School News By Steve Poe, Superintendent
This school year will begin like no other. Who would have guessed we would have everyone look into a screen to take their temperature upon entering the building, have everyone wear a face mask, and one of the first lessons teachers may teach would be on how to wash your hands properly?
This summer we formed a Transition Committee. This committee (Steve Poe, superintendent; Margie Warnicke, guidance; Carol Cerny, teacher; Craig Schuffenecker, high school teacher/athletic director; Debbie Bianchi, elementary teacher; Karen Goaziou, board member; and Suzanne Kostura, parent) met weekly to research, discuss, and plan for the return of school. Our plans were sent to parents in mid-July and parents were able to comment and select the plan that works best for them.
Put-in-Bay School is one of the few schools in Ohio that will be able to offer in person instruction five days a week. We are very fortunate that we are a small school. We will be in close contact with the Ottawa County Health Department throughout this school year. Parents are advised to go to: www.ottawahealth.org for the latest information regarding schools. Please check our school website as well for updates: www.put-in-bay.k12.oh.us.
We feel preparation is the key to success… and we are prepared! Our Inventory Team (Vicki VanNess, curriculum director; Missi Kowalski, science teacher; Randi Wertenbach, secretary; and Patrick Green, maintenance/custodian) met regularly over the summer to make sure our school has everything needed to make our school one of the safest places to be. From air purifiers to sanitizers, we have the resources and protocols in place for a safe and successful school year.
All the things that went into preparing for this school year cannot go without mentioning our Board of Education (J.R. Domer, Karen Goaziou, Bill Market, Mike Byrnes, and Dino Uszak). We appreciate their unwavering support through all that has transpired since last March.
Our school will not only have a few new students this year, but a few new staff members as well. As you may already know, Patrick Green is our new maintenance/custodian, replacing Karen Riddle who retired in June. Replacing grades 4 to 6 teacher, Riley Conway, will be Linda Rence. Riley took a teaching position in her hometown of Norwalk. Linda has been our pre-K teacher the past four years and looks forward to the new challenge. Taking Linda’s pre-K position and serving other roles in the afternoon will be Mrs. Jackie Kowalski. Jackie brings a wealth of teaching experience to our school and we welcome her to ‘our family.’ Last, but not least, long-time physical education teacher Susan Harrington announced her retirement earlier this summer. She will be replaced by our cross-country coach Adam Danes starting October 1st.
In 1991, the Jim Poulos Recreation Facility was added onto our school. That was when a group of students approached Susan Harrington about starting a basketball team and basketball at Put-in-Bay High School was born! Susan set high expectations that inaugural 1991-92 basketball season and for seasons to come. Her teams put up some high scores and winning soon followed, along with a trip to Hawaii for a basketball tournament and the start of our rivalry with Mackinac Island. On behalf of all her players, thank you for all you did to give our students an opportunity to play the game they loved. Enjoy your retirement, travels, and dogs. We will miss you.
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The previous piece is published in this month’s Put-in-Bay Gazette. The Gazette has been producing incredible independent Put-in-Bay island news for over 40 years. If you have any interest at all in what is happening on South Bass Island, we urge you strongly to subscribe to the Put-in-Bay Gazette. One-year online subscriptions are only $15, and print subscriptions are available as well. To subscribe please visit the PIB Gazette website.