Students commended by school board

By Drew Stambaugh - [email protected]

The Swanton Board of Education honored several district students with commendations at their meeting on Wednesday.

Riley Bellner, Emma Operacz, and Ashlynn Waddell were honored for being Swanton Middle School character winners. They are the three student council presidents at the schools, and were guest speakers at the district’s Veterans Day program.

High school students were honored for their performance at a recent University of Toledo Accounting Contest. The team of Shae Hallowell, Amanda Hayes, Lindsey Fickel, and Claire Leidigh took first place, and Josh Bradish, Antonio Cervantes, Sam Incorvaia, and Deric Mersereau took third.

In his monthly report, transportation director Jason Divoll said the district is currently looking into getting camera systems for the rest of the district’s route buses. The system would include two inside camera heads, one mounted in the front facing toward the back of the bus, one mounted in the back of the bus facing toward the front.

GPS and a stop arm camera could also be added. They would be mounted outside the bus to capture vehicles running the student warning lights when the buses unload and pick up students.

“Unfortunately, this has been a major problem, and continues to get worse,” Divoll said in his report. “The GPS would give us the ability to see where the bus is located on the route and know exactly what times they are making stops.”

The district is also participating in a light pilot program. The system is comprised of a light mounted on the front of the bus that illuminates the left side of the road when picking up students crossing the road. It makes the students more visible to the bus driver and other drivers on the road, according to his report. It also allows the student to see things like ice patches.

District principals also presented their monthly reports to the board.

Crestwood Elementary School principal Angela Belcher reported that the school conducted a required safety drill on Nov. 20 in conjunction with the Swanton Police Department.

Park Elementary School principal Paulette Baz reported that Park conducted its drill on Nov. 19. She said the fifth grade holiday program and Pint Size Blood Drive were held last week.

The third grade fall AIR Reading test was administered early this month, with all students testing online.

Baz also reported that Backpack Buddies continues to be a huge success, with over 125 students served each weekend.

In his Swanton Middle School report, principal Matt Smith said 35 students are participating in the SMS United Way after school program. He added that the number is growing each week.

“The students are improving their homework completion, and grades are moving up,” said Smith.

He also reported that the Building Leadership Team has been working on implementing a writing initiative to get students writing in every class throughout the middle school.

Swanton High School principal Jason Longbrake reported that earlier this month two detectives from the Oregon Police Department spoke to students about teen domestic violence and internet/social media safety. Students heard first-hand accounts from both detectives.

Health classes hosted an Outreach Prevention Specialist from the Four County Family Center about recognizing the signs and symptoms of depression and suicide.

Also at the meeting, the board accepted the following donations: $8,000 from the United Way of Fulton County for the middle school’s after school program; $970 from Oak Valley Realtors to the athletic fund; and $970 from Design Entertainment to the athletic fund. Also, the Anderson’s donated 29 bags of season long grub control to the recreation program for use on the fields.

By Drew Stambaugh

[email protected]

Drew Stambaugh can be reached at 419-335-2010.

Drew Stambaugh can be reached at 419-335-2010.