Rocky Fork Enterprise

GJEF Tomko, Twigg to replace Foor, who's retiring

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Two longtime volunteers will fill the shoes of Dale Foor, retiring coordinator of community services for the Gahanna-Jefferson Education Foundation.

Foor introduced Sharon Tomko and Tricia Twigg to Gahanna-Jefferson school board members June 12.

"I applaud the board for allowing two leaders to be on the agenda tonight," Foor said. "We have given away over $700,000 in grants over the last 10 years, and we know that you can't promote excellence unless you've got it. I don't want this effort to stop when I leave."

He said Tomko and Twigg would share the position of "community-relations and outreach coordinator" as the leadership of the foundation.

School board members approved a one-year contract through the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio for Tomko and Twigg to each work 50 percent of the position for $20,000 each, with benefits at $3,190 each, for a total of $46,380.

Foor's current base salary is $44,041, with benefits of $16,294.

"The past for our foundation has been good, and the future will be even better," Foor told the board. "I have been blessed to have great people helping me, and I think we will be the envy of every other foundation out there."

Twigg said she and Tomko combined have more than 20 years of experience in working on foundation and school projects as PTA volunteers.

"We look forward to growing the foundation," Twigg said.

Foor said both Twigg and Tomko volunteered at High Point Elementary School and Middle School East prior to helping with the foundation when it was established 10 years ago.

"The wonderful thing is that they have already established a lot of important relationships with teachers and with the foundation members," he said.

Tomko said she was interested in the position to help teachers provide extended learning for students.

"We are both very passionate about the education foundation and know we can do a good job helping teachers fund special projects," she said.

Twigg agreed.

"I feel this is a chance to work with people across the district to help expand the great things our teachers are doing," she said. "Many times the grants begin programs that expand to other buildings."

She said grants from the foundation began the school's renaissance program and Freshman Day.

Foor has been with Gahanna schools for 44 years. He said his retirement would include "lots of opportunity to visit family members and travel."

In other business, school board members approved the hiring of Mary Sebenoler as coordinator of curriculum and professional development. She will be paid an annual salary of $92,569, with benefits of $24,432, for a total of $117,001 under the two-year contract.

Sebenoler is a Westerville resident who currently is the professional development coordinator for Columbus City Schools. She earned a Ph.D. in educational psychology and teacher education from Ohio State University.

Superintendent Francis Scruci gave statistics for the district welcome center, which, besides coordinating registration for new students, also tracks students who don't belong in Gahanna classrooms.

"We found 78 students not registered in Gahanna schools, so we're able to send them back to the districts where they belong," he said. "I think the welcome center has been a very successful venture for us."

School board member Windy McKenna said removing those 78 students could be a substantial savings to the district.

"We are missing the taxpayer support for those students and the $12,000 each it costs every year to educate them," she said.

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