PCS hires new food service director

PIQUA — During the Piqua City Schools Board of Education meeting, Assistant Superintendent Dave Larson reported new hires in administration, including new Food Service Director Jennifer Garland, who will replace the former director Terri Meyer. Meyer resigned from the position from allegedly embezzling over $41,000 in vending machine funds.

Larson reported Garland having nine years of experience coordinating food services at the Upper Valley Career Center. She was also the head cook at Favorite Hill for nine years prior to her position at UVCC. “Jennifer has a lot of valuable experience,” Larson commented.

Other new hires and rearrangements in administration include Connie Strehle as the new lead principal at Springcreek Primary, with the assistant principal being Jonathan Shoffstall. The assistant principal at Washington Primary will be Shannon Pence.

The district’s Treasurer’s office has received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) located in Chicago, Ill. The GFOA has a panel that reviewed PCS’ Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).

“This one (CAFR) was super clean,” Treasurer Jeremie Hittle said. “Over 10 years worth of time that we receive this award, it is just a sign that we are continuing to do things well when it comes to finances. The CAFR pretty much answers the questions for 99 percent of the people who have questions for the district.”

Hittle reported the end of the fiscal year is approaching with one week left. He stated that the district is looking well to finishing the eighth year in the black.

Once the year is finished, Hittle will calculate the number of days that carried over and will add those days to the balance and determine if any efficiency stipend is going to be available to employees. Those numbers will be brought to the July board meeting to be approved for the Sept. 20 payroll.

“I believe that we will get something, I just don’t want to say for sure if that’s going to be the full amount or a lower amount,” Hittle said. “We will know when we finish up the fiscal year.”

Hittle has a budget plan in place to finish the ninth year in the black, but expressed concern with the cap funding that will be provided by the state.

“I am getting more and more concerned as time goes on as to what that cap is going to look like,” Hittle said. “If that continues to be reduced, that could end up potentially impacting us financially.”

Hittle encouraged the board and public to support Gov. John Kasich’s cap funding plan, as it gives the most money.

New software will be implemented for all accounting to be paperless, with paychecks and invoices scanned into a database. This will allow the financial department to look up a specific check electronically.

“We are excited about how much more efficient this should make the office,” Hittle said.

Ticket Roar, an electronic web-based ticket software, will be used for all school events. The software will allow online sales of tickets for sporting and music events, prom, or raffles. Hittle there will be a report that will allow PCS to “better tie back the amount of money collected to the number of tickets sold.”

PCS will also be partnered with Home Town Marketing to help sell additional advertising opportunities during venues. “This will generate more revenue for our groups and help our local community,” Hittle said.

Business Coordinator and Buildings Project Manager Curt South gave a positive update on the buildings project, with everything remaining on schedule and on budget.

The Washington primary building had sidewalks replaced on Sunset Drive and Park Avenue and are nearly completed. Springcreek Primary continues to have work on the parking lot, with curbs being poured in and sidewalks being finished.

The Piqua Central Intermediate building’s inside is almost complete, with furniture currently being moved in. The building dedication will be Sunday, June 28 from 2-4 p.m. The outside is still under some construction, allowing only inside tours of the building.

The decommissioning of the five remaining elementary buildings are taking place, with Nicklin Learning Center and Favorite Hill Primary currently in the asbestos abatement phase.

“That will take a couple of weeks (abatement), then we will start to see those buildings come down,” South said, and stated Bennett Intermediate and High Street Primary will shortly follow. By the end of 2015, all the unused elementary buildings will be demolished, with grass planted in the ground that remains.

South said there are issues with citizens parking in the parking lots at the new buildings and “are dealing with that issue and telling them (citizens) that it is not permitted,” South said.

The transportation department received a grant through the Miami County Foundation for a transportation software system called Zonar, which will help the district track buses, students, and mileages, South said. It is planned to have the software implemented before the upcoming year.

Superintendent Rick Hanes reported that all chromebooks are obtained, which were funded by the Straight A Grant through PBS of Dayton. Hanes said there is potential of every K-1 grades to have a chromebook at school and home.

Hanes reported a plan in place to work with full teaching staff from grades K-1 during professional development days in August along with K-1 students and their parents for training on the chromebooks.

“Excited that the pilot went well,” Hanes said. “It was a step of faith. Things went extremely well and very looking forward to what will happen in the fall.”

The next board meeting will take place Thursday, July 23 at 4 p.m. At the Piqua High School. For more information on the June 23 board meeting, the agenda can be obtained online at http://www.boarddocs.com/oh/piqua/Board.nsf/Public.