Van Wert City Board of Education members welcomed incoming Superintendent Mark Bagley (left) said farewell to retiring Superintendent Vicki Brunn during its June meeting on Wednesday. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent
Wednesday’s Van Wert City Board of Education meeting was the final one for Superintendent Vicki Brunn.
Brunn, who was hired in February 2018, announced her retirement in January and said she’s relocating to California to be closer to her children and grandchildren. She’s being replaced by Van Wert Middle School Principal Mark Bagley.
“To end here at Van Wert is an incredible joy for me,” Brunn told the board. “It was a wonderful experience from the beginning, until now even with COVID, but I’m looking forward to getting out with my grandchildren.”
“It’s bittersweet because I’m going to miss everyone here,” she added. “Mark has moved into the office and he’s doing a great job getting acclimated and getting things rolling.”
“It’s been a privilege to have Vicki work with me these last few months,” Bagley said. “She’s shared her wisdom with me a lot and next week we’re going to meet again one final time and go over a lot of things.”
Board President Anthony Adams also thanked Brunn and offered praise to the outgoing superintendent and said he’s looking forward to working with Bagley.
“When she came in she provided strong focused leadership,” Adams stated. “She worked to continue our strategic plan and this year she dealt with negotiations with our contracts and, from all accounts, those went as smooth as they ever have.”
“She provides this leadership that our district needed, but at the same time she empowered the administrators and teachers to do what they do best,” Adams added. “We’re excited to have Mr. Bagley aboard as our new superintendent and he’ll continue with that strong leadership.”
Bagley later noted that he’s waiting for guidelines from Governor Mike DeWine on reopening schools in August and he said once he has more information from Columbus, surveys will be sent to staff and parents.
“Hopefully, by July 15 we’ll have a lot more information we can give to people,” Bagley explained. “It’s about what’s best safely for us to reopen — we have to have all the information.”
“Kids and teachers together is the best option,” he added. “Are there other ways? Yes, and if we have to we have to be ready to go that way, but the best way is teachers and kids together.”
Bagley also said he plans on meeting with Crestview Superintendent Kathy Mollenkopf and Lincolnview Superintendent Jeff Snyder.
During his report to the board, Assistant Superintendent Bill Clifton said 10 of the district’s 15 buses are now equipped with stop arm cameras.
“Hopefully that will help, as we continue to have problems with people who either intentionally or unintentionally pass our buses while they’re stopped,” Clifton said.
Clifton also noted three areas of the high school parking lot will be repaved and he thanked the Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce for a $1,000 donation to the district’s “grab-and-go” meal program.
In other business, the board set cafeteria prices for the upcoming school year, and approved agreements with Van Wert Health for athletic training services and with New Tech Network, plus a revised lease agreement with the Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation.
Board members agreed to appoint Bagley, Rachel Dickman, and Mary Ann Falk to the Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation Board of Directors. Bagley will replace Brunn and Dickman will succeed Scott Mull. Falk is filling a new position on the board.
Mull told the board the foundation received state funding and will move forward with a lighting and sound system project to enhance performances and patron experiences at the NPAC, once shows are able to resume.
The board also accepted the resignation of third grade teacher Tabitha Williams and board members learned that the results of a feasibility study regarding Eggerss Stadium renovations and the athletic complex at Van Wert High School will likely be shared at next month’s meeting.
The next meeting of the Van Wert City Board of Education will be held a week earlier than normally scheduled, at 5 p.m. Monday, July 15, in the First Federal Lecture Hall of the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.
Original article courtesy of The Van Wert Independent