Numerous updates were given on issues in the Wellston School District when the Wellston City Schools Board of Education met this week, including the status of the sinkhole that was recently discovered near the C.H. Jones Football Field, as well as a recent discussion on the Local Report Card.
During the Monday night, March 13 meeting, Superintendent Karen Boch explained that engineers from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) have examined the sinkhole which was discovered late Thursday, March 2, on Wellston City School District property in the area of the old track, behind C.H. Jones Stadium. She said those officials have determined that the sinkhole was caused by mine subsidence, a result of past mining practices in the city.
District Maintenance Supervisor Paul Sims said the current plan is to increase the diameter of the hole by three feet, as the hole is larger than it appears on the surface. Once this is complete, he said ODNR personnel will then pour concrete into the hole, mound dirt on top of that, and then plant vegetation on the surface.
As the sinkhole was in a single location and no structures were damaged as a result of it forming, Boch said the repair work will be contained to that area.
Report Card Meeting
Boch also informed board members that she and other members of the Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA) Local Report Card Committee met with State Superintendent of Public Instruction at Ohio Department of Education, Paolo DeMaria on Friday night, March 10. She said the meeting was a productive one, and that Wellston was in attendance as a high-poverty district. Though at least one other district represented at the meeting had little to no economically-disadvantaged students, Boch said it appears as though most all districts in the state share the same concerns with regard to the Local Report Card.
She stated those in attendance of the meeting were in agreement that the Local Report Card figures "don't tell the whole story" for a particular school district.
In other news:
Boch said the chiller replacement project at Wellston Middle School is moving along. She said this project and the roof repair work for the Wellston High School weight room have an estimated completion time of mid-April.
Wellston Intermediate School 5th-grader Lauren Cheatham was recently recognized by the Columbus Children's Theater for her story entitled "Time Travel Destination." Boch said Cheatham will be recognized by the board during next month's meeting, which is set for Monday, April 10 at 7 p.m.
Board member Gretchen Crabtree touted the recent experience with the Young Americans group, which involved a total of 181 local students. She opined that this encounter has even spilled over into the performance of the WHS Choir and Band, as she said she has noticed marked improvements by the students. Crabtree also congratulated the Vinton County Vikings basketball team for their recent successes, and also gave many thanks to the efforts of the local radio stations in broadcasting local sports games.
Three-year contracts were approved for district administrators Tami Downard (Treasurer), Jeff Hendershott (AD/Transportation), Tina King (Food Service) and Joey Rapp (Technology). An amended contract was also approved for Wellston Intermediate School Principal Michelle Lanning.