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Students honored at Board meeting
May 3, 2018

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The Austintown Board of Education began their regular session on April 26 with a number of student resolutions. Among them was recognition of the VEX Robotics Team.

The Robotics Team was represented by STEM teacher and VEX coach Josh Folkwein, computer science teacher and VEX coach Robert Wyant, and students Erica Ramirez and Tre Moore. Not present were team members Sam Maguire, Hannah Harris, Isaac Robbins, and Robert Malizia.

"We qualified for state in our first year," said Folkwein about how the team did in competition.

He said the interesting thing about VEX robotics is the way competition is handled. It can involve changing the robot while on the go. It also is a constant learning atmosphere for the team members.

Also involved in the VEX Robotics Team is STEM teacher Danielle Chine.

Other student recognition went to Johnna Blystone from the Speech and Debate Team, and the Falcon Wheelchair Basketball Team.

Later in the agenda items were a long list of teachers and staff members who were non-renewed for the 2018-19 school year. Superintendent Vince Colaluca explained it is a normal move the district makes every year until the student numbers are final and the staff needs are better known.

On top of the board's approval of the non-renewals, the resignation of treasurer Arthur J. Ginnetti III was accepted effective on Friday, May 4. An addendum to the agenda included the appointment of the assistant treasurer MaryAnn Herschel as the district's treasurer pro tempore, but Board Vice President Robin Krempasky felt it should be tabled at the present time. All agreed and the agenda addendum item was tabled.

On a different issue, the board approved the Anchor Partnership Agreement between Austintown Local Schools Athletic Dept., and Wedgewood Fernando's Pizza. The agreement was for a ten-year period beginning on April 13 of this year.

There was some concern over the agreement and a possible contract and how it might affect the band and concession. Dr. David Ritchie said there was no such contract.

The issue brought up was pointing the finger at Athletic Director Lewis VanHoose, but Joe Chepke Jr. spoke highly of what has taken place under him.

"I am voicing my support of Athletic Director Lewis VanHoose. I heard his contract may not be renewed," Chepke said. "If you want to see Fitch get better, Lewis is the one to do it, if you give him time."

Chepke said a lot of good things have happened under VanHoose and the board needs to support him.

In other business:

The board authorized membership for 2018-19 in the Ohio High School Athletic Association.

The board recognized the employees of the month, which included teachers Tami Franklin, Lisa Fitzgerald, Rebecca Shrake, and Tina Kubacki, and non-teaching staff members Julie Carson, Paul Farbman, Arlene Curran, Patty Thompson, and Jacqueline Land.

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