COVINGTON — Students Zach Hasting, Brandon Magee, and Bryce Weer have been representing the Covington School District well for their character and academic achievements, for which the three students were honored at the Covington Board of Education meeting on Thursday.
Hasting and Magee are members of the FFA and submitted applications to be considered for the state champion profiency awards and were forwarded to the National FFA Organization. Both students received a gold rating, the highest honor.
Hasting was recognized as a finalist, and is considered the top four FFA member in the nation in his area of expertise. He will be attending the National FFA Convention in October in Louisville, Ky., and overseen by 50,000 FFA members and guests. Hasting will be interviewed by a group of professionals and sponsors.
“(FFA members) are unbelievable,” Superintendent Gene Gooding said. “It’s a sight to see all of the kids in their jackets (at convention).”
“I’m happy to be known as a farming community,” board member Alex Reck said. “It’s good to know the kids are doing well.”
Weer, an eighth grader at Covington Middle School, was honored at the meeting for being Student Spotlight for the month of September. CMS Principal Matt Pond spoke fondly of Weer.
“This is something we do take very serious,” Pond said about Student Spotlight. “(Weer) is a tremendous role model toward anyone and everyone … one of the most positive kids I come across. He always makes my day better.”
Weer is said to have a strong work ethic and is involved in football and track. His favorite class is science, he loves the outdoors, and favors the Dallas Cowboys and pizza.
Steve Miller, project manager for the new PK-8 building said the building has “literally grown out of the ground” and is progressing on time and on budget.
“Overall, our building project is coming along extremely well and we will open the building in August 2016,” he said, “it’s a joy working on that building … the best day of this whole project will be when the school bus rolls up to drop off students for the first time.”
The roof is almost near completion in the gym and cafeteria areas of the building. Miller said the short-term goal for the building is to have all areas enclosed by the time winter approaches, so focus can be made on the inside. There will be a meeting soon on window installation.
Miller proposed to the board future district projects that would take place next summer if the board approves. The projects include: carpet tile installation at Covington High School; corridor connection between CHS and the PK-8 building; new board of education space; sidewalk replacement at CHS; four restroom rennovations; and a fire alarm system for CHS and the PK-8 building. A public meeting will take place in the near future for the board to take comments from the community.
“There’s a lot of decisions that need to be made,” Gooding said.
The board acknowledged the changes to House Bill 64 regarding to teacher evaluations. Gooding said English and non-English-teaching staff were evaluated differently and will now be on the same system. All have to develop and implement one Student Learning Objective (SLO), which will serve as the teachers’ single student growth measurement.
The board discussed concerns parents have with students in extracurricular activities who participate in the activities during holidays.
“I think people are very understanding about taking time off … I think we need to be cautious of time students are spending with family than extracurricular stuff,” Reck said. The board will continue future discussions on how to resolve the situation.
The board approved of the following:
• Donations from: Covington BUCC Boosters of $13,000; Covington Football Camp of $3,007.51; Covington Fraternal Order of Eagles #3998 of $ 250; Veterans Memorial Fund of $50
• Declaration of impracticality to transport students for students attending Troy Christian Schools and St. Patrick’s Catholic School, with the board paying the parent or guardian of said student(s) “in-lieu of” providing such services. The amount will be calculated by the Ohio Department of Education and will be paid to the board by the Ohio Department of Education.
Reach reporter Amy Barger at (937) 451-3340 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall