BETHEL TWP. — On Monday, the Bethel board of education approved a three-year, full-time contract with the Miami County Sheriff’s Office for a school resource officer.
According to board president Jacob King, the board made the move to a full-time SRO because the safety and security of students and staff is one of the district’s top priorities.
“The safety and security of our staff, students and teachers are our number one priority. So we felt that the best step forward with that was a full-time SRO here everyday,” he said.
The first contract year’s total cost will be $64,290, increasing to $66,219 in 2020-21 and $68,148 in the 2021-22 school year. Board member Lori Sebastian added that, by signing a three-year contract rather than signing a new one every year, the district did save some money.
Deputy Warren Edmondson has served as a part-time SRO presence in the schools this school year. Prior to this year, the district hadn’t had an SRO for several years.
Superintendent Ginny Potter noted that the contract is with the sheriff’s office and not with a specific deputy, so it is possible that the district might have a different SRO next school year.
In other business, the board approved an $84,000 contract for the restoration of the elementary school building’s front entrance. Scaffolding has been erected around the front of the 100-year-old building, which requires some masonry work.
The board tabled a four-year contract for Elementary School Principal Jodi Petty, and three-year contracts for Assistant Elementary School Principal Mary Roll, and Special Education Director Suzanne Batten.
Members of the public questioned whether it would be more appropriate to offer the administrators one-year contracts and give the next superintendent an opportunity to make personnel changes sooner if needed.
Potter said the board’s policy states that administrative contracts may be three to five years long. She added that Petty has earned excellent ratings and is loved by students.
“I believe that that is best for this district, for the kids in our district. They adore her and I feel like this is appropriate and awards her for her dedication to this district,” Potter said about Petty.
Potter also noted that Roll has 14 years of experience and has introduced new styles of instruction. She said that Batten has eight years of experience in other districts and two years at Bethel, adding that she has done “some pretty heavy duty work” in the district.
Reach Cecilia Fox at email@example.com.