Thanks and Kindness carried the day at the Big Walnut Board of Education meeting on Nov. 16.
The thanks was from board members to district voters who supported passage of a Bond issue earlier this month, and the kindness came in the form of a student presentation.
Board member Allison Fagan said she was grateful the bond passed because she didn’t want to have to make cuts so students can have seats. Vice President Brad Schneider said it was good “not to have our hands tied” if the issue had failed.
“I can breathe a sigh of relief, because I can’t think of a worse thing to spend money on than trailers (for classrooms),” said Mindy Meyer. She invited people who voted against the bond to come to board meetings and see how funds are spent in the district. “We’ve been pretty darn conservative the last six years,” she said.
Harrison Street Elementary second graders, led by STEM teacher Natalie Siclair, showed the board their “Kindness Rocks” project. The idea is to choose a rock, decorate it and leave it around the community for someone to find. Not only do the children learn a little about design, Siclair said, but they also spread joy and kindness.
Among the designs on the rocks were an American flag, and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, the students said, holding up their rocks and showing them to the board members. One much larger spray-painted rock, Siclair said, was a broken part of a curb.
Principal Kim Castiglione told the board that at Harrison Street, they celebrate students for their academic, social and emotional achievements; and that over the course of the school year, nearly all the students will be publicly recognized.
Two Harrison Street students were recognized at the board meeting. Justin Cochran was named student of the month; and Natalie Slone was named Art Student of the Month. Also receiving recognition were Ashley Fisher, Big Walnut Middle School Student of the Month and Liz Ansel, a national semi-finalist for public speaking.
In other actions, the board unanimously approved:
- A $3,000 donation to Big Walnut High School Challenge Day from Robert and Stacey Houser.
- A five-year contract extension for Superintendent Angela S. Pollock through July 31, 2022. A statement by Schneider on what the board sought in a superintendent was adopted by the board as part of its protocol.
“Thank you and looking forward to another great term,” Board President Andy Wecker said to Pollock.