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Students took center stage during the Edison Local School Board of Education meeting on Feb. 16.

   More than a dozen students in Dave Schultz’s government class took in the meeting to learn more about the system.

   “This is the fifth or sixth year [for this program] and every year kids do a service engagement project,” Schultz said. “They can come to a meeting… or interview community members. They chose the school board meeting.”

   But students also had a question for the board’s consideration. They asked if more extracurricular activities could be added such as a hunting and fishing club, bowling, lacrosse, boys’ volleyball, esports, photo club, sewing club, student council or a ski club. Board Vice President Ron Smyth, who led proceedings for absent President Aaron Richardson, said he liked many of the ideas but the issue was with participation.

   “We have a little problem because of the population of the school,” said Smyth. “The sports don’t have as many people but we have reinstituted cross country. I think we’ve tried to expand the curriculum and improve academics. We do want to open doors to possibilities.”

   Smyth noted that he was excited to see the drama club restart under Schultz’s tutelage, while drama members invited officials to upcoming performances of “Greater Tuna” and “Where Have All the Lightning Bugs Gone?” on March 25-26 at 7 p.m.

   Superintendent Bill Beattie interjected that some ideas were being pondered and appreciated the teens’ input.

   “One of the conversations we had, when the pandemic hit, was potentially bringing in esports.  The equipment in Mr. Haspel’s class is compatible with esports but we haven’t had that conversation. I think everything you’ve brought in is very valuable,” he continued. “What you’ve brought to the table is certainly up for conversation.”

   Beattie said numbers for sports are impacted by people participating in multiple activities.

  Meanwhile, Stanton Elementary Principal Shannah Scotch was joined by fourth-graders who authored poetry after learning the topic in class. Students Kane Kuntz, Kyleigh Riegel, Ryder Kirk and Layla Cronin then read their original writings and received praise from officials.

   Among other action, the board:

–Approved the certified substitute list with Carla Grabits, Carina Aulicino and Stephanie Nelson as teachers;

–Added Kristy Beebe as an aide at John Gregg;

–Agreed to employ Ellen Swickard as physical science teacher at EHS;

–Learned repairs were made to several buses and projects were moving along in the district and outside projects would begin on the softball field while the fieldhouse should be ready around March or April;

–Agreed to continue membership with OHSAA for 2022-23;

–Approved an HVAC maintenance agreement and water treatment service with Gardiner;

–Approved dual credit memorandums of understanding with Eastern Gateway Community College and Kent State University;

–Approved the school calendar for the 2022-23 school year;

–Approved Buckeye Mechanical Contracting as general contractor for the greenhouse project at EHS;

–Approved Lifetouch as photographer for Edison school sports;

–Approved a $5,000 Project Lead the Way grant and $90,000 through the School Bus Purchase Program;

–Approved a $100 donation for the Todd Smith Scholarship from the Indian Creek Athletic Boosters;

–Approved amounts and rates for the Jefferson County Auditor;

–Heard from district Director of Special Education/Early Childhood Jamie Angelini about preschool registration in March at John Gregg and Stanton Elementary Schools;

–Heard from board member Anna Ault about several safety concerns including the need for reflectors on the gates at EHS, as well as repairing trip hazards on the bleachers and accessibility for the elderly and handicapped at the football field. She asked if people could be dropped off in the parking area and Beattie said there have been discussions but no resolution, but the drop-offs would create a hazard for vehicles and leaders will look at options.