PIQUA – It was back to school and back to business for the Piqua City Schools board of education on Thursday, when they held their first meeting of the 2016-17 academic year. The brief meeting brought new staff to the district, as well as positive news from the athletic director.
More than a dozen new staff members were introduced, including teachers, a guidance counselor and new Piqua Central Intermediate School Assistant Principal Ross Loudenback. The educators ranged from seasoned veterans to those fresh out of college, and spanned all grade levels. Some hailed from this area or other parts of Ohio, while others came from out of state.
“This is a great group; we’re excited to have them on board. They’ve had a great start to the school year,” said Tony Lyons, the district’s recently appointed assistant superintendent. “It’s exciting in this position to be able to have a part in the selection process and really get to know all of them. I’m ready to get out there in the classrooms and see them work.”
Director of Athletics Chip Hare was happy to report the completion of the track renovation project at Piqua High School’s Alexander Stadium, just in time for tonight’s gridiron faceoff against Dayton’s Meadowdale High School.
“They did a great job with the timing and the weather we had. This crew really did push to get done, but they also pushed through it correctly. I really was not interested in them just trying to rush through. They really did a good job of taking care of the details,” Hare said.
The renovation of the track, which was more than 30 years old, cost approximately $500,000, most of it from private-party funding.
“When you go out to the track, you’re going to see a fantastic track that really pops out, that’s going to make this community very proud,” Hare said.
In other business, the board approved several recommendations, including:
• The tuition rate for the district for the 2016-17 school year in the amount of $567.89 per month of attendance.
• The hiring of four part-time bus drivers, effective as of Aug. 23. A need for bus drivers was discussed at a previous board meeting and Lyons said, with the addition of one more driver in October, “That puts us flush with bus drivers.”
Superintendent Dwayne Thompson gave an update on the ending times of the school day at Piqua Central Intermediate School and the two primary schools. At PCIS, students who walk home will be dismissed at 3:05 p.m. and bus riders at 3:20 p.m. At Washington and Springcreek, walkers and car riders will be dismissed at 3:25, and bus riders at 3:40 p.m. This will allow bus drivers time to run the PCIS route and arrive at the primary schools in a reasonable amount of time, Thompson explained.
The board’s next meeting will be at 6 p.m. Sept. 22, at Piqua Junior High School. To watch a streaming broadcast of Thursday’s meeting, as well as previous meetings, go to www.piqua.org/Boxcast.aspx.
Reach Belinda M. Paschal at (937) 451-3341.