For some, the Tuesday, Feb. 19 Austintown Board of Education meeting was a time to get a final glimpse at the school they attended in their youth. The board has begun holding meetings at the four elementary buildings that will be closed at the end of this school year as students move into the new buildings on the Fitch campus.
Tuesday's meeting was held at Woodside Elementary. Principal Dennis Rice had the third grade choir come in for the meeting and perform "Blowin in the Wind" as he accompanied on the guitar. Rice had announced his retirement at the end of this school year and was moved to Woodside to finish out his final year.
"I'm very proud to be the last principal at Woodside," Rice said.
Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
The Woodside Elementary third-grade choir, accompanied by Principal Dennis Rice on guitar, sing Bob Dylan’s “Blowin in the Wind” before a packed house at Tuesday’s Austintown Board of Education meeting.
Board member Dr. Tom Stellers said Woodside school, also known as Wickliffe School, opened on Sept. 28, 1948.
"The new school opened with 310 students," he said. "It was one of the finest up-to-date schools in the country at the time."
Stellers said a lot of people came to see the new school because it was the first school in the Valley to be built following World War II. He said not so long ago the school had fallen into disrepair, but the teaching staff pulled together to turn it around and achieved an excellent rating from the state.
As the board members adjourned the meeting, Dr. David Ritchie said, "It was a great ending for Woodside School."
The board will meet next at 6 p.m. March 19 at Lloyd Elementary.
In other business:
Two parents addressed concern about school safety during public presentation. Addressing the issues was David Mullane, from the school district's safety committee. He said his committee met Feb. 14 for the first time. The committee felt the focus needed to be on a communication system and some concern on playground security. He reported that on May 21, a active shooter training will be held for staff members.
Resignations were accepted for Leanne Moltchan-Lloyd, paraprofessional; Joan Catullo, crossing guard; Candace Kekic, AMS eighth-grade volleyball coach; Alyssa Lanzo, AMS seventh-grade volleyball coach; and Paul Miller, AMS language arts tutor.
Transfers were approved for Brenda Wensyel to records secretary at Fitch; and Susan Hunsinger to special education secretary at AMS.
The board approved the following appointments: Ray Rutuschin, bus driver; Jackelyn Pavlich, Fitch food service; Vittorio Rucci and Tina Tolley, floating bus drivers; Erica Ciolli, Woodside paraprofessional; and Julie Hager, crossing guard.
The following supplemental contracts were approved: William Klein, Fitch assistant drama advisor; Candace Kekic, Fitch assistant volleyball coach;Alyssa Lanzo, Fitch freshman volleyball coach; Katie Wilson, Fitch intervention tutor; Kristin Szabo, AMS intervention tutor; Kristin O'Neill and Kari Knight, home instruction tutors; Sarah Siao, ESL tutor; Don Hernan, long term substitute teacher; and Jill Diono and Patrice Rosko, food service substitutes.
The board approved the Fitch Spanish Club to travel to Pittsburgh for a cultural cruise on the Gateway Clipper in May.
Fitch volleyball camps were approved for three different grade levels as follows: June 13-14 grades 5 and 6 girls at Fitch; June 19-21 for grade 7 and 8 girls at Fitch; and Sept. 8-Oct. 10 for grades 3 and 4 at AMS.
A donation of $1,500 was accepted from the Austintown Track and Cross Country Boosters to go towards refurbishing the high jump mats and replacement of the weather cover. Also, donations of $4,325 were accepted from a variety of local businesses and individuals to go towards the Austintown Robotics Team.
The board approved Jan. 22 as a calamity day.
The board approved Austintown American Legion Post 301 to hold Memorial Day services at Fitch High School from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on May 27.