By Lois Mittino Gray
Leigh Ann Latshaw was hired as the Athletic Director at Mount Vernon Senior High School at the April 21 Mount Vernon School Board Meeting. In announcing the appointment, School Superintendent Tom Kopatich said that, “she has some big shoes to fill and the challenges are there, but she will do well.” She fills the athletic sneakers of Gary Redman who held the position for 21 years.
Latshaw has taught physics along with other science and math courses for the school district for the past 22 years. She will continue to teach one physics course in her new role. She has coached at all levels in basketball, softball, track and cross country and will continue to coach the latter sport. She has also served as the president of NEA Mount Vernon since 2006.
School Board Member Heather Allyn noted that, “Lee’s ability to communicate and motivate is tremendous and students listen to her.” Board Member Kathy Weinzapfel added that, “she also has the respect of the teachers as well.” Kopatich said applicants were interviewed from both inside and outside the district. She stands out for her passion for Mount Vernon and experience and will be asked to work on the efficiency of the athletic program.
David Frye was appointed as Director of Buildings and Grounds and will also fill the Maintenance Foreman vacancy. He formerly served as the Principal at Farmersville Elementary School part time and that vacancy will be posted and hopefully, filled by June 1.
Kyle Jones will be the new Director of Curriculum, Grants, & Testing, replacing Jody Pfister. He has been the Junior High Principal for the past two years. His position will be filled by Chad Rodgers as the new principal there.
In other board action:
• accepted the bid from CDW in the amount of $320,215.33, including alternates, for the upgrade and replacement of networking equipment at the high school and for the data center deployment project. Director of Business Loren Evans explained that three bidders did the walk through, but only CDW met the deadline for submission. He felt they would have been the lowest bid anyway and the numbers came in under budget from the Capital Improvements Fund. “We need to do this to get the high school ready for the 1:1 eLearning Project to replace switches and access points and network closet switches and wireless controllers,” he said. Network will not be available this summer at the high school due to this reworking and teachers have been notified.
• Vicki Reuger was given permission to visit Center Grove and Plymouth Schools to observe implementation of 1:1 eLearning in April, Keven Krizan to travel with students to the DECA International competition in Georgia in May and to Monica Collins and Keisha Seitz to attend the EVSC eRevolution Conference in July,
• In other personnel matters, accepted the resignations from Steve Mitchell as girls’ head coach effective at the end of the school year, Ashley Mirick as a cheerleading sponsor at the high school effective April 21 and Lori Redman as a teacher assistant effective at the end of the school year.
• created extracurricular positions for assistant athletic director and supervisors with placement on the compensation schedule. Kopatich explained these positions are not new, just had not been written down.
• granted permission to offer a summer reading remediation program from June 10-12 for all third graders not passing the IREAD 3 test this past spring .Kopatich said the district did really well with a 98 percent general education student passing rate. Only two need to take the summer program, plus a student who just moved into district. Last year there were 14 students. There are five special education students who did not pass, but their IEP does not require it.
• authorized the submission of an application for the continuation of the Title I Program and the High Ability Program for the 2014-15 school year.
• The Board granted Joshua Douglas Martin a Mount Vernon High School diploma after he completed requirements using the Apex learning program. He is presently employed at the Mount Vernon Barge Service.
• Dr. Kopatich announced with pride that Farmersville Elementary School and Marrs Elementary School have been designated as Four Stars Schools by the Indiana Department of Education. He also recognized individual student achievements in art, basketball, swim/dive, and wrestling.
• The next board meeting is slated for Monday, May 5 at 5:45 p.m. at the Mount Vernon Junior High School.
By Lois Mittino Gray