GREEN  The Portage Lakes Career Center's (PLCC) Board of Education approved a three-year contract for Kim Redmond as superintendent, effective Oct. 1 to July 31, 2021.

At the Sept. 20 board meeting, Redmond spoke to the board and said that she respected the work that went into choosing a superintendent.

Board members thanked the Education Service Center of Summit County for their help in the search. Redmond and the board said it is a great fit and they are in a position for great things to take place. They welcomed Redmond and thanked Interim Superintendent Bill Stauffer for his work in the interim and said he did more than just fill the seat in the short time he was at PLCC.

Stauffer said he is excited for the school as Redmond "is going to be a great superintendent. I am excited for you."

Redmond said she has met almost every staff member and spoken with them and they are prideful of their school.

"The students are very quiet," she said. "It is like you have to look for them. They do take pride in the building. My job is to work with the team of adults here. My goal is that our name with be in the top three career centers in the state. We will move forward, and I am excited."

School reports

Lisa Tripney, director of career technical education and job placement coordinator, reported that the Adult Education cosmetology lab is now fully operational, and students will soon be accepting customer service clients.  She introduced Practical Nursing Coordinator Barb Dawson who is leading the 70th class of the Practical Nursing Program. Tripney said the plus of the program is students attend four, nine-week sessions preparing the adult students for work in a shorter amount of time. Adult Education programs are enrolling for the January 2019 nursing and cosmetology classes.

Tripney also reported that the heating, ventilating and air conditioning classes are preparing for the NATE (North American Technician Excellence) test.  Last year’s class had a 100 percent passing rate on their certification tests. That is something that usually isn’t taken until several years of professional experience.

She also spoke to the board about the PLCC Report Card. She said the report card is not truly reflective of PLCC student success, "we continue to emphasize and focus on the importance of preparing students for the workforce by offering every opportunity for them to earn Industry Recognized Credentials, college credit and real-world work experience. Last year students received $24,000 in credits, this year, already, they have received $12,000."

She said some of the areas of the report card focus on things that are not offered at PLCC.

"Often times, for a career school, it is hard to meet as they don’t offer some of the academic components," said Tripney.

Board members said that, in the future, it is hoped that Career Technical schools will have a different report card that will access what they do in a better way. Members agreed something is wrong with the testing and that it is not indicative of the students that come out of PLCC.

Treasurer Chris Wright reminded the board that at the October meeting he would be presenting the five-year forecast.

Principal Mike Kaschak reported that the year is off to a great start. For example, Visual Design and Imaging students are already working on their short films; Programming and Software Development seniors are working on webpage design; and Culinary Arts seniors are gearing up for their sandwich competition. In addition, PLCC’s Early College High School program has begun its second year of operation and senior students look forward to earning their Associate Degree from the University of Akron at the completion of the year.

Kaschak said although there has been a drop-in enrollment the staff is aware that recruitment and retention is everybody’s responsibility and remains a top priority. The administrative team continues to explore interventions that will align with the goal of increasing enrollment and reach a broader audience within the associate schools and their communities.

Approved business included:

- The job description of Part-Time Adult Education tutor.

- Employment contracts for Adult Education tutor Julianne Ramsey at $28 per hour, 150 hours maximum, no benefits, effective Sept. 10 to June 30, 2019 and long-term substitute instructor Taylor McIntyre at $125 per day, 58 days maximum, no benefits, effective Aug. 29 to approximately Nov. 19.

- Family Medical Leave for Jacqueline Warrens from Aug. 28 to approximately Nov. 19.

- Equipment donation for use in the Fire Academy Program from Coventry Fire Department Chief John Dolensky. Stauffer said if the school had purchased the equipment, it would be about $270,000.

Announcements:

- Pre-Nursing students will be partnering with Coventry Local Schools to provide vision screening to elementary, middle and high school students.

- Beginning October 5, the Cosmetology Department once again opens its doors to the public for customer service from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. A new line of skin care will be introduced.

- Ron Balis, automotive technology instructor, was appointed to the 2018 Summit County All County Teaching Team. Cosmetology Instructor, Malinda Stratos, is also being honored with her nomination for the Rookie Teacher of the Year award. They will be honored at a banquet, hosted by the Summit County Educational Service Center, next month.

- Stauffer updated the board on the solar project; materials are on site, underground work has been done and, once final approval is granted, the remainder of the work should begin on Oct. 18. The project should be ready for testing and final inspections by Nov. 2.

- Stauffer said they are looking for substitute custodians and anyone interested should contact Lori Coates at the Career Center.

"Things are going well. What you need to know here is that we have great staff, great programs, great students and a great administrative team. I have been lucky to work with these folks," Stauffer said. "These kids that go to PLCC, represent their home district very, very well. You should be very proud of them."

The next PLCC Board of Education meeting will be held at 6 p.m., Oct. 18 at the school.