Greenon Local held a monthly school board meeting on Thursday, January 9 at 7 p.m. in the Indian Valley Media Center.

All board members were present at the meeting, which began with Greenon Principal Rick Newsock presenting the district’s new evaluations for administrators and teachers.

Newsock called the evaluations a “labor of love” and that he especially enjoyed working on the teacher evaluations. He and superintendent Dan Bennett are the only two people in the district who are credentialed to evaluate administrators.

Some changes include the former rating of proficient will now be called skilled and Newsock said the rubrics are a great tool for guiding the thinking of the evaluator and letting the person being evaluated known what to expect.

Newsock said all administrators in the district are credentialed to perform teacher evaluations and that he encouraged his staff to attend the evaluation training so they can be more comfortable asking fellow teachers for an explanation of what they received on their evaluations.

“It’s about capturing what teachers are actually doing, not what you think they’re doing,” he said.

Between formal observations and informal classroom walk-throughs, Newsock said the process takes a long time to complete for each teacher, but that he likes the first-hand experience and thinks evaluations can be a valuable tool.

“We’re in the classrooms all the time,” he said. “That’s the part of being the principal I enjoy most.”

Educators are evaluated based on a variety of student metrics, percentages and how they’re doing with their SMART goals.

Bennett said he is seeing more small group work and exciting things happening in Greenon’s schools.

“You’ve got principals and teachers talking about performance data, that’s what we set out to do,” he said. “Teach and lead what you’re passionate about, and the rest will fall into place.”

Newsock said the board should be pleased with how well staff was working in the classrooms on the district’s first day back after inclement weather closures and a two-hour delay.

“We are proud of our staff,” President Dennis Henry said.

Bennett began his superintendent’s report by passing out certificates of appreciation to each board member.

“Thank you for being board members,” he said. “It’s often a thankless job.”

Bennett said the district has already missed five days of school due to winter weather and that any more days missed will have to be made up, beginning during spring break on March 24 and 25 with any additional days being added to the end of the school year.

He said he’s tried to be consistent with the closings as he doesn’t want to put anyone in danger and has a variety of people checking the roads in different locations, including the transportation director.

“I don’t like to close,” Bennett said.

Diana Pryde will be pack treasurer for the district when the levy goes on the ballot in May. Pryde plans to have a forum later in February for more information.

Board members agreed that PlugSmart appears to have the best plan for energy cost saving measures for the district, including retrofitting lighting and using the savings to replace a boiler at Indian Valley.

Vice President Keith Culp said he would like to see the results of similar projects the company has had approved by the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission to help ensure the district won’t have to pay for engineering costs.

The board voted unanimously to get the 4.96 mil levy on the May 6 ballot. As a five-year emergency levy, it would begin in January 2015 and raise property taxes by $173.60 per year for a $100,000 home to keep the district running.

GLS will receive 240 laptops valued at $449,000 from the Federal Acquisition Service.

The board approved the retirement of Patty Brown from her position of Transportation Supervisor and approved Elmer Beard to fill the role for the remainder of the school year.

Kevin Ferguson will also be Greenon’s new football coach with a stipend of $4,988. A self-described “high-energy guy”, Ferguson said his number one goal is for a student athlete to be a better player, student and person when they leave the program. Secondly, he said he wants to put a product out on the field that makes the students and Enon community proud.

“I’m very excited about the energy he can bring,” Newsock said.

The next regular board of education meeting is Thursday, February 20 at 7 p.m. in the IV Media Center.