Retirements mean loss of lots of experience in Switzerland County School Corporation

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Switzerland County School Corporation will be missing a lot of experience from its staff during the new school year.

“We’re losing over 100 years of experience at the high school” with the retirements of Ginny Reeves, Ann Roller and Kathy Williams, said Switzerland County High School principal Dan Noel. “With the three of them, think of what they’ve given to the community.”

Ginny Reeves, media specialist, was with the school corporation for 44 years and was instrumental in bringing a considerable amount of grant money that has been used to improve the educational experience for many students in Switzerland County throughout the years. Switzerland County school superintendent Elizabeth “Itsy” Jones said Ginny Reeves “has changed the face of Switzerland County because of the grants she has written. She has changed education in Switzerland County” and prepared the school corporation as it heads into the future. “We are much appreciative of Mrs. Reeves and all that she has done,” Elizabeth Jones said.

Ann Roller, high school science teacher, is retiring after 41 years in the school corporation. “She’s been a great mentor to our students and has done an unbelievable job in the science department,” Dan Noel said. Kathy Williams, music teacher, retired after 33-1/2 years of teaching.

Switzerland County Elementary School teachers Janice Meadors and Rhonda Scott are also retiring. Janice Meadors is retiring after 21-1/2 years of teaching. “I have admired her greatly and she did a wonderful job,” said Elizabeth Jones. Rhonda Scott, who taught for 28-1/2 years, was praised by Dr. Jones for her “outstanding job” of teaching the students.

Other retirees were Diane Sigmon, library instructional assistant at Jefferson-Craig Elementary School, after 24 years of service and Debbie Graybill, cafeteria worker, after 13 years of service.

YMCA AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM: “The only way this can fail is if you don’t get kids in the classroom,” said Nancy Peters of the YMCA, which has received a grant that helps sixth, seventh and eighth grade students four days a week after school from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Switzerland County Middle School. The program begins with a snack, then the students will spend more than an hour working on homework assignments with the last hour being hands-on activities that interest them.

“This program provides consistent help with homework, plus it’s a safe place for students after school, and it provides fun activities for them,” Elizabeth Jones said. Plus Nancy Peters said transportation will be provided for students back to their homes throughout the county.

2010-2011 HIGH SCHOOL HANDBOOK: Switzerland County High School principal Dan Noel submitted the 2010-11 student handbook. It includes new language that provides stricter guidelines on student piercings. “Employers looking to hire people just coming out of school are not going to hire them with piercings,” he said. Likewise, there is stricter language on cell phone usage.

Also, the standards for honoring the highest ranking students will be adjusted beginning with the class of 2014. The new guidelines provide that students with the highest grade point average will be designated Magna Cum Laude (top one percent of the class based on class rank), Summa Cum Laude (next two percent of the class) or Cum Laude (following two percent of class). Currently, it’s stipulated that all students with a GPA of 4.0 or above will be Valedictorian with the Salutatorian being the highest GPA below a 4.0.

All board members approved the handbook with the exception of Wayne Daughtery, who had expressed reservations about the changes for honoring the highest ranking students.

2010-2011 BUS DRIVER HANDBOOK: Elizabeth Jones said language is included stating the communication radios should be on at all times and set to channel 1, the radio channel that connects the buses with the school corporation’s transportation director. The handbook also stipulates the radios should be used only for school business.

ACCEPTED BIDS: There was only one competing bid that was submitted for snow removal with Parham Excavating selected over Works Excavating. Parham Excavating, which also won last year’s bid, submitted a price of $60 per hour for each piece of equipment. Works Excavating’s bid was for $65.

Bids awarded without competition were Laughery Valley Cooperative for fuel delivery and oil delivery, Rumpke for trash removal, Louis Trauth Dairy for milk delivery and Butternut Bread for bread delivery.

NEW HIRES: Nancy Kidwell was hired as elementary music instructional assistant at Jefferson-Craig Elementary School. “She’s very talented and we’re thrilled that she’s joining the Jefferson-Craig family,” said JCES principal Rhonda Pennington. Also, Lisa Scranton was hired as part-time cafeteria worker.

SUMMER JUMP-START KINDERGARTEN: Teachers were hired for the Summer Jump-Start Kindergarten program, which will be held August 9th-11th. “It’s a positive because it helps the children to know the school before the rest of the children come in,” Elizabeth Jones said. Teachers hired for the three-day program were Sally Weales, Sherrie Howard, Becky Curlin and Becky Bunner.

FIELD TRIP: The board approved a field trip for Switzerland County FFA members to attend the 83rd annual national convention, which will be October 20th-23rd in Indianapolis.

USE OF FACILITIES: The Gideon banquet was approved to be held October 2nd in the high school cafeteria.