School Board Holds Reorganization Meeting

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Marvin Schelhouse being sworn in as President of the Milford School Board by Superintendent Phyllis Kohel.
Marvin Schelhouse being sworn in as President of the Milford School Board by Superintendent Phyllis Kohel.

By Terry Rogers

On Monday, July 14, the Milford School District Board of Education held their annual reorganization meeting. Marvin Schelhouse, who ran unopposed for the only open school board seat, took the Oath of Office. After taking the oath, Mr. Schelhouse was unanimously elected President of the board, with Renate Wiley unanimously elected as Vice-President. Eugene Rust will serve as the DSBA Board of Directors Representative with Barry Fry as the alternate member. Sharon Kirby will serve as the DSBA Legislative Committee member with Renate Wiley as the alternate.

One of the first items on the agenda was discussion of the newly-created policy regarding the naming of school facilities. The new policy was created by Superintendent Phyllis Kohel at the request of the board after a decision earlier in the year to rename the Milford High School campus after Randy J. Holland. Public outcry regarding the board’s vote led to a rescinded vote at a special meeting called to discuss the matter.

The new policy outlines the procedure for naming new schools, requiring a committee for naming the school appointed by the Superintendent. The committee will consist of at least three community members who live in the area where the new school will be located, two students who currently or are likely to attend the school, two staff members who will be employed at the school and one district administrator. The committee will be asked to propose three school names that will be presented to the Board of Education, who will make the final decision.

The policy also encourages the committee to name schools after historical figures, based on the history or general features of the area or goals of the school. The committee may not use the names of existing schools unless the district plans to discontinue the school for public use. The committee may choose to name the school after distinguished persons who have made an outstanding contribution to the community, county, state or union, whose name is widely recognized and is no longer active in their career. The policy for renaming schools must follow the same requirements.

In addition, ancillary facilities, such as libraries, classrooms, athletic fields or other district facilities may be named after individuals if at least one district department head and six other stakeholders recommend the name change to the Superintendent. Private individuals who make donations to the school with the stipulation that a building or facility be named in their honor must have the request approved by the Milford Board of Education. The policy is under review by the board and will be discussed again at the next board meeting on August 18, 2014.

In addition, the board tabled any discussion of a possible referendum in the fall. A referendum in March for operating expenses and to build a new middle school failed, and the district has said that they will attempt another referendum in the fall. The referendum will be included on the August 18 agenda as well.