ESC board president recognized for service

STEUBENVILLE – For 30 years, Ken Simeral has been providing quiet leadership at the Jefferson County Educational Service Center Governing Board meetings.

Prior to the August board meeting Tuesday, Simeral was recognized for those 30 years by the Ohio School Boards Association.

Reno Contitelli of the OSBA Northeast Region and Thomas Brophey of the Wellsville City Schools board gave formal recognition to Simeral.

“It is an honor to be recognized by my peers. And, I know board member Larry George will be joining me very soon at the 30 year mark. We both have worked hard for the best interests of the children in our area and plan to continue working for the children,” said Simeral.

The board approved several personnel issues and met for nearly 90 minutes to discuss the possible purchase of property.

Superintendent George Ash declined to identify the property the board is interested in purchasing, citing the confidentiality of the project.

The board agreed to hire Ken Dawson as a substitute custodian, as well as Brian Barot, Christina Haught, Steve Romey and Joe Yuppas as Virtual Learning Academy teachers.

Jamie Lamantia was hired to author a writing study skills course for the VLA, and Clint Born was approved to author a writing digital skills course.

In other business, the board approved a resolution to sponsor the Ohio Valley Public Employers Cooperative and OK’d a proposal to install a new sign in front of the Sunset Boulevard office building.

Ash told the board members the annual school administrators breakfast was held last week with 86 school administrators from three counties attending.

George reported the ESC staff was well received at the Jefferson County Fair last week when they held informational sessions about the new Utica Shale Academy and the Cyber Academy.

The board also approved an agreement for legal services with Scarpone Law Offices.

“This agreement will be a back-up to our agreement with attorney Dan Spahn to provide shared legal services with our participating school districts,” explained Ash.

Board members also approved a resolution authorizing the superintendent to sign “in lieu of transportation” requests and to pay expenses for the Aug. 5 Jefferson and Harrison counties bus driver in-service meeting.

Ash said the bus drivers received safety training and mandatory education training.

The board endorsed a 2-mill emergency renewal levy for the Edison Local School District and a 5-mill, five year renewal operating levy for the Toronto City School District.

(Gossett can be contacted at