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Recap of April 2024 Bluffton Board of Education Meeting

By Betsi Werling

The Bluffton Exempted Village Schools Board of Education met on April 15 to consider action items including preparations for the 2024-2025 academic year. These items focused on school fees, teaching contracts and assignments, along with updates to handbooks. Administrative reports were heard and a newly created technology cart for Podcasts was demonstrated.

STAFFING FOR 2024-2025

Superintendent Greg Denecker introduced Jared Breece, who will be the H.S. social studies teacher. Breece has taught at Pandora-Gilboa schools and graduated from Bowling Green State University (BGSU). Stephanie McMahon, a Bluffton High School graduate, will be a M.S. math teacher. She most recently taught at Allen East and coaches swimming. Aubrey Imm will be the 7th grade math teacher. She is from Ottawa and also graduated from BGSU.

Megan Morris was introduced as the new high school Administrative Assistant. Alison King will replace Mary Hoffer in the Guidance and Athletic Office as the Administrative Assistant. And the Elementary School will welcome Julie Oberly–currently the H.S. administrative assistant--replacing Teresa Marquart. Both Hoffer  and Marquart are retiring at the end of this academic year.


Board member Jeremy Scoles reported on ApolloPalooza, the Apollo Career Center open house. Drawings and prizes were given out with the Grand Prize of an all expenses paid trip to one of the Disney parks. Scoles reported that Apollo recently purchased property from Dot’s Pet Supply and may bring truck driving classes to that location. 

Maintenance supervisor Mike Wilson reported that prior to recent storms, his crew had gotten a good start on landscaping and outside facilities. There was only minor flooding and minor debris at Harmon Field.

Technology coordinator Courtnee Morris reported that he is tracking software subscriptions used by teachers, to facilitate renewal and updates. He recently taught Ms. Richards’ 8th grade class the proper way to use AI and Chat GPT. At the middle school, new wireless cameras will allow them to capture video in three different locations. Morris also unveiled a new portable podcasting cart built by students and used at the recent middle school House Competition. 

Bluffton Elementary Principal Ben Thiel reported that state testing begins this week and will continue over the next three weeks. Thiel reported that Science Night on April 5 was well attended. Spring field trips have begun including a trip to the Johnny Appleseed McLean Teddy Bear Park in LIma. 

Middle School Principal Doug Westrick noted that state testing starts Tuesday. In preparation, all Chromebooks were updated. Westrich shared that the middle school band did well at a recent competition, receiving Superior and Excellent ratings. 

High School Principal Mike Minnig reported that the high school was entering 3 weeks of state testing. He noted that 229 high school students were on the honor roll for the past quarter. This past weekend, 60 students participated in the Musical “Elf” with “amazing” attendance. Prom and an After Prom event will be held at Bluffton University this Saturday, April 20.