Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Fort hires area native Firks as superintendent

By William Kincaid
FORT RECOVERY - Board of education members at a special meeting on Monday night hired Coldwater native Justin Firks as the Fort Recovery Local Schools' new superintendent.
Firks was given a two-year contract, effective July 13, according to board president Jose Faller. Treasurer Lori Koch could not be reached this morning to confirm Firks' starting salary. Shelly Vaughn, who has served as superintendent since 2012, currently earns a base salary of $99,778. Firks likely will start 10 days before his contract begins to work with Vaughn to "get the lay of the land and have her show me the ropes," he said.
Thirteen people had applied to take over the district's top administrative position, and Firks, the Fort Loramie Junior/Senior High School principal, was selected over finalists Jeff Hobbs, the Fort Recovery High School principal, and Jason Wood, the Franklin Monroe Middle School/High School principal.
"It was a very difficult decision," Faller said.
Firks, according to Faller, scored the highest on the board's leadership criteria, which included integrity, communication, culture, vision, inspiration, knowledge, accessibility, sense of purpose, board relations and financial acuity.
"We liked his enthusiasm," Faller said. "He had several ideas that we thought were really good and could add something to our district."
Firks this morning said it's an honor and privilege to be named superintendent of a school system built on a tradition of excellence and pride.
He appreciates the opportunity and looks forward to moving to Fort Recovery with his family, enrolling his three daughters in school and meeting with stakeholders, including teachers, students and parents, Firks said.
He also plans to be actively engaged and visible in the community, he said.
Having grown up in Mercer County, Firks said he knows the area is built on a solid work ethic, strong families and excellent school systems.
Firks, who has filled his principal's position since 2012, has also served as a high school social studies teacher at New Bremen Local Schools, Jackson Center Local Schools and Napoleon area schools. He also served as a special education instructor at Jackson Center Local Schools and Parkway Local Schools.
He has been a head baseball coach, assistant varsity football coach, junior varsity boys basketball coach and assistant athletic director, according to his resume.
A Coldwater High School graduate, Firks has degrees from Wright State University and Nova Southeastern University and earned his superintendent's license at the University of Dayton.
Additional online story on this date
NEW BREMEN - New Bremen officials could save $600,000 by using village employees rather than contractors to upgrade its well field, council members learned at Monday's meeting. [More]
Subscriber and paid stories on this date
COLDWATER - Village horticulturist Alex Uhlenhake is a petunia man. He enjoys experimenting with different colors but is partial to the pink flowers he says really shine in the summertime.
$62,513 from EPA will help city buy refurbished model
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City council at Monday's meeting heard the first reading of a resolution to accept $62,513 from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for a refurbished garbage truck and several Dumpsters.
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Firm would do study to determine possible building plans
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The p
SIDNEY - A St. Marys man will be sentenced June 6 after pleading no contest to charges related to a fire that took the life of a 50-year-old man.
Court records show Derek Eilerman, 24, pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter April 27. He was found guilty and faces up to 11 years in prison.
ST. HENRY - Two new, innovative swings will be installed at the village park this summer.
Village administrator Ron Gelhaus told council members at Monday's meeting the Expression Swings will allow an adult to swing with a child.
COLDWATER - Village officials hope to save more than $100,000 by refinancing the bonds used to purchase and renovate the municipal center.
Division IV Softball Sectional
MINSTER - Regan Hahn's pitching effort couldn't have been much better.
Minster's defense played mostly mistake free.
But when it came to stringing hits together and scoring runs, the Wildcats struggled in a 4-3 loss to Ottoville in Division IV sectional play at Four Seasons Park.
As a basketball player and later an assistant girls basketball coach at Marion Local, Beth Streib was no stranger to the classic coaching style offered by longtime coach Treva Fortkamp.
Razz-Eye View
A couple of college notes to start the View this week:
The University of Findlay women's golf team will compete this week in the NCAA Division II national championship at The Meadows Golf Club in Allendale, Mich.
Monday's Local Roundup
Compiled by Gary R. Rasberry
St. Henry jumped out to an early lead on Anna and held off the Rockets to take a 10-7 win in a battle of state-ranked Division III baseball teams at the Wally Post Athletic Complex.