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School Superintendent reviews year

By Jennifer Peryam - jperyam@h-ponline.com

Huntington County Community School Corporation Superintendent Randy Harris shared a state of the district address during Monday night’s school board meeting.

The board also re-elected the same slate of officers for 2018 including Matthew Roth as president, Brian Warpup as vice president and Gary McClelland as secretary.

Bid opening committee memebers Tony Bennett, Edette Eckert and Randy Harris were re-appointed as well as common wage committee member, Chad Daugherty; and Roanoke Building Committee members, Gary McClellan, Matthew Melcher and Kevin Yarger. HNHS remodeling committee members appointed were Tim Allen, Matthew Roth, Brian Warpup and Chris Jansen.

Harris shared achievements of the district in 2017 and said the district achieved a 95.4 percent graduate rate.

“This is the result of a lot of effort from students, counselors, teachers and students,” Harris said.

He said Northwest Elementary School was recognized as a four-star school.

Challenges of 2017 include declining enrollment, difficult student behavior, equality of services and eroding facilities.

Accomplishments in 2017 have included new Ipads for kindergarten through fifth-grade students, implementing a new website and the Learning Center expansion.

Challenges for 2018 include elementary school changes with the closing of Northwest and Lancaster schools, redistricting, building a new Roanoke Elementary School, Huntington North High School rennovations and developing a marketing plan for the school corporation.

“There was a lot that was accomplished in 2017 and we hope to see even greater accomplishments this year,” Harris said.

Jon Bennett, assistant superintendent for business and classified staff, presented possible projects to be completed with 2017 general obligation bonds.

The board approved quotes to be sollicited for the projects that include replacing the Crestive roof, Huntington North High School roof improvements over the cafe and science wing, replacing the Crestview and Riverview tracks, and replacing carpet at Andrews Elementary School.

Other improvements include HNHS LED lighting and auditorium sound as well as HNHS auditorium seating improvements.

“Once we receive quotes we will need to come back to the board for approval on the projects,” Bennett said.

Harris informed the board that at the Jan. 22 meeting staffing recommendations as a result of redistricting will be made for the 2018 and 2019 school years.

While Holcomb already outlined his agenda for the year, he has been far more reluctant to talk about the issues that are expected to be dominant themes during the session.

Lawmakers are headed into an election year and GOP leaders have already cautioned that they do not have a major, overarching piece of legislation the hope to pass.

That leaves a vacuum that’s likely to be filled by hot-button issues. Among the proposals being debated at the Statehouse are efforts to legalize medical marijuana, eliminate the state’s handgun permit requirement and rewrite Indiana’s prohibitive alcohol laws.

Holcomb said he has opinions on those matters, but doesn’t feel obligated to weigh in unless they directly relate to his legislative priorities, he said during a recent interview.