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Windham – It has been a busy few months at Windham Schools, as individuals announced their retirement or resignation, leaving the board the daunting task of filling the positions.

In April, the board accepted the resignations of Craig Alderman, head of the Transportation and Maintenance Department, and Michael Chaffee as Jr/Sr. High School Principal. Earlier in the year, Harry Selner, Katherine Thomas (KT) Principal announced his retirement.

The Windham Board of Education (WBOE) held a special board meeting on May 12, 2015, where they hired Jake Eye to fill the position formerly held by Craig Alderman. They also hired Eliot Pennell as Comprehensive Science Teacher and Tate Moore as English Teacher.

On May 28, 2015, WBOE met for their regularly scheduled meeting, where they hired Sheri Gross as the new Katherine Thomas (KT) Elementary School principal. The district offered Gross a two-year limited contract. Superintendent Gregg Isler stated, “Gross is a good fit for the district and I look forward to working with her.”

In other BOE actions, the board accepted the resignations of Cori Morison and Leah Kook, both are teachers. Sherry Gaj  resigned from her teaching position as well.

The board issued continuing contracts to the following staff: Mike Cooper, and Renee Turk. Two-year limited contract were issued to Leanne Wiley, and Thelma Burns and they granted a one-year contract to David Dempsey as custodian.  Cindy Clark transferred from cafeteria worker to a custodian position; the board approved the that measure as well.

Brian Miller from the Brick by Brick Scholarship Fund was on hand to help draw names from those who applied for the 14 $1000 scholarships being offered by the fund. Board members who did not have a graduating senior and those in attendance helped draw the names. In order to be eligible for the scholarship, students need to have 2.0 GPA, be going to an accredited college or trade school and apply. Congratulations to Rocky Hager, Macey Hickman, Kyle Hilfer,  Krystal Lear, Dakota Harmotta, Darianna Heiler, Bethany Stout,  Jessica Isler, Madison Kilgore, Shauntia Cunningham, Kevin Dyer, Taylor Mask, Ashley DeVenture, and Sarah Hodson. Alternates drawn were Zach Lewis and Jordon Small.

President Darryl McGuire reported that prom was held in Warren, with an after prom held on the Nautica Queen in Cleveland along with a trip to the zoo and the Cleveland Indians game. He also reported that the play, “Peter Pan and Wendy” was a huge success.

Dawn Kilgore reported the legislative news was quite daunting. She is keeping her eye on what’s coming down the pike but had to admit a lot of the information on the HB114 and HB96 were vague. SB3 is another one that she is keeping up with but it also has a lot of unknowns.

Superintendent Gregg Isler reported that the bus inspection was held recently with five of the six buses inspected passing. The sixth bus had a crack in it that needs to be welded and was sent out for repair. The district has two more buses to be inspected, as they were out on field trips the day of inspection. He also announced that Windham will house an integrated preschool. The program will be run by the Mahoning County ESC.

Jr. High/ Sr. High Principal Michael Chaffee reported that 86 students took time out of their personal schedules to help clean up the village and the park that suffered from vandalism. He also said that the National Honor Society (NHS) held a Chinese auction and donated the proceeds from it to a local family which was burned out of their apartment. Chaffee announced that Windham High School Students dominated the Portage County Art Show. Chaffee thanked the district for taking the risk by hiring him 33 years ago and again five years ago, having faith in his abilities to hire him as principal. Chaffee leaves the district to take another position in Geauga County.

Samantha Pochedly, Treasurer and head of the Food Service Department presented the five-year forecast report and the board approved it. There might be some adjustments to the forecast when the state finalizes its budget. Pochedly also announced that she discovered that substitute cafeteria workers will have to go through the new mandatory training before they can work. Pochedly said they can do the training.

The board is still searching for a high school principal. The board adjourned to an executive session, with no decisions being made before they adjourned.

The next scheduled board meeting is June 25, 2015 in the board office at the high school.

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Denise Bly has been a correspondent for the Weekly Villager for five years. She also does the public relations for Garrettsville Summerfest and the Garrettsville Area Chamber. In her spare time, she can be found at most local events, especially J.A. Garfield’s, high school and middle school athletic and musical events. When not out and about in the community, she can be found at home reading, sewing, cooking and spending time with her family.