Holgate School Board fills vacancy and sever ties with local performing arts body | local education

HOLGATE — Holgate Local Schools Board of Education opened its Monday evening meeting with a resolution to temporarily fill a vacancy.

On the recommendation of Superintendent Kelly Meyers, Kaitlin Faber was appointed to the Board by a vote of the Board.

She fills the unexpired term of Elizabeth Schuller who resigned from the board after being appointed by Gov. Mike DeWine as a judge of the Municipal Court of Napoleon earlier this month.

Meyers recognized Schuller at Monday’s meeting for his work on the board. Faber is stepping in to finish Schuller’s term which ends on December 31, 2025.

Faber and her husband, Derek Faber, graduated from Holgate according to Meyers.

“Their three sons attend Holgate and Faber has a history with young children,” Meyers said. “She worked at the Henry County Health Department and NOCAC, and is currently responsible for family preservation at Adriel.”

Speaking about Faber’s fit for the board, Meyers had more to say.

“She is passionate about advocating for the education and interests of all children,” she added. “The board is pleased to have her join them in serving the district and the community.”

After requesting and not receiving state-required information regarding financial and accounting information from the Holgate Local Performing Arts Council (PAC), the district voted to disavow any affiliation with the organization.

Meyers explained that the resolution comes after an internal audit, undertaken by District Treasurer Kent Seemann, of the group’s finances in accordance with council policies.

“The audit was spurred by discrepancies in the beginning and ending balances provided by the PAC in the annual report submitted to the board,” Meyers said.

Meyers’ recommended resolution said the reason for severing ties with the organization was that it had “failed to work cooperatively with the district to ensure compliance with board policy.”

The council also released a statement on the decision to sever ties with the PAC in which Seemann made his concerns more clear.

“The PAC was unable to comply with (district) rules (and) we were ultimately unable to audit the books of the organization…We cannot guarantee that the contributions of our parents and members of community land in a place that is consistent with the goals of the organization….”

The board has taken steps to prohibit the organization from using the school district’s name or other materials affiliated with it. PAC is no longer permitted to participate in school-sponsored programs or activities.

Board Chairman Greg Thomas said the organization’s situation left the board with no choice.

“It’s an unfortunate situation and we worked hard to avoid it, but we had no choice but to withdraw recognition,” Thomas said.

The council further ordered Seemann to notify the organization of the council’s action. He also authorized Meyers and Seemann to file a complaint with the Charities Section of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. This complaint would aim to ensure that the funds of this organization were correctly used and justified.

The PAC had worked with the district through the vocal music and theater programs.

In other news, the advice:

• was introduced to new music teacher, Kourtney Syrus.

• approved 2-year contracts with Ellen Pennington, cook, and Gregory Sherer, part-time caretaker.

• approved volunteer volleyball coach Tara Tietje for the remainder of 2021-22.

• Approved Desiree Steingass as substitute recreation monitor for the remainder of 2021-22.

• Approved elementary and middle/high school tuition fees for the 2022-23 school year.

• has completed the first readings of textbooks: sports student, sports coaches, elementary school student, middle/high school student, elementary staff and middle/high school staff.

• discussed the future of the school’s archery program.