Covington BOE names president, VP

By Sam Wildow -

COVINGTON — Dr. Dean Pond will continue in his role as the president of the Covington Board of Education following their meeting Thursday evening.

“It’s an honor to work for you people,” Pond said.

Pond also noted the expertise of the rest of the board members. “We’re very fortunate,” he said.

Covington Chief of Police and board member Lee Harmon was declared the vice president of the board.

Also during their meeting, Superintendent Gene Gooding recognized the board with a proclamation, naming this month as School Board Recognition Month.

“Serving on a school board requires an unselfish devotion of time and service to carry on the mission and business of the school district,” Gooding said. He noted their responsibilities, such as setting policies and procedures, maintaining communication within the school and community, and establishing the direction of the school’s future.

“I encourage all citizens to publicly and privately thank the school board members from all school districts serving this community for their dedicated service to our children,” Gooding said.

Gooding said he was grateful to the board and that he knew the community was as well. “This board of education cares about kids,” he said.

District Network Coordinator Levi Smith also presented on the progress of the One-to-One Project at Covington schools during their meeting. The project is aimed at giving every student at Covington schools access to a Chromebook, an iPad, or some type of computer from which to learn in the classroom. Smith and Gooding noted that the goal is to give younger children in kindergarten and first grade access to iPads due to how user-friendly the iPads are. Students in grades two through 12 will have access to Chromebooks.

The board was given a couple different options on which direction they could go with giving more students access to Chromebooks, including allowing students to take Chromebooks home, leaving the Chromebooks at the schools and checking them out each day to students, or having Chromebooks for each classroom. Having the students take the Chromebooks home or carrying them around all day presented concerns of maintenance issues, such as dropping or breakage hazards.

“If we want to do take-home, we have to have policy,” Smith said.

Also during their meeting, the board kept their regular meeting times the same. Their regular meetings will continue to be held on the third Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. They will be held in the K-8 media center at 807 Chestnut St.

The board also authorized paying the dues for membership of the Ohio School Board Association and services, which totaled $3,355.

During the student spotlight portion of the board’s meeting, the board honored senior Nathan Blei. Covington High School Principal Josh Long said Blei was an “outstanding leader.” Long told a story of how he was explaining to another student who he was picking to honor in the student spotlight, and when Long told the student it was Blei, the student said, “That’s a no-brainer.”

Blei has a 4.0 GPA, participates in sports and clubs, and is looking into going into architecture as his future career.

“He’s just a kid that can listen and lead,” Long said. “If we want anyone representing our school, he’s one of them … He has so much to be proud of.”

Following the student spotlight, FFA President Brian Miller and FFA member Jack Shell presented on their National FFA Conference and other FFA experiences, including activities for seat belt safety, Happy Harvest Day, cardboard city, and the Buckeye Bash dance at the convention. The Covington FFA chapter also received a 3-star chapter award.

By Sam Wildow

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336