Plans discussed for WHS FFA trip

Wapakoneta City Schools Board of Education members heard a presentation Tuesday regarding plans for students to attend the FFA National Convention.

Wapakoneta High School FFA adviser Chris Turner discussed with board members plans for students to attend the annual convention in Indianapolis.

He said this year the trip would last fewer than 24 hours and would not require an overnight stay as in previous years. The three-day convention starts on Wednesday, but Wapakoneta students are planning to attend Thursday, Oct. 25, the day most of the events and speakers are scheduled.

“We’re still in preliminary stages, but we have 34 kids signed up,” Turner said.

He said by eliminating an overnight stay, the cost is $40 per student to take a charter bus.

“Because we are not staying overnight, the cost is lower and more can sign up because they will be back (for other activities),” Turner said.

He said keeping costs low for students to attend events is why they do fundraisers throughout the year.

Board members approved several supplemental contracts including:

• Ryan Loy as seventh- and eighth-grade quiz bowl adviser for $1,040.

• Jason Brandt as varsity baseball head coach for $4,900.

• Brian VanMeter for varsity boys bowling and Jim Brannan for varsity girls bowling for $2,953 each.

• Mark Cook as varsity boys track head coach and Mindy Webb as varsity girls track head coach for $4,900 each.    

• Jared Selover and Jeremy Rostorfer as varsity wrestling assistants for $3,927 each.

• Adam Stahler for middle school wrestling at $2,718.

• Kevin Drexler and Erica Drexler for middle school girls basketball for $2,953 each.

• Bill Sammons as varsity softball head coach for $4,900.

• Darrell Heintz as varsity boys tennis head coach for $3,927.

• Brian Cossel as middle school wrestling half-time for $1,476.

• Tony Miller as varsity swimming assistant for $2,282.

• Nick Sammetinger as middle school wrestling half-time for $1,359.

Volunteers approved included Todd Crow for boys golf and Dave Copeland for middle school girls basketball.

Superintendent Keith Horner said the positions, which are rehired annually, are approved typically by season, with some for winter and spring approved now, but more anticipated.

Board members also approved the following personnel matters during Tuesday’s meeting:

• Disability retirement of Joni Ruppert effective Nov. 1. The Wapakoneta Middle School language arts teacher has taught in the district since 1987.

• Resignation of Mark Law from his supplemental position as varsity assistant football coach effective Sept. 3.

• Resignation of Diane Ferguson as cafeteria worker effective Aug. 29.

• Employment of Curtis Bailey as a bus driver beginning Sept. 14 for four hours a day, 188 days a year at a rate of $16.11 per hour.

• Employment of Lynn King and Dorinda Schmerge as cafeteria workers for 2.75 hours per day at a pay rate of $10.43 per hour. King’s employment began Sept. 24 and Schmerge’s is to begin Oct. 9.

Thirteen substitute teachers were approved, two para-educators and two secretaries.

“This is the first year I’ve had a concern about our reserves getting low,” Horner said.

He said as the retirement system has changed and more teachers are retiring there are more job openings so less people are looking for work as substitutes.

Horner anticipates additional retirements next year so the trend continuing.

“I just get the sense that there are more teacher jobs in the last two or three years,” Horner said.

In other business, board members accepted donations of $500 from Walmart for Starla Amos’s Title I reading program at Wapakoneta Elementary School, $368 from Lange Photographics for athletics, $75 from Lange Photographics for band, 220 pocket constitutions from Auglaize County Patriots for Wapakoneta High School students, and $100 from Mercy Unlimited for school supplies, as well as school supplies from St. Mark’s women’s group and the Noon Optimists.

Horner said as always they are thankful and appreciative for the donations.

After the regular meeting, the board met in executive session for the appointment or employment of public employees with no action taken.