SUNBURY — Superintendent Ryan McLane said during the June 29 Big Walnut Board of Education meeting that the district’s website redesign would be coming soon. The new-look site is now up and running.

Accessibility and navigation will be easier, it was said in a presentation by Technology Specialist Caylib Mason. There are more than 500 “pages” on the website, he said.

Alice Nicks asked if the website would be kept up to date. McLane said that would be one of the new responsibilities of the communications specialist. No additional cost went into the redesign, McLane said.

The website is at

Also, McLane said the Early Learning Center recently received a five-star rating for Step Up to Quality. He thanked Katie Yeager for her work leading that building.

Assistant Superintendent Megan Forman discussed some intermediate students’ recent trip to Panama, with a focus on the global economy and its history. The board was asked to expand the number of trips. She noted that in the future, the trips would require board approval.

“We had an absolutely wonderful time,” Forman said of Panama. “We want to start promoting that (future trips) ahead of time if they need to apply for a scholarship.”

The teacher-led trip, taken after the school year ended, included a middle school group from Westerville City Schools, so there was about 40 people in all, Forman said. Sponsored through Education First, the trips are paid for by parents and anonymous donors, and cost about $3,000 per student.

The board praised the experiential learning gained by the students from the overseas trips.

The board approved extended field trips for grades 5-8 to Italy (June 6-15, 2024), Belize (STEM in spring break 2025), London and Paris (June 3-10, 2025)

Treasurer Darren Jenkins commended his office “for having a handle on what our expenditures will be for the upcoming year,” something he hasn’t seen in his prior experience in Ohio schools. Board Vice President Angela Graziosi also praised the office for their diligence.

The board then approved final amended appropriations for fiscal year 2023 and temporary appropriation for fiscal year2024, both to be filed with the Delaware County Auditor’s Office.

Also approved:

• An agreement between Professional Speech Services, Inc. and Big Walnut Local Schools.

• The purchase of instructional materials. It was noted that “preschool is a complicated beast,” with approvals required from Ohio Departments of Education and Jobs and Family Services.

• New flooring for Big Walnut Elementary School, to be completed before the start of school. Jenkins said the money for the project was already appropriated. McLane, Nicks and Board President Doug Crowl all said the flooring replacement was long overdue.

• The license and subscription for Schoology through PowerSchool for teachers to post assignments, as well as for communication.

In personnel matters, the board approved the resignation of Big Walnut High School Principal S. Andrew Jados at the end of the day July 31. Jados was thanked for his eight years of service at BWHS.

Contracts were approved for Communications Specialist Geoffrey Peterfy (two years at $62,000 annually), and Jessica Shelton as principal of the Early Learning Center at Harrison Street (two years at $80,000 annually).

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