Van Wert treasurer Mike Ruen attended his last Van Wert Board of Education meeting on Wednesday. The Board honored him with a reception and gift. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)
The Van Wert City Board of Education honored treasurer Mike Ruen during their Wednesday meeting for his 12 years of service to the district. During the July meeting, Ruen announced his resignation.
"I would like to sincerely thank Mr. Ruen for [his] dedicated, tireless service to this school district," said Board President Scott Mull. "It is with a heavy heart that I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors and will truly miss the skill and knowledge you brought to the treasurer's office."
Mull said the Board is truly grateful for the condition that Ruen is leaving the treasurer's office in and said it will help set the next treasurer up for success. In 12 years, Ruen has never missed a regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting. Ruen is leaving the position with the highest cash balance since his arrival at just over $6 million. The current carry-over balance is at 91.25 days, the same as when he started 12 years ago, which Mull noted was impressive considering rising costs over the years.
At the July meeting, Ruen said that he accepted a treasurer position at Hicksville Local Schools.
To honor him, the Van Wert Board of Education held a reception prior to their meeting and presented him with a token of gratitude.
"I am very humbled to have been part of this school district for 12 years and the people I've met, the people I've worked with, the people in the community," said Ruen. "I've always hoped to do the very best job that I could for the district and the people in this community."
During his final report, Ruen noted that income tax revenue was up $230,000 for the second quarter of 2019 compared to last year, which was significant. However, Ruen said he didn't feel that the increase was a trend but rather a one-time payment that the district is not likely to see again.
Also during the treasurer's report, the Board accepted the following donations: $26,208.45 from the Richard L. and Nadie O. Klein Memorial Trust Fund, $401. 23 from the Lacy L. Trammel Memorial Fund, $2,000 from the Cooper Family Foundation for the 2019 Education Grant and $1,500 for the High School Renaissance Program, $1,500 from the Business Development Corporation for the CEO Program, $500 from BKH, Inc. DBA Master Driving School for the High School Principal Fund, $86.19 from Pel Industries, Inc. for the High School Principal Fund, $500 from Jeffery-Mohr Dentistry for the Baseball State Tournament, and $100 from Melfour LLC for the Girl’s Basketball Athletic Account.
In other business, Assistant Superintendent Bill Clifton updated the Board on school safety and security. He noted that the district is continuing to address safety issues from a facility standpoint. Attention has recently been focused on access doors and exterior doors. Doors will no longer be accessed by staff through a regular key, but rather a key fob that will keep track of who enters what doors. If doors are left open a signal will be set off to let someone know that the door needs to be closed. The district has also had an increase of police presence at the school buildings and bus stops to ensure student safety.
Clifton also explained that a recently purchased special education bus will come with a stop bar camera that will be able to record if a person runs the stopped bus.
"We're going to use it as an experimental bus to see if we are able to capture those that are violating the stop bar on our bus," said Clifton. "We're hoping to see if that will be beneficial to all of our buses."
Clifton reminded citizens that all county schools are back in session and noted that people should be vigilant to look out for stopped buses.
During her report, Superintendent Vicki Brunn spoke about a draft for new graduation guidelines for 2021 and 2022 graduates. Students will have a choice of sticking with current pathways or can chose alternate options such as proving readiness for college or a job through testing or gaining an industry credential, showing proof of joining the military, completing college course work, or other options.
"Classes of 2023 and beyond won't have a choice, they will need to follow those new competencies," said Brunn.
Also during the meeting, the Board made the following motions:
- Accept the resignation of Demond Johnson as Volunteer Assistant Varsity Football Coach, effective the 2019-2020 contract year.
- Approve Demond Johnson as Assistant Varsity Football Coach for the 2019-2020 contract year.
- Approve the following volunteer coaches for the 2019-2020 contract year: Rachel Dickman as Volunteer Assistant Cross Country Coach, Steve Hellman as Volunteer Assistant Football Coach, Adam Tussing as Volunteer Assistant Football Coach, and Harry Florence as Volunteer Assistant Football Coach.
The Board also approved a large list of supplemental contracts and employment contracts.
The Board was informed that the following employees advanced on the pay scale due to additional college coursework effective Sept. 1, 2019: Monica Donley from Masters+15 to Masters+30 and Kim Fleming from Masters to Masters+15.
With no further public business, the Board motioned to go into executive session and then adjourned. The next Van Wert Board of Education meeting is set for Sept. 11 at 5 p.m. in the First Federal Lecture Hall.
Original article courtesy of the Times Bulletin.