CENTERBURG — The Centerburg Local Schools board of education gave its approval during its Monday night meeting for the district to apply for a special honor.

The district will apply for its first Purple Star designation from the Ohio Department of Education. This designation recognizes schools and school districts that show a special commitment to fostering a military-friendly environment and supporting students from military families.

Applying schools must meet a number of requirements, including having a staff liaison. This staff member completes professional development courses on the special considerations available for military students and families under federal law. He or she also works to inform other teachers of these considerations, as well as which students in their classrooms come from military families.

Another requirement is that the school have public military displays. Centerburg has already had a display up for several years at the high school, as well as a plaque with a list of alumni Vietnam veterans by the gym.

Before submitting the application, the district will add a page to its website with information and resources for military families. Superintendent Mike Hebenthal said this will likely happen in the next week or two.

Through participating in the program, districts gain access to a teacher training program and to a consortium that facilitates student record transfers. This ultimately makes it easier on families who have to switch schools due to reassignment.

“The designation is secondary,” said Hebenthal, who will serve as liaison for the program. “The important part is having the resources for the families.”

As a retired Air Force officer, Hebenthal said he knows firsthand how crucial extra support can be for military families.

“I think it’s important that any school does it,” he said. “I’ve been deployed, so I know what these families go through.”

“Usually when one spouse is deployed, the other spouse usually has their hands full,” he added.

The board also:

•Rescinded the approval of a quote by Bebout Masonry for work on the front entrance of the high school, the wellness center, the varsity gym, the steps at the administrative building and elementary sidewalk repair. The board approved quotes for the work by D&K Hathaway.

•Passed a resolution congratulating Mason Lanthorn, who placed ninth at the 2019 OHSAA Middle School State Track Competition.

•Approved the 2019-20 teacher and athletic handbooks.

•Approved a resolution authorizing META Solutions to advertise and receive bids for a 72-passenger school bus.

•Set school lunch prices at $2.85 for the middle and high school and $2.60 for the elementary school for the 2019-20 school year.

•Approved a contract with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office to provide a full-time school resource officer at a cost of $15,000 for the 2019-20 school year.

•Approved various personnel items.

•Accepted a one year contract for high school science teacher Noah Menuez for the 2019-20 school year.

•Accepted the resignation of Heather Naumann, middle school/high school science teacher.

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Katie Ellington: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @kt_ellington




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