The Johnstown-Monroe Board of Education approved the hiring of Janet Smith as principal for Searfoss Elementary at its June 26 meeting.

The Johnstown-Monroe Board of Education approved the hiring of Janet Smith as principal for Searfoss Elementary at its June 26 meeting.

Smith comes to Johnstown from the Groveport Madison Local School District, where she has worked as a supervisor of curriculum since 2003.

In that position, she worked with teachers in kindergarten through 12 grades to create and revise curriculum. She also coordinated and facilitated professional development for 400 teachers.

"I'm really glad to be here and working with Mr. (Damien) Bawn again," she said. " I worked with him seven years ago. That's a draw, and reading about your great test scores on the Web."

Smith worked with Bawn at the Danville Local School District, where she taught music in the 2000-01 school year.

J-M superintendent Damien Bawn served as superintendent in Danville before coming to Johnstown.

Smith also taught at the Ohio Christian University (formerly Circleville Bible College), Hattie Cotton Elementary in Nashville, Tenn., and Crooksville Exempted Village School District.

She operated a piano studio for 13 years and was a visiting instructor of piano at Ohio University from 1988-89.

She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in music from Ohio University. She earned her principal's license in 2005 from Ashland University.

The board approved a two-year administrative contract for Smith, although the vote wasn't unanimous.

Board member Terry Holter said it's uncommon for the J-M board to give a two-year contract to a principal "right out of the gate."

He voted against the contract, prefacing his decision by saying it's nothing personal.

Board members Karen Blair, John Davis, Polly Moore and Jay Young voted in favor of Smith's appointment.

Bawn recommended the two-year contract based on Smith's experience and "leaving a good job to come here," he said.

With some discussion, the board also approved one-year certified supplemental contracts for football, golf and band, as well as one-year classified pupil activity contracts for football, volleyball and soccer.

Bawn said he, high school principal Kim Jakeway and athletics director Mike Carter examined all sports that have assistant coaches. Eight coaching positions were eliminated this year, saving the district $25,525.

Young questioned why football has a head football coach and four assistant coaches.

"It's because of the number of students," Bawn said. "We had about 80 students last year."

Because of the "physicality" of the game, Bawn said that helped determine how many coaches were needed.

The board also discussed the position of game manager for fall, winter and spring. Jakeway said the game manager coordinates ticket-taking, the money box and helps with crowd control.

"We have 3,000 people at these events here," he said. "It's an insurmountable help to the AD (athletics director)."

The game manager also greets officials, brings in the visiting teams and helps set up the gym, Jakeway said.

The board voted 4-1 for a one-year classified pupil activity contract for the fall, winter and spring game manager, with Holter voting against it.

"I know we're looking at cost reductions," he said. "This is a position that can be filled by volunteers."

In other action, the board approved the final amended certificate of estimated resources and appropriations for fiscal year 2008. The amended certificate of estimated resources totaled $18,281,673.44 while the amended appropriations totaled $14,668,575.98.

The board also approved the rate of $32,972 with Ohio Casualty for property, fleet and liability insurance for the period from July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2009. (This represents a $3,654 decrease from the previous year).

The next regular meeting of the J-M board will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 11, in Johnstown Village Council Chambers.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

Janet