Hayes High School senior Eric Gitson is sworn in as the new Delaware City Schools student board member Monday afternoon.

Jennifer Ruhe | Delaware City Schools

The Delaware City Schools Board of Education welcomed a new student board member and discussed the start of the school year at its regular meeting Monday.

The board held its final meeting before students return to classrooms on Aug. 16 and welcomed Eric Gitson, a senior from Hayes High School, who will serve as the board’s student board member for the school year. Gitson will attend meetings, give the board updates about the student body, and will have a spiritual vote on all board action.

Gitson introduced himself to the board and said he’s a member of Business Professionals of America and currently serves as the youth governor of Ohio as part of Youth in Government. Gitson said he’s “really excited” for the school year and encouraged his fellow students to reach out to him and share their perspectives to help represent them better to the board.

“I’m incredibly grateful for this opportunity to represent DCS students on the school board,” Gitson said.

Superintendent Heidi Kegley said the board is “so excited” to have Gitson as student board member.

Director of Facilities and Transportation Jason Sherman said the gym floor replacement at Woodward Elementary School was completed, and there are HVAC adjustments being made at Woodward and Conger Elementary School in the coming weeks.

Executive Director of Human and Material Resources Jerry Stewart said the district is ready to start the school year in terms of having filled outstanding instructional staff positions, and other roles like cook/cashier and other miscellaneous staff roles are in the process of being filled.

“(We’re) so fortunate that we’ve had great applicants this year,” Stewart said.

Stewart joked, “I’ve got a smile on my face and that’s kind of hard to do this time of year.”

“This is a great place to be,” he added. “A lot of people are working awful hard to make sure our kids have the best.”

Board President Jayna McDaniel-Browning thanked Stewart and his team for “making sure that we have excellent staff members for our students and families,” and Kegley said she’s “very excited” about the hires.

Looking ahead to the new school year, Director of Communications Jennifer Ruhe said the district is working on streamlining its communication platforms and is trying to concentrate communication into the school messenger system, which works via email, text message or phone.

Ruhe said all the buildings in the district are also committed to weekly email check-in with families.

The board approved several resignations at the meeting, including Melissa Angelo, a third-grade teacher at Carlisle Elementary School; Neva DiPietro, a substitute in the School Aged Child Care (SACC) program; April Horst, an educational assistant at Hayes; Annabelle Moses; a bus driver; Gina Picetti, a cook/cashier at Schultz Elementary School; Emily Rossi, a SACC substitute; and Tiffany Salyers, a cook/cashier at Schultz.

The board also approved the employments of several staff members, including Christine Dunahue, an intervention specialist at Woodward; Christian Jamal, a school counselor at Hayes; John Makary, an EL teacher at Schultz/Carlisle/Smith Elementary; Kimberly Shaffer, a learning support teacher at Conger; Beth Weiser, an occupational therapist at Conger; Lindsey Austin, an educational assistant at Conger; Carrie Henderson, an educational assistant; Deena Ingle, a cook/cashier at Hayes; Paul Lance, an educational assistant at Dempsey; Blair Millet, a SACC program assistant; Faith Morgan, an administrative assistant at Willis Education Center; and Edye Skidmore, an educational assistant at Schultz.

The board will meet next on Aug. 21 at 6 p.m. for its joint meeting with Delaware City Council at City Hall.

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.