At the Jan. 23 Boardman Board of Education meeting, the board and Superintendent Frank Lazzeri put residents at ease over rumors of a racial incident and two situations involving a vulgar act by students. The issue was brought up under public address at the beginning of the meeting.
One parent had asked if there was any truth to situations involving racial injustices and of a rumor about a student defecating in a classroom that caused a teacher to slip and fall. The parent said he was very supportive of Boardman schools, but wanted to know if there was any truth regarding the indicents in question.
Lazzeri responded to the query by telling the parent there were some issues that are being dealt with, but the incidents in question were blown way out of proportion. He said the law doesn't permit him to discuss the specifics of such incidents or the punishment any student receives.
"A lot is confidential and what you heard are only half truths," Lazzeri said. "A lot of what you said is not factual. Because of privacy rights and the law I can't get into specifics, but I can say we're living in an age of rumor mills via things like Facebook and people tend to sensationalize."
He offered to meet with the parent over the matter, but said he still would not be able to offer details on any incident that happened in the school system. He closed the matter stating there was little, if any, truth to the allegations.
In other business:
Resignations were approved for Karen Russo, high school cafeteria server; Michelle Testa, bus aide; and Ronald Moschella, high school girls head basketball coach.
Parental leaves of absence was granted for Melissa Loew, Market Street Elementary School grade three teacher, and Andrea Morris, West Boulevard Elementary School resource room teacher.
Transfers were approved for Rachelle Fleet from a two-hour cafeteria server at Boardman High School to a member of the cleaning staff at Glenwood Middle School.
Karen Linker was granted a one-year limited contract as a noontime monitor at Robinwood Lane Elementary School.
A stipend was approved to be paid to the following individuals for time spent working as choral music concert chaperones on the Winter Choral Concert: Anne Bott, Michelle Peters, Mary Beth Shobel, Lori Travee, and ticket taker Jody Marlin.
Board member Kimberly Poma asked if the board normally pays for chaperones. Lazzeri said the chaperones are needed when there are 200 students performing, but only 50 are on the stage while the rest are waiting. He said the chaperones are paid from gate receipts and not from the budget.
The board approved the following classified substitutes: Karen Linker, aide, and Carl Sims, social psychology.
The board approved the following individuals to be employed as instructors for community education. Alyssa Calautti, digital photography; John Cherol, basic computer and intermediate computer; Edie Davidson, sawing/soldering; Edie Davidson, metal clay and bracelets; Moris Jadue, conversational Spanish; Karen Kannal, anger; Karen Mincher, CPR; Michael Powell, auto CAD; Patti Reitmann, dance to music; Patti Reitmann, CPR; and Carl Rubino, acrylics.
Donations were accepted as follows: $10,000 from Dr. James Chengelis to be used for the creation of the Chengelis Science Investigation Lab at Stadium Drive Elementary, and $195 in value from Lowe's Home Improvement and the Boardman Fire Department for 65 smoke detectors for school families in need of one.
Lazzeri read a Right To Read Resolution encouraging school personnel to participate actively in Ohio's Right to Read Celebration from Feb. 6 to 10. He said the district is still looking for volunteers for the elementary schools to come and read to the students.
The board recognized the Boardman Rotary Club for the club's efforts in the collection and distribution of food baskets to approximately 50 Boardman school families.
The following athletes were recognized for their collective and/or individual accomplishments. A certificate or letter will be presented each on the board's behalf. Those recognized, along with their achievements were: Daniel Popio, 1st Team Federal League, Special Mention All Ohio, and 1st Team All Northeast Ohio; Devin Campbell, 1st Team Federal League, 2nd Team All Ohio, and 1st Team All Northeast Ohio; Zachary Machuga, 1st Team Federal League and 2nd Team All Northeast Ohio; Zachary Zidian, 1st Team Federal League and 2nd Team All Northeast Ohio; Dayne Hammond, 1st Team Federal League, 3rd Team All Ohio, and 1st Team All Northeast Ohio; Justin Babos, 1st Team Federal League and Honorable Mention Northeast Ohio; Ryan Pollifrone, 2nd Team Federal League and Honorable Mention Northeast Ohio; Christopher Riwniak, 2nd Team Federal League and Honorable Mention Northeast Ohio; John Kuczek II, 2nd Team Federal League and Honorable Mention Northeast Ohio; John Babos, 2nd Team Federal League and Honorable Mention Northeast Ohio; Leslie McIntosh, Honorable Mention Federal League; Allen Starkey, Honorable Mention Federal League; John Brandt, Honorable Mention Federal League; and Mark D'Eramo, Federal League Coach of the Year.
Mikel Zeidenstein was honored for being selected as one of three winners in Dominion's Strong Men and Women: Excellence in Leadership Student Writing Contest
Notification was given to board members of outstanding community service by Stadium Drive students and staff who donated $474.83 to Akron Children's Hospital as part of Handel's Koins for Kids Campaign and West Boulevard students who donated $534.60 to the cause.
Lazzeri read the upcoming calendar of events for those in attendance: 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6, anti-bullying program by Jodee Blanco, BPAC; Thursday, Feb. 16, parent-teacher conference night; Friday, Feb. 17, no classes; Monday, Feb. 20, no classes due to Presidents' Day; and 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, 7:00 p.m. eighth-grade parent orientation, BPAC.
Approval was given for a field trip for the Glenwood Middle School sixth-grade class to travel to Philadelphia, Pa., from May 11 to 12.
Approval was given for Sharon Yuhas to transfer from teacher aide at Market Street Elementary School to teacher aide at Center Middle School.
Legislative liaison and board member John Landers gave a report on several pieces of legislation including HB 116, the anti-bullying bill which passed the Ohio House and is headed to the Senate.
Lazzeri read a proclamation declaring January 2012 as School Board Recognition Month in Boardman. "I encourage all citizens to publicly and privately thank the school board members from all school districts serving this community for their dedicated service to our children," he said.