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MARION CENTER: School directors discuss replacing light board

by RANDY WELLS rwells@indianagazette.net on September 17, 2013 10:50 AM

MARION CENTER — With their eyes on the upcoming performance season of holiday concerts and other stage events in the high school auditorium, the Marion Center Area school directors Monday discussed replacing the auditorium’s aging light board that controls the pre-programmed lighting effects for the stage.

District Superintendent Dr. Frank Garritano told the directors the light board now in use is 10 years old and it has become difficult to find replacement parts for it.

High school Principal Matt Jioio added the current light board has been losing its programming, and it’s possible it could fail during a stage performance.

The directors are considering a replacement light board offered by Pittsburgh Stage that would cost $6,273.

In another possible technology upgrade, Garritano told the directors the district’s administrators are starting to formulate a plan for replacing the district’s telephone system. Eventually, phone system vendors will be asked to make suggestions and provide cost quotes, he said.

Paul DeHaven, a high school health and physical education teacher, gave the school board and administrators a slide presentation on the History Buff Bikers Club’s bicycling tour of the Gettysburg battlefield during the Memorial Day weekend.

DeHaven and other club faculty advisers escorted 19 students on the bike tour that was a collaboration between the history and physical education departments.

DeHaven said the Marion Center students received many compliments on how respectful they were at the historic sites and how attentive they were to tour guides.

The feedback on the trip from students and parents was “positive all the way around,” DeHaven said.

The club purchased 20 bicycles and a trailer to haul them with a grant from the W.A. McCreery Trust Fund. McCreery, a former high school principal and chief school administrator of the district, entrusted funds to the Marion Center Area Education Association to be used to enhance the education of students.

DeHaven said more trips combining cycling and history are being discussed.

In personnel actions, the board:

• Accepted the resignation of Holly Marusa as a secondary guidance counselor.

• Added Autumn Kunkle, Hannah Lockard, Jessica Scott and Shawn Smith to the professional substitute list.

• Added Sarah Cole to the substitute bus driver list and Diane Black and Janet Keener to the substitute custodian list.

Garritano reminded the board and audience at Monday’s meeting that Jioio will explain student assessment scores and planned changes for instruction and remediation at a public data meeting for parents and the public. That session will start at 5:30 p.m. today in the high school auditorium, immediately before the open house at the high school.

In light of the armed intruder shooting in Washington, D.C., Monday, Garritano said the new safety measures provided by the district’s security officers — who joined the district’s staff on the first day of classes — are working “extremely well.”

The officers are patrolling the district’s buildings and grounds at the high school-McCreery Elementary School complex and at Rayne Elementary.

On a related security note, Garritano said 65 district staff members have expressed interest in self-defense training that may be coordinated by the district’s security officers. The training may be offered as an after-school event, according to Garritano.

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