Piqua BOE discusses tax levy proposal

Exchange students share experiences

By Belinda M. Paschal - Associate Editor, Miami Valley Today

PIQUA – During their final meeting of the year on Thursday, the Piqua City Schools Board of Education approved a resolution declaring it necessary to levy a renewal tax with an increase and requesting the county auditor to certify matters in connection with a proposed tax levy.

The five-year levy was first approved at 3.5 mills in 1994, then renewed for 2.0 mills in 1999, after which it was renewed for 1.8 mills every five years thereafter. If approved in 2019, the levy would increase by 1.2 mills to constitute a levy of 3.0 mills.

The funds generated would be used for such permanent improvements as purchasing buses to maintain a cost-effective fleet; paying off the lease purchase for the Piqua High School HVAC system; and preventative and general maintenance and safety.

District Superintendent Dwayne Thompson said there are still numerous renovations and upgrades that need to be done, particularly at the 40-year-old high school, and the junior high, which is closing in on 18 years old.

Thompson also discussed the growing Piqua Indian Nation Alumni Program, a database that allows Piqua High School grads from all classes to stay informed about happenings in the district.

“We have well over 500 registrations so far,” Thompson said, adding that the graduating classes range from 1941 to 2018.

To register with the database, visit http://www.piqua.org/Alumni.aspx.

Assistant Superintendent Tony Lyons presented the latest bullying report, which spans from August through this month. During that period, 87 occurrences have been reported, with 66 of them having been reported via the school’s bullying hotline. Of those 66, six were deemed to be cases of actual bullying, as opposed to isolated incidents in which interventionary measures are taken to help the students involved get along.

Thompson noted that the bullying hotline, accessible through the school district’s website, has also helped students in other situations, e.g., reporting unsafe home environments and reporting bullying of other students.

“It’s peers looking out for peers,” he said.

The BOE also had the opportunity to meet the high school’s foreign exchange students, who are required to speak before a group as part of their program.

Tamuna Manuelishvili, a senior from the former Soviet republic of Georgia, spoke of the friendliness fof the people she has met in the United States, as well as the difference between American and Georgian schools. A member of Key Club and Spanish Club, as well as a member of the bowling and tennis teams, she noted that schools in her home country do not have extracurricular teams.

“I love Piqua High School. I’m really thankful for being an exchange student; it’s the greatest thing in my life,” said Manuelishvili, who aspires to become a doctor.

Also a senior, Karina Bajiura from Poland called her experience thus far “an adventure.” She has been in the States for five months and at PHS for about a month. “I really love the school and the amazing people here,” she said, adding that she is learning a lot about American culture, as well as about herself during her stay.

A lover of art who wants to be an illustrator or graphic designer, Bajiura said coming to the U.S. was a dream of hers after hearing about it from friends and social media.

“It’s a huge challenge, but I’m happy I did it.”

Exchange students share experiences

By Belinda M. Paschal

Associate Editor, Miami Valley Today

Reach Belinda M. Paschal at bpaschal@aimmediamidwest.com or (937) 451-3341

Reach Belinda M. Paschal at bpaschal@aimmediamidwest.com or (937) 451-3341