Belpre City School board hires treasurer

BELPRE – Belpre City Schools unanimously chose a new district treasurer during the regular board of education meeting Monday evening.

During the meeting, the school board approved hiring Melissa S. Griffith as the district’s treasurer.

“We are delighted she is coming here,” said longtime board member Rod Hineman.

The board worked with the Ohio School Board Association out of Cambridge to find candidates for the position, said Hineman.

Griffith is an assistant treasurer in Chillicothe and is expected to serve a two-year and nine-month contract beginning Nov. 1 and ending July 31, 2016 at $70,000 a year.

“I believe now is a good time for a change,” Griffith told the board. “My family and I are looking forward to making Belpre our home.”

Griffith will replace Eva Elliott, who left the district at the end of last school year following 13 years with the district. The position has been temporarily filled by Janine Satterfield.

In other business

Mary Beth Shultz, counselor at the Belpre High School complex, presented information and urged the board of education to consider allowing students to participate in the Ohio Core Graduation Opt Out program.

“I am proposing — please consider changing the board policy to include the Ohio Opt Out Plan,” Shultz told the board following more than a half hour of information. “There are currently a number of seniors who are close but will not graduate with these new requirements.”

The Ohio Core Graduation Opt Out program is an option provided to students in Ohio public high schools by the Ohio Board of Education in case they have trouble meeting new graduation requirements.

“These are specific credits students must accrue to graduate,” said Superintendent Tony Dunn. “We want to give kids enough time to get core requirements finished and there is a four-year window of opportunity to allow boards of education to opt out of the new requirements.”

If the board does approve to allow students to join this program, students who choose to participate will have consequences, including limits on which institutions of higher education they can attend, Dunn said.

“If a student isn’t working to get to the Ohio Core, the state does not believe (they) are college or career ready,” he said.

This means the student does not have the required classes needed to apply to most colleges and universities. The new Ohio Core Graduation Requirements were approved by the Ohio Board of Education for all Ohio graduates. Current 12th grade students will be the first class to graduate with these new requirements, which include four math credits and at least algebra two.

By approving the opt out plan, students could still graduate with less credits and the old requirements.