Brenner to speak to Olentangy school board tonight


The Olentangy Board of Education will have a busy business meeting tonight, as the school year winds down.

State Rep. Andrew Brenner, R-Powell, will begin the meeting by giving what the board agenda sheet calls an “update on state policy initiatives.” In recent years, the school board and administration have attempted to get increased funding at the state level.

Another presentation will be given by Supervisor of Gifted Education Melany Ondrus, and community service awards presented by board member Roger Bartz.

There will be five discussion items: Treasurer Brian Kern on the five-year financial forecast and 2017 budget; Director of Curriculum Peggy McMurry on summer academic programs; curriculum supervisors Anthony Elkins and Vincent DiTillio will give a curriculum resource update; facilities director Jeffrey Gordon on use fees; and food service supervisor Bethany Lenko on lunch fees.

Among the action items the board will decide on is the five-year forecast and budget; an increase in lunch fees; and a $3.9 million network and computer equipment contract with Hewlett Packard Enterprise Leasing.

One of the highlights of any school board meeting is when the superintendent singles students or staff out for recognition. In the case of Olentangy, Mark Raiff will spotlight “good things” in the district.

In recent months, there have been many things that can be considered as good. For example:

• Columbus CEO magazine has named the district on its “Top Workplaces” list at number 9 among organizations of 350 employees or more. Olentangy Local Schools has more than 2,350 employees and was the only educational organization to make the large employer list.

• The Ozone Olentangy Robotics Team, consisting of students from all three high schools who built a robot named Margo, won the “Creativity Award for its unique scouting abilities” at the Ohio Buckeye Regional First Robotics Competition in March in Cleveland.

• Andrew Fenton, a kindergarten student at Johnnycake Corners Elementary, won a $500 scholarship at the state-level Invention Convention competition for a tool to read in the tub without getting books wet.

• Three Berkshire Middle School students — Taylor Horn, Anish Indukuri and Sreya Tummalapali — will compete in the National History Day competition in June at the University of Maryland.

• The Freedom Trail Elementary Running Club will hold its first “fun run” on June 2. The club, which began this spring, has 135 members, including students and staff.

• Saket Pochiraju, a student at Orange Middle School, qualified for the National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C, on May 22-25.

• Emily Davis, a junior at Orange High School, has received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for her time spent helping other students, and as a Special Olympics coach.

• Ryan Dozer, a junior at Liberty High School and a cancer survivor, has raised $50,000 to provide meals and mortgage payments for pediatric chemotherapy patients and their families.

• Liberty High School’s DECA program had its most successful DECA Career Development Conference in school history last month in Nashville, Tennessee. The chapter sent 25 students to compete in 11 different career/project event categories, with Lizzie Radkiewicz named the international champion for her creative marketing research project.

• The Delaware County Career Development mentorship program at the Olentangy Academy recently recognized students Shray Jain, Ashley Post and Elizabeth Wears with $250 scholarships during the 2016 Career Passport Contest.

• Olentangy High School’s academic team won WOSU-TV’s “In the Know” tournament, receiving four scholarships from Ohio State University.

The school board meeting will take place at 6 p.m. today in the Olentangy administrative office, 814 Shanahan Road, Lewis Center. The public may attend and comment.


By Gary Budzak

[email protected]

Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

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