.

The next regular meeting will take place Sept. 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the Administration Building, located at 6075 Manchester Road. New teachers in the district will be introduced to the board at the meeting.

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