PLCC Board of Education approves reduction in force

Carolynn Mostyn
Suburbanite correspondent

GREEN – Members of the Portage Lakes Career Center (PLCC) Board of Education addressed a reduction of force during its April 22 meeting.

Positions for the 2021-22 school year that were approved for elimination were an intervention specialist, administrative assistant and an aviation classroom aide. Also, half day job training, science and social studies teacher and coordinator of special services were eliminated.

 Programs being reduced to one teacher, The building trades, cyber academy and engineering, robotics and manufacturing and math will be reduced to one teacher, 

The aviation program and Cooperative Business Education, which is located at Springfield High School, will be eliminated.

Teacher Nathan Burton spoke to the board about the impact the loss of those positions would have on PLCC students. He said the reduction in force wasn’t just about jobs but about those who have chosen to commit themselves to career tech and the students. It is about offering programs that prepare the students for their futures.

“These individuals have created a family here at PLCC,” he said.

Superintendent Kim Redmond said none of the staff reductions are a result of staff performance but are due to elimination of programs, fiscal responsibility and to align staffing.

In other action, the Board:

• The employment contracts of Nathan Burton, Ann Fritz and Abbigail Wise are suspended for a reduction in force, effective July 1, and for their names to be placed on a recall list. The half day contract with Katherine Batdorff was also suspended and she will also be placed on the recall list.

• Approved the employment contracts of Keith Francis, adult education machining and manufacturing consultant, at $28 per hour and a 100-hour maximum, effective May 1, until June 30 with no benefits; and Wendy  Bodenschatz as a pharmacology tutor at $28 per hour, 575-hour maximum.

• Heard from Treasurer Christopher Wright who said he will present the updated five-year forecast at the next regular scheduled meeting. Adams said he will have a better idea of what the real numbers are as opposed to what was forecasted in the fall.

• Heard from Principal Mike Kaschak who recognized students from the Cooperative Business program who competed in the virtual state leadership conference in March and are moving on to compete in the National competition:

Jocelynn Babbit placed 6th in Health Administration Procedures

Seth Frient placed 5th in Fundamental Accounting.

Hannah McMenamee placed 3rd in Intermediate Word Processing

Trystan Marcou placed 4th in Legal Office Procedures

Jocelyn Tepus placed 8th in Legal Office Procedures

• Heard from Assistant Superintendent Lisa Tripney who reported that adult education programs are growing rapidly. There are 60 students signed up for fall programming and an additional 18 carrying over from this year for a total of 78 students. That number is well above past enrollment figures for this same time in the process.

• Approved a memorandum of understanding with Stark State College, which will allow for students to use of the Stark State fire academy.

“We will be using the facilities at Stark State and we believe we will have a much stronger program with students being able to be certified in EMT,” said Redmond.

Students will have the ability to earn 16 college credits.

• Heard from Redmond who updated the board on the work of the public safety services building. The demolition has begun on the old horticulture building soon-to-be the public safety services building. The contractor is ahead of schedule and has plans to bring in students from HVAC, plumbing and pipefitting, building trades and electrical technology to observe the work in progress.    

• Accepted donations of two Stryker ambulance cots from Coventry Fire Department and from the pre-nursing students who wrote a grant and purchased four EpiPens that were received due to a grant written by pre-nursing students.

• Career Center students of the month are Charlie Byers, Building Trades, Coventry; Christian Perry, Building Trades, Manchester; and Jacob Petrone, Culinary Arts , Springfield

• Placement Student of the Month is Hannah Hayman, Pre-Nursing, Green. Her employer is Pleasant View Healthcare Center.

The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held at 6 p.m., May 20.