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Football to continue in ‘09

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Yellow Springs High School will field a football team next fall, YSHS Principal John Gudgel announced at the Nov. 13 meeting of the Yellow Springs board of education.

“We feel confident that we will have enough players,” Gudgel said.

The school’s football program had been in question due to the fairly small number of undergraduate football players on this year’s football team. Out of 21 team members, 10 are seniors and will graduate, and the remaining players were not enough to field a team. To plan for next year, Gudgel put out a call for interested players and their parents to contact him. Many have done so, he said at the meeting, and 25 McKinney and high school students have indicated that they want to play next year.

The school needed to plan ahead due to the lead time needed to schedule games, and the penalities the school would pay if it pulled out of scheduled games due to lack of a team. New Athletic Director Vince Peters has already scheduled nine out of 10 potential games with schools of comparable size and skill level for the 2009 fall program, Gudgel said.

In his 38 years witnessing the YSHS football program, first as a student, then as teacher and principal, he has seen teams that varied in size from 15 to 16 students to 35, Gudgel said.

“We’re comfortable with the mid-20s,” he said.

Students seem newly enthused about the school’s football program, partly due to a new coach, Jay Jones, according to Gudgel, who said he has been impressed by the favorable response he’s received since requesting that interested future football players step forward. Football has sometimes had a troubled relationship with Yellow Springs, where soccer receives more support and has more participants, and some years the program has not had enough interested participants to field a team. But the sport still has many fans, according to Gudgel.

“I know we’re in Yellow Springs, but we’re also in Ohio,” he said.

In other board business:

• In her report on the district’s special education program, District Supervisor Terry Graves-Strieter said that the program’s numbers rose this year, and are higher than neighboring districts. In Yellow Springs, about 17 percent of students are on IEPs, or Individual Education Plans, as compared to about 11 percent at Cedar Cliff schools, 10 percent at Sugar Creek, 13 per cent at Greeneview and 14 percent at Beavercreek.

Asked why the numbers are rising, Graves-Strieter said that the Yellow Springs district has an excellent special ed program, and that area families have heard about it.

“We have a fantastic staff,” she said. “Word gets around that we have good people in place.”

However, board member Angela Wright expressed concern that a survey given to parents of special ed students used language that was not objective. Sean Crieghton will work with Graves-Strieter to retool the survey.

The district’s advocate for parents of special ed students, Moira Laughlin, is again available to work with parents, Graves-Strieter said.

• The board approved the hiring of Christina Hess, Gail Ritchie, Judy Vincent, Jacqueline Waggoner, Karen VanZant, Faith Skidmore, Rebecca Traeger, Kathy Robertson and Kelly Stephens as substitute teachers at $80 per day. The board approved Neelam Kapoor and Grace Clark as substitute aides at $10 per hour, Clark as substitute secretary at $10 per hour and Stephen Hale as substitute bus driver at $13.43 per hour.

• The board approved the hiring of the following district employees to co-curricular contracts: Donna Haller as Senior Citizens Day co-advisor at $599; Pam Stephens as Senior Citizens Day co-advisor at $646.50; Sarah Lowe as mentor teacher for Elizabeth Simon at $400; and Vickie Hitchcock on Principal’s Council at $1,293.

• The board approved the hiring of co-curricular contracts to the following non-district employees: Bonita Pence as varsity cheerleader advisor and junior varsity cheerleader advisor, at $959 for each; Clayton Brady as 7th-grade boys basketball coach at $1,211; William Randolph as 8th-grade boys basketball coach at $1,211; Sara Smith as 8th-grade girls basketball coach at $1,211; Sean Wakefield as freshman boys basketball coach at $1,513; and John Faas as assistant director of the spring musical at $1,816.

• The board approved the hiring of the following non-district employees to co-curricular contracts, pending background checks: Ken Peoples, 7th-grade girls basketball coach at $1,211; Charles Greene, junior varsity basketball coach at $2,119; and Julie Moore, swimming coach at $2,119.

• The board accepted with appreciation a donation from Stephen Scherr of free weights and equipment for use in the YSHS /McKinney School fitness center.

• The board accepted with appreciation a donation of books from Mr. Nickels for use in YSHS/McKinney School classrooms.

• The board approved the emergency hire of Heather Stambaugh as substitute aide at $10 an hour.

• The board approved the emergency hire of Connie Richeson for a one-year limited contract as a special education aide for Mills Lawn.

• The board approved the emergency hire of Jacqueline Waggoner as a Mills Lawn School reading intervention tutor.

• The board approved a one-year limited contract to Lowell Craig Carter for indoor/outdoor maintenance for the district.

• Board member Anne Erickson reported that the Yellow Springs Endowment for Education is moving forward with its plans to become a part of the Yellow Springs Community Foundation.

• The board met in executive session to discuss a personnel matter.

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