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Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

Celina board fires teacher

Instructor accused of making false allegations

By Tom Stankard
CELINA - High school intervention teacher Gregg Fledderjohann's contract was terminated by the board of education on Monday evening.
Fledderjohann, who had previously served as a third-grade teacher, submitted a report to the Ohio Department of Education that reportedly contained allegations regarding staff members that he knew were false or were intentional misrepresentations of events pertaining to the American Institutes of Research test taken in December, according to the resolution to terminate.
Fledderjohann reportedly made false allegations of misconduct by elementary school principal Cory Ahrens and third-grade teacher Jenna Hodge, according to the resolution. Fledderjohann also failed to report his allegations of test security violations to a district test coordinator, a building test coordinator or a building principal, the resolution states.
His conduct reportedly violated board policies and a professional conduct licensing code, which mandates staff members to be honest and act ethically, according to the resolution. The policies require staff members to refrain from knowingly or willingly making false statements about colleagues.
Prior to this, Fledderjohann had been reprimanded three times, according to the resolution. On Sept. 8, 2016, he was reprimanded for accusing a staff member of taking classroom supplies from his classroom and for conversing with a staff member in a tone she found to be threatening.
On Feb. 9, he was reprimanded for reportedly asking students to keep secrets from their parents and for removing a student from the classroom when the student told the secret to a parent. In addition, he was directed not to refer to student's personally identifiable information and to use educationally appropriate words when speaking to students.
In October 2005, he was reprimanded for reportedly taping students to chairs and putting rubber bands around a student's ankles.
The district hired Fledderjohann in 1995 as a Tri Star Career Compact teacher. He later taught second grade for 12 years and third grade for four years, superintendent Ken Schmiesing said this morning.
He was appointed as an intervention specialist prior to the end of last school year but never served in this capacity as he had been placed on paid leave beginning April 21, Schmiesing said this morning.
Board members had agreed to terminate the tenured teacher's contract during an executive session at a special meeting earlier this month and unanimously voted to do so at Monday's meeting. Schmiesing declined to comment on the matter after the meeting.
Board members appointed Eric Mohler as a substitute teacher to fill the position until a permanent replacement can be found, Schmiesing said. Mohler previously has substituted for the district.
Mohler likely will continue teaching for the remainder of the semester, and then the board will review the position again, Schmiesing said.
Neither Fledderjohann nor Celina Education Association representatives could be reached for comment this morning by press time.
In other news, board members learned the Council of Chief State School Officers has donated $884 to Tri Star for its students to construct three buddy benches, which will be placed at the primary school playground.
Primary school principal Michelle Duncan said the benches are intended to teach students how to be more inclusive during recess.
"If a student didn't have somebody to play with during recess but wants to play, he or she would go sit on the buddy bench. The other kids would then go over and engage the child in activity," she said.
"So much of recess is about the social interaction for students," Schmiesing said. "Hopefully, that will have a positive impact."
Board members also,
• authorized the use of six district school buses and drivers to transport Grand Lake Marathon participants on Saturday. The marathon committee will reimburse the district for the cost of drivers and mileage. Costs are expected to be about $1,400, Schmiesing said.
• accepted the donation to Tri Star's RecTech program of five robots from Honda of America. The total value of donations is $16,500.
• accepted donations to the Tri Star Med Prep program of two benches and one hospital bed from Mercer Health.
• approved six possible overnight trips for Tri Star club competitions.
• approved an overnight trip to Chicago on May 10-11 for a fifth-grade gifted competition.
Additional online story on this date
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