Board learns more about welding

Program started this year with 8 students

By Drew Stambaugh -

Last Wednesday’s Swanton Board of Education meeting centered around the welding program and the five-year financial forecast.

Swanton Welding was recently named to the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) Business Honor Roll. The OSBA offered its sincere thanks for Swanton Welding’s strong support of Swanton Local Schools and encouraged everyone in the community to recognize the business’s contributions to the school district.

Welding classes are now offered at Swanton Welding. Norm E. Zeiter, president of Swanton Welding, was on hand to talk about the program and accept the honor.

“You guys sent us a great group of kids,” said Zeiter. “They have really taken to the class and I think are learning a lot.”

He said it is a introduction to the profession for the students.

“There’s a major shortage in manufacturing, and skilled labor, and for us. So, ultimately, we would love to have these kids be a part of our company in the future.”

There are eight students participating this year, and that number could increase in the future. Swanton High School principal Jason Longbrake said a lot of people are interested in the program for next school year.

Zeiter said they would accommodate as many students as were interested.

“From my perspective, it fills a niche that we lost when we eliminated shop, industrial arts, all of that. There’s a certain segment of our student body that flourishes, thrives in that environment,” said board member Steve Brehmer. “So it’s exciting to have this opportunity, and I’m glad to hear that we’re not stopping at eight.”

Treasurer Joyce Kinsman also presented an update to the five-year financial forecast for the district. It includes some deficit spending related to the building project but there shouldn’t be any issues until possibly 2020, according to Kinsman.

At that time, the district is looking at deficit spending based on current projections. “We’ll really have to take a look at our operations at that point,” she said.

Other business

• The board approved overnight camps for the high school boys and girls basketball teams.

• The board approved an agreement with the Village of Swanton that will allow for improvements to the lower baseball diamond at Memorial. The district plans a portable fence, a grass infield, and better drainage when funds can be raised.

• Membership in the Ohio High School Athletic Association was approved for the 2018-19 school year.

• The board honored Betse Schmitz, who is retiring, for 32 years of service to the district.


Many personnel items were approved, including the resignation of English teacher Allison Pelz. A three year contract renewal for Brandon Schroth, director of technology, was also approved.

Continuing certified contracts were approved for Becky O’Shea, Leslie Albring, Julianna Frost, Bill Boyer and Charlene Blankenship. Three-year certified contracts were approved for Andrew Carr, Shawn Kinnee, Angela Nowak, Catlin Creps, Bethany Lopez, Tina Jahn, and Kurt Blalock.

Two-year certified contracts were approved for Jeffrey Dojcsak, Brooke Chinni, Abby Matthews, Kevin Heintschel, and Julianna Beaber. One-year certified contracts were approved for Josh Eppert, Sarah Durst, Sam Wesche, Randall Kerns, Taryn Casteel, Ashley Jones, Joel Visser, Tiffany Kasper, Brianna Bergman, Kelsey Gillen, and Jaclyn Borer.

Several classified contracts were also approved for next school year.

Supplemental contracts approved included Jason Hill, sixth grade camp director; Miranda Baker, Safety Village director; Kyle Borer, varsity volleyball coach; Samantha Preisner, band director; Joe Nye, head softball coach; Joe Hensley, head boys soccer coach; and James Dickman, head girls soccer coach.

Substitutes, recreation contracts, and recreation volunteers were among the other personnel items approved.

Building reports

• Elementary principal Kristi Molter reported that state tests and end of year district assessments have been completed. She also reported that a tree was planted in front of the school as part of Arbor Day ceremonies.

• Middle school principal Matt Smith reported that middle school awards night will be May 24 at 6 p.m. in the Fisher Gymnasium. He also added that eight grade students will leave for their trip to Washington D.C. on May 16 and return May 19.

• Jason Longbrake, high school principal, reported that graduation will take place June 3 at 2 p.m. He also reported that the concert band received an Excellent (II) rating at the state competition.

• Glen Dominique, director of buildings and grounds, reported that there were several sinkholes around AC units that were installed at the middle school during the building renovation. There have also been other HVAC issues.

• Jeff Bella of the transportation department reported that the district is in need of substitute drivers.

Program started this year with 8 students

By Drew Stambaugh

Reach Drew at 419-335-2010 or on Twitter @Swan_Enterprise

Reach Drew at 419-335-2010 or on Twitter @Swan_Enterprise