FAIRBORN — Attendees of the Thursday, Jan. 14 regular school board meeting delivered a standing ovation upon three new members saying “I do” to their commitments to the board.
Jerry Browning, Pat McCoart and Katie Mlod were sworn-in and began their service, member Andrew Wilson was promoted to president of the board and Browning was elected vice president.
“I’d like to extend my thanks and appreciation for the nomination to be your board president for the next year,” Wilson said. “It was a real surprise and I hope I can carry out the office to your expectations.”
Board Members and leaders, now including Browning, McCoart, Mlod, Wilson and Jeri Luce, were appointed to a number of committee and liaison positions, aiming to build a stronger connection between the district and community with McCoart now serving as a Fairborn City School District representative to the City of Fairborn, Wright State University and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
“Everyone on council is looking forward to the opportunity to work with the school board,” Councilwoman Donna Wilson said during the recognition of guests. “We hope to do great things for Fairborn.”
Snow day explanation
The Fairborn City School District experienced a two-hour delay Tuesday, which was ultimately promoted to a snow day. Superintendent Terry Riley said the decision wasn’t easy and came after he and Director of Business Affairs and Classified Personnel Ed Gibbons began monitoring the roads at 4 a.m.
He had to make a choice in regards to delaying or closing by the time the buses started running at 6 a.m. However, between 4 and 6 a.m. the weather stayed quiet, leading Riley and neighboring superintendents to lean toward a delay. The decision to maintain the delay or close was then to be made by 8 a.m., which is when the buses would start making morning runs.
When 8 a.m. rolled around, the snow had not made its extended appearance. Therefore, the delay was kept in place and students were still to report to class. However, Riley said a half hour after the decision was made, the snow picked back up. Therefore, Riley decided to grant the students a snow day.
However, some high school students were already in route or on campus. FCS officials asked the transportation supervisor about the conditions of the roads, who reported that some sliding was occurring. Riley thought that if the district was already facing issues with trying to get just one-fourth of the student population to school, then it would be most beneficial to close.
“At that time, given the circumstances we were facing — the snow and so forth — we made the last-minute decision to close,” Riley said. “I don’t like to make decisions like that; I don’t like making them under those circumstances, but felt that [way] for the best interest of all of our children.”
The board passed a resolution to authorize Chief Financial Officer Nicole Marshall to invoice the Ohio Department of Education for $25 million in funds taken from the Fairborn City School District to charter schools since 2002.
The resolution stated that FCS receives $4,075 in state funding for each student, while charter school students receive $7,378. Money sometimes travels to operators outside of the district or outside of the state.
Renewing Marshall’s contract
Marshall’s current contract to the district was to expire in fiscal year 2017. However, the board approved a five-year contract to keep her in office as the chief financial officer until at least 2022.
“We chose to do this as a new board because we wanted to show our confidence in Nicole. She is the right person for Fairborn and we wanted to make that commitment to her going forward,” Browning said. ” … We think it’s important for Fairborn for Nicole to stay.”
Wilson said new treasurer and superintendent contracts are typically three-year deals, while renewal contracts can be up to five-years according to state law.
The board additionally voted to move its meeting days to the first Thursday of the month instead of the second, as well as its location to the Fairborn High School Media Center as they were previously held in the council chambers of the Fairborn Government Center. The next meeting will take place 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4.
“We are changing this to be a further part of the community,” Wilson said.
Whitney Vickers can be reached by calling her directly at 937-502-4532, or on Twitter @wnvickers.