Thursday, April 19th, 2012
By Amy Kronenberger
St. Marys hires new leader
Superintendent is principal at Spencerville school
  ST. MARYS - A Lima native will take over as St. Marys superintendent next school year.
School board members on Wednesday approved a three-year contract for Shawn Brown, who has served as Spencerville High School principal the last 12 years. His contract begins Aug. 1, and his salary will be $96,000.
Board president Lisa Tobin said of the 13 applicants, Brown's enthusiasm and openness really stood out.
"I really think he has a vision for the district and expects high achievement," Tobin said after the board meeting. "He's very personable and someone the community can really engage with, and that's really important."
Brown, 46, has been in education for 21 years and began his career with Lima City Schools North Middle School. After six years, he was promoted to associate principle at Lima Senior.
"I'm very familiar with St. Marys, and I know it's a great school district," Brown said. "It's a great opportunity to spread my wings."
The Shawnee High School graduate received his bachelor of science degree in elementary education from The Ohio State University and a master's degree in educational administration from the University of Dayton.
He, his wife Kandace and three children, Lyndie, 21, Alexa, 18, and Dominic, 14, live in Spencerville but plan to move to St. Marys.
"As soon as our house sells, we're moving," Brown said. "I'm eager to move to the district."
Brown will replace interim superintendent Gerry Skiver, who replaced superintendent Mary Riepenhoff on Aug. 15.
Skiver interviewed for the permanent position, along with Shawnee Middle School Principal Tony Cox.
In other business Wednesday, director of instruction Bill Steinbrunner said the eighth-grade staff and students agreed to volunteer for a pilot online assessment test this year. The state intends to implement the online test for grades 3-8 in two years, eliminating the paper version.
The grades will not count against students or the district report card, Steinbrunner said.
"It'll be a good opportunity to help the department of education and give us an idea of what it'll look like when they open it up to the other grades," he said.
Primary school guidance counselor Karen Lehmkuhl gave a presentation on the behavioral management program Check in-Check out. The student receives a folder every day discussing his or her behavior, using a system of checks, smiley faces and color codes. The student must bring the folder home every day for his or her parent to sign.
Lehmkuhl said the system is an intervention for students who do not respond to traditional classroom strategy. The system has improved the classroom environment and improves the students' self esteem, she said.
In other action, board members:
• Appointed Joint Township District Memorial Hospital to conduct all van and bus driver physicals for the district.
• Approved a resolution encumbering $23,450 from the locally funded initiative fund for curb and gutter replacements on Shipman Road. The city will repave the road this summer.
• Approved an agreement with Ohio Northern University's Center for Teacher Education for the placement of teacher candidates and student teachers.
• Approved the sixth-grade trip to Glen Helen Outdoor Education Center for Dec. 10-12 and Dec. 12-14.
• Approved an agreement with Alltel to provide equipment and services for mobile learning devices.
• Approved a resolution raising lunch prices 10 cents for grades K-12 and 20 cents for adult lunches. The price of breakfast and milk will not increase.
• Approved early graduation for Alecksa Agler in May 2013.
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