Tri-Village School Board approves new football coach, recognizes athletic achievements


By Dawn Hatfield

NEW MADISON — Tri-Village Board of Education met in the board office at 315 S. Main Street, New Madison at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 21. Of special note during the meeting were the approval of Matt Hopkins as the new head football coach as well as recognition of the recent success of both the powerlifting and archery teams.

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. with all board members (Tom Schlechty, Shane Coby, Tim Blevins, Darin Dubbs, Tracy Frech) as well as superintendent Josh Sagester, treasurer Kimberly Chowning, and principals Shane Mead and Lee Morris present. Unanimous approval was granted for meeting minutes.

Several members of the school community and public were present and provided brief self-introductions. One member of the public, Joseph Watern, was present to discuss “an ongoing concern.” When offered his three-minute time window, Watern said, “Mine’s gonna take more than three minutes—should I address this at a later date?” Watern then volunteered a hard copy of his information and paperwork to the board to read at their discretion in liew of speaking at the meeting, stating he has “video and audio to substantiate the points [he] wants to make.”

John Siegrist presented the third-place trophy won by the high school archery team at State competition. One of 25 teams, they ended the state meet with a team score of 3295. From the elementary division, Anthony Moore placed fifth overall.

Coach Tracy Brown presented the trophy won by the powerlifting team at the Ohio High School State Powerlifting Meet on March 19. The boys team placed fifth and the girls team placed sixth overall.

Administrative reports were then provided by Shane Mead, elementary principal, and Lee Morris, junior/senior high principal.

Mead began with a review of state testing, which he reported as in good shape, with ELA window of March 24 to April 13 and Math window from April 19 to May 6. He continued with an exciting new event, Disability Awareness Day, which will be May 28. Jessie Henry brought the idea of the event to Mead and also arranged for Darke DD to be involved with special activities for students.

Therapy dog, Gus’s handler, Angie Harrington, has accepted another position, so the school is coordinating with her on continued visits. Mead’s dog (Gus’s mother) is expecting, so there will be additional opportunities for the therapy program to continue into the future. Gus’s schedule will be normal until April 1. From April 1 to 18, he will come in the mornings with more scheduling information to follow.

Mead highlighted some upcoming activities at the elementary, such as Lunch with the Principal on April 1 and We Are the Majority Week, April 11 to 14, which highlight that the majority of students do not use drugs nor alcohol. Mead stated of this drug-free event, “[Staff] always go above and beyond to give our kids a great experience and teach them awareness.”

Concluding his report, Mead highlighted the success of the athletes who have been competing all season, “Congratulations to all the winter athletes… We have a resilient community, a resilient bunch of kids. I’m proud to be a part of that.”

Secondary principal, Lee Morris, touched on Continuous Improvement plans and explained they may be a bit behind due to retirements and new hires. Mrs. Black has contingency plans regarding position postings. Morris reported the ACT taken by juniors on March 1 should yield results mid-April. The school is looking at a reschedule date for eighth-grade trip. Edison State visited last week for scheduling of returning students and signing interest pages for new students. Additionally, upcoming band and choir concerts as well as winter sports award are upcoming.

Both administrators discussed OES (regarding teacher evaluations) and School Safety and gave updates regarding progress. Josh Haney from Homeland Security was on campus during last week’s statewide fire drill and gave stamp of approval. Tornado drills will be adjusted in future to cover new buildings as there are no “tornado safe” locations due to framework.

Superintendent Josh Sagester reported zero COVID cases for students and staff for fourth or fifth week in a row and then provided a construction project update on the Early Learning Center, which has trusses and framework, etc. set and is now forging ahead to roofing and insulation. The project is moving quickly and is a little ahead of schedule. New chiller is now installed and Valedictorian Wall is up and “looks great.”

The superintendent recognized three Tri-Village students with superior ratings at Upper Miami Valley Science Fair Day held at Edison State Community College: Cora Gutierrez, Brady Beisner, and Raiden Quinn.

Sagester finished the report with news that Tri-Village is looking at the possibility of opening an elementary MD unit as 10 MD students are currently being served in another district. Five are going to Arcanum, where, with an 8:1 student to teacher ratio, Arcanum may exceed that limit in the future.

Under personnel considerations, approvals were made for the monthly employment of substitute teachers, resignation of Angie Harrington, effective April 1, and recognition was made of Kara Graham’s attainment of Masters +30 tier.

The Board also voted unanimously to approve a one-year limited supplemental contract to Matt Hopkins, pending the issuance of a valid Ohio coaching certification/license, for the position of Head Football Coach and Weight Room Coordinator as well as a one-year limited certified contract for Integrated 7-12 Social Studies Teacher, pending passage of BCII criminal records check, drug screen, and the issuance of a valid Ohio teaching certification/license for the 2022-2023 school year.

Coach Hopkins is a high school graduate of Preble Shawnee High School and a college graduate of Miami University. His coaching experience began at Eaton High School in 2005. From 2012 to 2017, he took an 0-10 team to 8-2 and was voted SWBL Coach of the Year his final year at Shawnee High School, his alma mater. The following year, Coach Hopkins was named the Head Football Coach at Lebanon High School, where he has spent the past four seasons.

Coach Hopkins said, “I am excited to come to Tri-Village and join Patriot Nation as the new Head Football Coach… My staff and I will be fully invested in developing players to be the best version of themselves, both on and off the field, with the understanding that WE are the only ones that can limit OUR potential.”

Financial considerations included the approval of Financial Reports as well as the acceptance of all donations presented. A resolution was adopted to accept the amounts and rates as determined by the Budget Commission and authorizing of the necessary tax levies and certifying them to County Auditor for FY 2023.

Finally, it was recommended and approved that owner contingency and execution of amendment to the architect agreement and consultant agreement and construction change directive and change orders to the construction manager at risk agreement be authorized.

No Transportation, MVCTC, nor Legislative reports were given and the meeting was adjourned at 7:01 p.m. with Executive Session to immediately follow.

Tri-Village Board of Education Meetings are typically held the third Monday of each month beginning at 6:30 p.m. Visit for additional information and meeting minutes.

Contact Daily Advocate Reporter Dawn Hatfield at [email protected] or 937-569-0066.

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