The Canal Winchester Local School District opened its first meeting of the year Jan. 14 with a new superintendent and the election of officers before it got down to routine business matters.
The Canal Winchester Board of Education welcomed Jim Sotlar to his first official meeting as superintendent and selected Brian Niceswanger as its president and Bob Toledo as its vice president for the year.
The board also approved the new calendar for the 2013-2014 school year, which will begin Wednesday, Aug. 21, and end Thursday, May 29.
Winter break for next school year is set for Monday, Dec. 23, through Friday, Jan. 3, and spring break is slated for Monday, March 24, through Friday, March 28.
At the meeting, Sotlar told the board he has set three goals for the year, which include safety and security for students and staff; preparing students for the future by offering "quality learning environments;" and making sure the district is a "good steward" of taxpayers' money.
"The safety and security of our students will always be my No. 1 priority," Sotlar said.
"Children are our most-prized possessions and it's our responsibility to make sure they're as safe as they possibly can be," Sotlar added. "I want to reassure our community that our kids are safe at school and school is one of the safest places for kids to be," he said.
In December, the board named Mike Bruning, principal of Winchester Trail Elementary School, as the district's director of operations.
One aspect of Bruning's new job will be to conduct a security and safety audit for district facilities.
"Although Dr. Bruning will review all aspects of the safety and security plan, his main priority right now is focused on lockdown procedures and what are we going to do if there is an active shooter or intruder," Sotlar said.
To make the community aware of safety issues on the Internet, the district is sponsoring a Cyber Bullying and Social Media Night for students and the community at 7 p.m. Wednes-day, Feb. 6, in the middle school cafeteria, 7155 Parkview Drive.
"The safety and security of our students will always be my No. 1 priority."
-- JIM SOTLAR
Canal Winchester superintendent