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Indian Creek Board of Education organizes, celebrates successes

HONORED — Scott Eldredge, a consultant for the Ohio State Support Team Region 12, presented Indian Creek Middle School Principal Holly Minch-Hick with an award for efforts to implement Positive Behavior and Intervention Supports strategies. (Contributed photo)

MINGO JUNCTION — The Indian Creek Local Board of Education got organized for 2021 and celebrated successes during its first meeting of the year.

Officials gathered at Indian Creek Middle School on Thursday where Dan Bove and Kim Mark were elected and sworn in as president and vice president, respectively, during a special organization meeting. The regular session followed and leaders took time to recognize school and board members who made achievements over the past year.

Scott Eldredge and Deb Folger, consultants with State Support Team Region 12 presented the 2020 Bronze Award to ICMS Principal Holly Minch-Hick for the school’s Positive Behavior and Intervention Supports strategies. The award was given through the SST and Ohio PBIS Network and Eldredge said this was a banner year as 5 percent of Ohio’s 4,100 schools have been honored for their efforts.

“PBIS has been around for 20 years but is now just taking off because the legislature is requiring school districts to implement it,” said Eldredge. “The PBIS network is made up of support systems around the state and this time we’ve had the most awards given. There are 4,100 schools in Ohio and 215 got an award.”

He continued that schools applying for the award had to provide evidence and proudly presented two large binders full of information submitted by the middle school.

“There’s a lot of evidence to show they are doing it right here,” he said. “It was checked and we’re pleased to announce that they have been recognized with the bronze award from the PBIS Network.”

Minch-Hick said it was a true team effort and teachers and staff worked with the administration to implement PBIS activities from rewards to activities. The school’s PBIS team, which includes teachers, counselors and administrators, work to support students and improve their environment. PBIS is a framework for schools to identify needs, develop strategies and evaluate practices to improve climate and culture, increase learning outcomes, self-regulate behaviors and diminish challenging behaviors. Minch-Hick noted that the fundamental purpose is to make schools a more effective learning environment by being consistent with rules and procedures throughout the building, creating a predictable environment and promoting safety in positive ways.

“It’s not my award; it’s everybody in the building. It’s teacher’s scheduling PAX training and Tomahawk Tickets (for monthly drawings to earn gift card rewards). Everything we’re trying to do to promote a positive culture, it’s the staff.”

“It’s to build a positive culture so kids can come to school, and we congratulate Holly Minch-Hick for that work and effort. She can say a team is doing it but you can’t do it without an administration.”

In related matters, Reno Contipelli, northeast regional manager of the Ohio School Boards Association, presented certificates to Bove, Mark and Ted Starkey for marking milestones within the district. Bove was lauded for 15 years of service while Mark and Starkey were recognized with Veteran Member awards for 25 years of dedication. Starkey has served for 28 years while Mark has completed a quarter century of service.

“Thanks to all of you for what you do. This is our simple way of saying thank you,” he commented.

Contipelli added that he was personally presenting the awards since the 62nd annual Capital Conference and Trade Show was held virtually in November due to the coronavirus pandemic while an online spring conference was set for March 3.

Meanwhile, Superintendent T.C. Chappelear distributed more certificates as part of School Board Recognition Month for January and honored board members for their ongoing commitment to the school district and students.

“We have five people elected to serve the schools and children. You see all of the things happening (with new and renovated schools) and it all starts at the top and trickles down,” he said. “I appreciate the job you have done. The stability and support you have and the perspective to make the right decisions for the kids is incredible.”

Among other action, the board:

¯ Heard from Minch-Hick about activities at ICMS including the district spelling bee which was held that Tuesday and where crowned ICMS student Caleb Zifzal as winner; a successful virtual band concert; hosting wrestling and basketball seasons; and the beginning of the second semester;

¯ Appointed members to various committees with John Figel and Bob Smith on the Indian Creek High School Athletic Board; Starkey and Bove, labor relations committee; Starkey, legislative liaison; Bove, representative to the Curriculum Improvement Council; Starkey and Figel, insurance committee; Mark, student achievement liaison; and Starkey and Mark, Indian Creek Foundation Board;

¯ Agreed to keep meetings on the third Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at ICMS.

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