Taking center stage at the Dec. 13 meeting of the Austintown Board of Education was an acknowledgement of service for board member Louis Chine. He served a term from 2008 to 2012.
"Louie, you are our guy without the tie," board President Kathy Mock said. "It's been a privilege serving with you."
Dr. Tom Stellers praised Chine for his integrity, honesty, and high family values, while fellow member Dr. David Ritchie added, "It's been a great four years."
Calling the meeting his last hurrah, Chine said he joined the board four years ago with a saying: "I'm not running for this position to make friends. It wasn't even close to being the truth," said Chine, sharing that he's made a lot of great friends. "You know I was a volunteer before I was a board member."
He added that he plans to continue his volunteer work within the school system. That continuation will begin soon, as Chine accepted Colaluca's request that he become involved as a community member on the school district's construction team.
In other news:
Irene Flowers, Austintown Fitch drama coach, spoke on the school's first dinner theater. Scheduled for Jan. 15, the presentation of "Our Town" is a collaboration with the school's French Club, and accordingly, will include a menu of Coq au Vin, French potato soup and desserts.
"Our talent's going to be wonderful," said Flowers, adding that tickets, which are available for $20, are limited to 200. "The first 200 people will be the lucky ones," she said.
Speaking on the Austintown Fitch Robotics Club was Ric Zimmerman, one of its advisors, who shared that last years membership of 21 has jumped to the current 37 members of the team.
Members are currently fundraising, according to Zimmerman, who added that Jan. 7 will mark the beginning of their first competition, for which they will have six weeks to build a robot.
"There is a feeling of gratitude toward General Motors across the board," said school Superintendent Vince Colaluca, in regards to a $1,000 donation from the GM Corporation for the purpose of assisting the Robotics Team with their expenses.
Additionally, Colaluca thanked Youngstown State University as well, for tickets recently donated to the middle school students to attend a basketball game.
Board member Dave Schnurrenberger reviewed a few of the year's highlights, sharing that National Honor Society members have taken part in a number of significant programs, including a Special Olympics Bowling Tournament, and a Big Brother/Big Sister partnership with students of Frank Ohl Elementary School.
"We're fortunate to have such a great group of students at our school," he said.