Ashtabula Area City Board of Education readies for new school year

SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP — Ashtabula Area City Schools Board of Education made final preparations for the new school year at its meeting Wednesday night at Lakeside High School.

The board unanimously approved bus routes and the student handbook for the 2017-2018 school year. 

“The first day of school is Monday and we are ready for opening day,” Superintendent Melissa Watson said. “It’s exciting.”

It was the first meeting for James Brady Sr. and Debra Barrickman, who were sworn into office by Treasurer Mark Astorino last month during a special meeting at the Board of Education office to replace Maureen Vaught and Kim George.

Vaught and George resigned earlier this summer.

Board President Steve Candela introduced and then welcomed Brady and Barrickman.

“We appreciate you wanting to serve the citizens of Ashtabula,” he said. 

Brady, who served two terms on the board during the 1990s, will fill Vaught’s seat until Dec. 31. 

Barrickman, a retired teacher from the district and currently the gifted program coordinator at South Euclid Lyndhurst, will finish George’s term, which expires in December. 

Watson gave a “good news report,” highlighting the success of this year’s Back to School Bash, held Tuesday night at the Lakeside High stadium. Watson said more than 1,000 people attended the event, doubling last year’s attendance. She said she was “thrilled” at the turnout.

Lakeside’s cheerleaders had a successful fundraiser — Movie Mania and fireworks at the LHS stadium Saturday night. More than 750 people attended the event. Admission was free with the purchase of a $5 souvenir popcorn cup, Watson said. 

The school board then took care of personnel matters, hiring Jennifer Maki and Diana Sheppard as classified substitutes; Scott Brooklyn, a substitute teacher and Cody Stevenson to fill a custodian position at Michigan Primary School. 

The board approved the employment of Gjergi Haxhiu, special education intervention specialist at Lakeside High School; Jaclyn Maglosky, special education intervention specialist at Erie Intermediate; Amanda Martin, academic tutor at Lakeside Junior High; Stephanie Rogers, fifth-grade teacher Erie Intermediate; Lisa Schira, academic tutor at Michigan Primary and Marion Thompson, speech/language pathologist.

The board also accepted the resignations of Marissa Catalano, special education intervention specialist teacher at Erie Intermediate School; Melissa Peyton, first-grade teacher at Ontario Primary; Lisa Richmond, fifth-grade teacher at Erie Intermediate; Emily Scalise-Swartzlander, special education intervention specialist at Lakeside High School, and Rhoda Wilson, art teacher at LHS.

In other business, the board:

• Discussed building or repurposing existing facilities to store all of the district’s equipment in. Candela brought up the idea, saying vehicles, such as vans, would last longer if they were stored out of the elements;

• Approved Lakeside Junior High School’s field trip March 16-18 to Washington D.C., and

• Appointed John Brace Jr. to serve one term as a Harbor-Topky Memorial Library trustee.

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