Position filled, graduation requirements changed during board meeting


The hiring of a teacher for an open math position and discussion on adding Personal Finance as a graduation requirement were among the topics discussed during Monday's regular meeting of the Wayne Community Schools' Board of Education.

Nick Curnyn was hired to fill a math position with Wayne Community Schools.

Superintendent Dr. Mark Lenihan told the board that Curnyn will be teaching junior high math classes and Adam Hoffman, who is currently teaching at this grade level, will move to teaching math classes in the high school. Lauren Gilliland, who is currently teaching high school math classes, will be teaching the classes currently being taught by Stephanie Reynolds, who is resigning from her position at the end of this school year.

In addition to teaching duties, Curnyn will also have some coaching duties with the district.

Board members spent time discussing the adding of Personal Finance as a requirement for graduation from Wayne Community Schools.

Dr. Lenihan and Wayne High School Principal Tucker Hight talked about making the one-semester class a requirement and the impact it would have on students' schedules and the district.

Students would need an additional five hours of classes to graduate but Hight told the board that Wayne Community Schools is currently on the low end of required number of hours needed to graduate. Because three sections of the class are already being offered, there would be no financial impact to the district. 

The class is currently offered for dual credit with Wayne State College and those students taking the class for college credit are required to do additional work. 

Hight said the school plans to be flexible in working with students who have Individualized Education Plans (IEPs).

"We feel this is an important class. Every student and adult deals with the topics covered in the class - mortgages, insurance, food choices, etc.," he said.

Board member Sylvia Ruhl  asked "if we make this a requirement, does it make this class more important than other electives, like Adult Living?"

Following the discussion, board members voted 5-1 to make the class a required class. Board member Ruhl voted against the change.

The board approved the findings and recommendation of the Selection Committee to move forward with the hiring of a Construction Manager at Risk for the restroom and other renovations project at the high school.

Dr. Lenihan told the board that this was the first time the district has used this process on a renovation project and explained what had taken place prior to the meeting, including the conducting of interviews with firms interested in the position.

A resolution was read and approved hiring Otte Construction Company as the Construction Manager at Risk for the project. It was noted the cost for this position is four percent of the construction costs.

The next step in the renovation project is to hold a special meeting to approve a contract for the work on the project, which is scheduled to be completed this summer.

In other action, the board took steps to move forward with the purchase and installation of scoreboards in the gym at Wayne Elementary School.

The purchase will be paid for through grant funds from Pepsi for this specific purpose.

Dr. Lenihan told the board that the current scoreboards are approximately 25-30 years old as they had originally been at the high school.

Cost for the new scoreboards, including installation, is $12,000.

The school calendar for the 2021-2022 school year was approved.

Dr. Lenihan highlighted a number of changes for the coming year, including the scheduling of 2 p.m. dismissals on Wednesdays for the coming school year. He noted these times would be used as in-service times with specific topics planned for each week of the month.

Board members approved the purchase of six heat pumps to be installed at the elementary school and  voted to move forward with the purchase of an additional three pumps before a price increase goes into effect.

Director of Maintenance Jordan Widner told the board that a number of the heat pumps are "causing problems and three other pumps are not cooling at all. Some of the pumps in the building are nearly 20 years old."

Board member Lynn Junck said he felt that "if there are funds, we should fix three more before the prices goes up."

The purchase can be paid for with either building funds or depreciation funds.

The Wayne Community Schools' Board of Education will next meet in special session on Monday, Feb. 15 at 5 p.m. The next regular meeting will be held Monday, March 8 at 5 p.m. in the conference room at the junior-senior high school.