GREENVILLE — The Greenville Board of Education held its last regular meeting of 2018 Thursday evening at Memorial Hall.
The board adopted new vision and mission statements for the district; approved funds to support a number of field trips, staff training and legislative outreach initiatives; and approved the purchase of two new school buses for the sum of $193,938.
“The mission of Greenville City Schools is to provide a safe and high quality learning environment that enables the district to provide engaging and rewarding work for students and staff every day,” the new mission statement reads, “and to strive to continuously improve, looking ahead to the future to ensure that we prepare citizens who are college, career and life ready.”
The new vision statement, meanwhile, states that Greenville City Schools “will be the leader in educational offerings, student performance and community involvement, and will maximize the potential of each and every student.”
The board approved $1,017.40 for member James Sommer to attend the National School Board Association Advocacy Institute conference in Washington, D.C. in January. Board member Mark Libert questioned the necessity of sending a representative to the conference each year.
“I believe there’s value in doing this as long as our administrators are making a list of the most important subjects to discuss with legislators,” Libert said. “And as long as we’re getting a report that shows what we’re getting for this.”
Board member Fred Matix expressed similar sentiments.
“We’ve spent about $4,500 over the years for you to go to D.C. and speak to legislators,” Matix said. “And it seems to me we can do this sort of outreach on the phone, or we can do it here locally, without you having to go out there and have breakfast with them or whatever.”
Board president Brad Gettinger defended the decision to send Sommer to the conference, saying he was especially interested in information about federal programs to provide funding for students living in poverty. Gettinger also mentioned curriculum standards recently adopted by the state of Ohio relating to the teaching of computer science skills.
“That’s an issue that’s close to my heart,” Gettinger said. “And I personally feel those are skills that we need to be preparing our students for.”
Libert, meanwhile, brought up recent statistics showing that many kindergarten students entering school are found to be physically and mentally unprepared, perhaps demonstrating the need for more comprehensive local preschool options.
“If our vision is to be leaders, I’d say this is definitely something we need to move on,” Libert said, referencing the vision statement unveiled earlier.
Finally, Matix offered a message of thanks to Greenville’s residents for their support of the school district.
“I’d like to thank the taxpayers in our community,” Matix said. “They’ve really stepped up to the plate with the bond issue and so on. This really is a great community.”
Greenville City Schools Board of Education meetings are held in the Anna Bier Reception Room at Memorial Hall the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m.
The writer may be reached at 937-569-4315. To join the conversation and get updates on Facebook, search Advocate360. For more features online, go to dailyadvocate.com.