BW school board approves new hires


SUNBURY — The Big Walnut Board of Education meeting on April 19 concluded with the board making several new hires.

Interim Treasurer Darren Jenkins was made official, with a five-year, $125,000 annual salary effect Aug. 1.

Another new hire was James Hall as director of facilities, with a two-year, $105,000 annual salary. This position supervises the building of new facilities and maintaining the district’s current facilities.

Curtis Crager was hired as the new head football coach at Big Walnut High School. He is also listed as a “Credit Recovery Teacher.”

Among the hires was Sarah Eyers as an American Sign Language teacher at BWHS. The hire was made due to demand from students to offer a sign language course.

They, and other staff, were approved by consent, meaning a full reading of the personnel moves did not occur, although a vote was taken, which was unanimous.

“All Human Resources items are pending receipt of successful background checks, verification of experience, and completion of all necessary documentation,” the meeting agenda said.

A second book that had been challenged by a district parent called “Speak” was quietly resolved at the meeting.

In the agenda, the language read, “It is recommended the Board overturn the recommendation of the Superintendent to continue using Speak as a curriculum resource at the high school level.”

Board member Steve Fujii noted that since the matter had been tabled and hadn’t been “un-tabled” during the five special board meetings held since the tabling, that according to Robert’s Rules of Order, the motion is considered dead.

“Darren, what do you think?” Board President Doug Crowl said to Jenkins, who administrates the board meetings using parliamentary procedure. Jenkins said by strict interpretation, that Fujii was correct.

“I would concur,” Crowl said, and moved on to the personnel items.

Also at the meeting, member Angela Graziosi said the board has taken action at recent executive sessions to make the district safer from gun violence, although she would not specify what those actions were.

In other business, the board also approved:

• The lease/purchase of two handicapped buses not to exceed $155,000/each for a lease/purchase term of 60 months; two new regular route buses not to exceed $135,000/each for lease/purchase a lease/purchase term of 60 months; and one regular route bus not to exceed $75,000 to replace bus #57 (bus totaled in accident).

• Postponing taking action on a voucher joinder resolution for school districts until the May meeting. The vote was 3-2, with Crowl, Graziosi and Alice Nicks voting yes, and Fujii and newest board member, Todd Smith, voting no. The Gazette has previously reported that Smith was appointed to be fifth school board member, taking the oath of office on April 19.

• Two forms of instructional materials for the district’s writing programs. Superintendent Ryan McLane said a committee that included Graziosi and Nicks were in agreement to use the programs.

• Membership in the Ohio High School Athletic Association for the 2023-24 school year.

• The 2024 tax budget for the Community Library.

• The use of the district’s closed-circuit video and computer systems by the Delaware County Emergency Communications 9-1-1 Center, the Delaware County Sheriff, and the Sunbury Police Department only in the event of an emergency.

After two hours, the board went into executive session.

The next board meeting is May 18, just before graduation.

Assistant Editor Gary Budzak covers the eastern half of Delaware County and surrounding areas. He may be reached at [email protected].

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