Big Walnut BOE approves five-year forecast


The Big Walnut Board of Education approved a five-year forecast at its meeting Thursday.

Treasurer Jeremy Buskirk said the forecast is used as a “long-range planning tool. There’s not a whole lot that can be trimmed. We’re trying to be as lean as we can. There comes a time when you can’t cut anymore.”

According to the report, the June 30, 2017 fund balance was $9.4 million; 2018 was $9.7 million; and 2019 was $10.8 million. The forecast is positive balances for the next two years — $9.9 million in 2020 and $4.5 million in 2021; and negative balances the remaining three years — $5.6 million for 2022, $18.8 million for 2023 and $35.1 million for 2024.

It was noted that the district’s expenditures were expected to go from $41.3 million in fiscal year 2019 to a forecast of $60.3 million in 2024. Superintendent Angie Hamberg said those numbers reflected maintaining current services with two new schools coming online.

Board President Brad Schneider said he appreciated the conservative approach taken by Buskirk. There was also board discussion about new developments, and how the anticipated revenue from taxes doesn’t necessarily cover the costs of additional students.

Also during the two-hour meeting:

• Doug Swartz, director of facilities, said they were hoping to get the roof on the new Prairie Run Elementary (PRE) by year’s end.

• Matt Cropper, of Cropper GIS, gave his recommendations for redistricting, and the board suggested voting for only the first year of elementary attendance zones to account for PRE at its next meeting Dec. 12.

• Director of Academic Achievement Jen Young said Big Walnut High School (BWHS) and Hylen Souders Elementary replaced their traditional desks and chairs with more modern and varied classroom furniture, such as octagonal tables and wobble chairs. She said teachers and students alike are excited about the new furniture and try to get the seats they prefer when they enter the classroom.

• Assistant Superintendent Mark Cooper said that to his regret, longtime head mechanic Patrick O’Quin will be resigning at the end of the year. He also praised athletic ticket manager Teresa Piper for her hard work.

In other district news, the Leo Club is collecting gently used coats in the BWHS cafeteria through Nov. 26 and distributing them to area families for the winter.

On Nov. 18, it was announced that head football coach Joe Weaver is stepping down.

“For the past 20 years, I have had the distinct honor and pleasure to serve this program with my entire heart,” Weaver wrote in a letter addressed to the Big Walnut football community. “It is a dream job.”

“Coach Weaver is an exceptional leader and role model for the students of Big Walnut,” states Athletic Director Brian Shelton on the district’s website.

The board is accepting applications for the district’s representative to the Delaware Area Career Center Board of Education until noon Dec. 6. For more information, visit

A view of Prairie Run Elementary looking south down the main corridor from the media center, as seen in September. view of Prairie Run Elementary looking south down the main corridor from the media center, as seen in September. Courtesy photo | Big Walnut Local Schools

By Gary Budzak

[email protected]

Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

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