Toronto BOE welcomes new members

BOARD MEMBERS SWORN IN — Members of the Toronto City School board were sworn into office Thursday evening as the district held its reorganization and first meeting of the year. The board includes, from left, front, Karen Walker and Julie Ault; and back, Jay Foster, George Dobbs and Randy Henry.- Julie Stenger

TORONTO – The Toronto City Board of Education held its first meeting of the year Thursday, welcoming new members Randy Henry and George Dobbs. Board member Julie Ault was appointed president pro tem and presided.

Jay Foster was elected as president and Karen Walker was elected vice president. The board established its regular monthly meeting for the third Thursday of each month at 5 p.m. in the Karaffa Elementary School library.

Following the organizational meeting, the board met in special session and accepted the resignation of Eric Meek as head football coach.

“I think I have attended just about every football game that Meek coached at Toronto,” said Superintendent Maureen Taggart. “I will miss seeing him on the sidelines. He was very successful and helped our program reach many significant milestones. Coach Meek is leaving very big shoes to fill. During his tenure, the Red Knight football team had three consecutive appearances in the Ohio High School Division VII playoffs and hosted the first home playoff game in school history. We wish him all the best in his retirement from coaching and look forward to continuing to work with him as a teacher in the district.”

In other business, the board approved the district’s withdrawal from the Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference, effective May 31, 2019.

“It was mainly a financial decision to leave the conference,” Taggart said. “Our gates from this past football season dropped 30 percent, while our expenses for officials and transportation have increased. This decrease in revenue, coupled with the increase in expenses associated with membership in the league, has forced us to make the decision to withdraw. There also was concern from coaches that our student athletes may not receive the recognition they deserve in the Eastern District when they are mainly playing teams in the Northeast District.

“We have enjoyed working with the seven other member schools,” Taggart added. “Out of respect for them, we wanted to give as much time as possible for the league to find a new school to replace us.”

The following committee appointments were made, with the first member listed to serve as chairperson: Ault and Foster, recreation board; Foster and Walker, athletic board; Walker and Foster, staff personnel committee; Ault and Walker, finance committee; Dobbs and Ault, building and grounds committee, with Foster to serve as alternate; Foster and Dobbs, curriculum committee; Henry and Ault, transportation; Foster and Ault, records commission; Foster and Dobbs, insurance committee; Walker and Henry, policy and procedure; Walker, liaison to the Ohio School Boards Association; Henry, three-year term as Jefferson County Vocational School representative; Ault, legislative liaison; and Ault, student achievement liaison.

The board also:

¯ Approved the purchase of new bleachers from Seating Solutions for the high school baseball field at a cost of $6,427.

¯ Approved medical leave for Terry Trzaskoma, from Dec. 29 through Feb. 10.

The next regular meeting of the board will be held at 5 p.m. Feb. 15 in the Karaffa Elementary School library.