VWCS Board of Education Meeting: November 15, 2023
A recent trip by Van Wert Middle School students to the nation’s capital was highlighted during Wednesday’s meeting of the Van Wert City Schools Board of Education.
Middle School Principal Darla Dunlap, along with students Alex Benner, Jayden White, Josie Coleman, and Hannah Eberle outlined the trip and explained the various sights taken in, including a tour of Capital Hill and the U.S. Capital Building, a tour of some of the Smithsonian, seeing the White House, the Korean War, Vietnam War, Lincoln, and 911 Memorials, and participating in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Other stops on the trip were at FBI headquarters, the National Archives, the Iwo Jima Memorial, the Holocaust Museum, a visit with U.S. Representative Bob Latta, and on the way back, the Gettysburg National Military Park. It was the first post-pandemic Washington D.C. trip for middle schoolers. All of those experiences took place over four days.
79 students and 11 adults made the trip and Dunlap said she hopes to see the number of students making the trip increase in future years. She also acknowledged this year’s $899 price tag was high for many students and their families and she said the school has started going after different grants and is gathering community support.
“Our goal is to get enough money to reduce the price for everybody by a couple of hundred dollars and still have some scholarship money for those kids who need it,” she stated. “Our ultimate goal would be to take every student eligible or every student whose parents would allow them to go.”
The board also heard a presentation on the five-year forecast from Treasurer Troy Bowersock. He noted 53 percent of the district’s revenues come from the state and he said 81 percent of expenditures are salaries and benefits. He added it’s hard to project one year in advance, much less five years but he also said the current forecast exhibits stability.
“I wouldn’t say we’re loaded as a school district but we’ve demonstrated stability,” he said. “That’s not a one, two, or three-person effort, that’s a community effort. It takes the board of education, the administration, and the staff all working together for our students.”
The board accepted a pair of resignations – the retirement resignation of middle school language arts/social studies teacher Marie Markward, effective at the end of the current school year, and Anthony Marsicano, boys varsity soccer coach. Kyle Clum was hired as a custodial/maintenance worker, effective December 11.
Board members also accepted a lengthy list of donations from businesses, organizations and individuals. Bagley read aloud a card from Jane Clifton, sister-in-law of former Assistant Superintendent Bill Clifton. She gave a $1,000 donation for Phase II of the Eggerss Stadium renovation project and praised the work Clifton did during the first phase.
The board will hold a special meeting/work session at 6 p.m. Tuesday, December 12, in the Goedde Building conference room, with no action to be taken at the meeting. The next regular meeting of the board will be at 5 p.m. Wednesday, December 20, in the First Federal Lecture Hall at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.