UNION CITY, Ohio — With 14 new teachers and classrooms full of students, Mississinawa Valley (M-V) will opens its doors for the new school year on Sept. 1. There will be an open house from 6 to 7:30 the night before.
Superintendent Jim Atchley welcomes everyone back to the 2015-16 school year.
“There was much work completed and hiring of new staff over the summer,” he said.
New staff members are: Ashley Austerman, who will be teaching art for grades 7-12; Patrick Baker, junior high intervention specialist and varsity football coach for the Blackhawks; Gwen Bergman, high school math and junior varsity girls basketball coach; Laura DeMange, pre-school teacher and itinerant teacher for the early childhood education program; Mike Griffin, junior high math and varsity assistant for football; Michael Kukasky, first-grade teacher; Jennifer Lause, elementary Multiple Disabilities for Darke County students at M-V; Sara Lewis, grades 5-12 band director, leader of marching and pep bands and assisting with Taiko; Crystal Schneider, preschool director/teacher for the early childhood education program; Janel Thobe, second-grade teacher; Dusty Yinsgt, dean of students and transportation director; Charlene Philliposian, elementary instructional aide; and Brent Siders, bus driver.
Regarding new programs, Atchley noted that Mississinawa Valley has partnered with Miami Valley Career Technology Center for a Business Academy. Tammy Drew will be instructing the program.
“We are excited to offer the Business Academy at Mississinawa Valley, as students can earn a $3,000 scholarship to Sinclair Community College if they meet all the Business Academy requirements,” the superintendent said.
He also reported College Credit Plus Biology classes will be offered by Kim Hershey, in which M-V students will be able to earn college credit by completing the biology class at Mississinawa.
“This is second year of program to better prepare 4-year-old students for kindergarten,” Atchley added. “Marla Threewits is the contact person. The SPARK program is looking for children who were 4 years of age prior to Aug. 1 this year and we have room for 30 families this year. SPARK is all about helping kids and families be ready for kindergarten.
Threewits, it was noted, visits the child monthly with books, materials, lessons and activities.
According to Atchley, Mississinawa and Tri-Village schools have awarded the Community Connectors Grant in conjunction with Gateway Youth Services. The grant awarded for year one is $89,000.
“We ended up with getting the same grant Tri-Village did,” Atchley said. “We will have a family advocate at Mississinawa for 20 to 25 hours this coming year. The advocate will be working with grades 5-12 with mentoring and get them trained for job skills.”
He said the grant for that program was obtained through the Ohio Department of Education. Jeff Vaughn of Darke County Council on Rural Services will be coordinator.
“Along with that, we are partnering with Union City First Baptist Church to do some more classes for training students and parents in the Raising Highly Capable Kids program, and we’re interviewing someone[ to do that],” Atchley said.
Student day schedule starting and ending times on Sept. 1 begins at 8 a.m. and dismissal for grades K-6 is 2:30 p.m. while dismissal for grades 7-12 is 2:53 p.m.
The superintendent and principals will meet with all new teachers on Aug. 26, and all teachers in the district will meet on Aug. 31 in the school cafetorium to discuss opening procedures. The meeting will then be recessed to each teacher’s respective building for further faculty orientation.
Kindergarten students enrolled this past spring will begin Sept. 1, the same day as all students. Kindergarten will be in session all day every day.
Students who walk, drive or are brought to school by parents should arrive not more than 15 minutes before these starting times.
The Mississinawa Valley Schools, as mandated by law, require that all immunizations be completed from the initial enrollment date in the schools (the first day of school). Required immunization includes poliomyelitis, rubella, diphtheria, rubella, pertussis, tetanus, and mumps. Students who are not in compliance with state required immunization may be excluded from school.
Attention parents of seventh graders: All students must have their M.M.R. (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) booster before entering school for the 2015-16 school year. Students may get the booster at the Greenville Health Department, 300 Garst Ave., on Tuesdays from 8 to 10:30 a.m. and from 2 to 5 p.m.
“You must bring your immunization records with you so they can see the date of the last M.M.R,” officials said. “A parent or guardian must be present to sign for permission. Also if you have Medicaid, you need to bring your valid Medicaid Card. If you have received your second shot you do not need another one. Bring in card of proof of immunization to school so it can be recorded on the health record. If you fail to comply with the state law you can be excluded from school. This is mandatory.”
The school will begin serving lunches on Aug. 26. Lunch prices will be $1.90 per day for students in grades PK-8 and $2.05 per day for students in grades 9-12. Lunches are $2.25 (less drink) per day for adults. Breakfast will also be offered to students in grades PK-12 at $1\; reduced at $.30. Student’s milk will be $.50 per carton. There is a closed noon hour for students.
Application forms are distributed to all homes in a letter to parents or guardians and available on the school website. To apply for each free or reduced-price benefit, households should fill out the application and return it to school.
School personnel for the 2015-16 school year are: Rick Scholl, school board president; Lori Cox, vice president; and Dale Breymier, Matt Hiestand and Sandy Skidmore.
Central office personnel includes Superintendent Atchley, Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer Nicholas Hamilton and Sherry Dirksen, assistant treasurer/secretary to the superintendent.
Mississinawa Valley Elementary (Grades K-6):
Principal – Stephanie Klingshirn
Secretary – Sandy Denniston
Kindergarten – Megan Coatney, Kim Minnich and Sarah Ranly
First grade – Nichole Anguiano and Emily Taylor
Second grade – Christi Hummel, Mike Kukasky and Sheila Scholl
Third grade – Denise Mayo and Amy Roessner
Fourth grade — Teresa Birt, Amber Schellhase and Pam Stump
Fifth grade — Chris Bateman, Brenda Nagel and Jessica Schlater
Sixth grade — Shauna Hopkins, Billie Hunt and Melanie Neargarder
Intervention specialists – Jodi Humphries, Maria Kinninger and Sara Smith
M.H. – Jennifer Lause
Physical education/health – Emily Clark
Music – Audrey Hathaway
Reading Recovery – Susan Clack and Jan Smith
Band – Sara Lewis
E.D. – Sonya Spitler
Pre-school – Crystal Schneider, Laura DeMange and Elaine Bailey
Para professionals –Paula Foreman, Kim Hummel, Cindy Linder, Annette Livingston, Connie McEldowney, Charlene Philiposian and Doris Schweppe,
M-V Junior/Senior High:
Principal – Jeffrey Winchester
Secretary – Betty Teegarden
Guidance – Andrea Howard
Special Education – Patrick Baker, Chene’ Jeanneret and Kim Knox
Seventh and eighth grade – Mike Griffin-math, Brittany Force-science/intervention, Mary Gaerke, math, Amanda Masters, language arts, and Tricia Seubert-LA/psych/sociology
Social Studies – Lea Ann Livingston and Ryan McGlothlin
Mathematics – Greg Beherns, Gwen Bergman and Keith Rhoades
Science – Dawn Collins and Kim McEldowney
IBE-Accounting/Business Foundations – Tammy Drew
Language Arts – Renee Bergman
English Publications – Amy Bruns
Foreign language – Justin Herth
Vocational agriculture – Carmen Hartzell
Instrumental music – Sara Lewis
Art – Ashley Austerman
Health and phys ed. – Terry Niekamp
Librarian/technology coordinator – Shawn Peters
EMIS coordinator/guidance secretary – Roxanne Stocksdale
Aide – Debbie Gower
Cooks – Kim Berger-cafeteria manager, Kim Beanblossom, Brenda Brinley, Pam Hampshire, Kathy Leeper, Karen Livingston, Pat Martin, Tiffany Pollic, Roberta Wenger and Deanna Westfall
Custodians – Tony Neargarder, Gary Francis, Shirley Thomason, Linda Yount and Richard Yount
Bus drivers: Janis Eby, Pam Hampshire, Sarah Hiestand, Todd Murphy, Nick Philiposian, Brent Siders, Jeff Slyder and Vickie Turner