By Janie Southard
A tentative hearing date for suspended Celina teacher Dean Liggett has been set for Nov. 11, but odds are that will change.
Liggett, an American History teacher with eight years seniority at Celina, was suspended without pay by the board on Oct. 7 for making poker games for extra credit available to students.
At the time of his suspension he was given 10 days in which to request a hearing, which he has done.
The attorneys for Liggett and for the board are in the process of choosing a hearing referee from a list provided by the Ohio Department of Education. The final selection will be made when both parties agree on the selection.
Following Monday night's board meeting, Superintendent Matt Miller said he expects the Nov. 11 date to change once a referee is selected as the probability of a schedule conflict is likely because there's not much time before the date. Fuel prices for the bus fleet as well as for heating were discussed briefly by board members and Business Manager Mike McKirnan, who said "after the current contracts run out, it's anybody's guess."
Following the meeting, McKirnan said it's likely all fuel costs will almost double this fiscal year (2006) over last fiscal year when gas/diesel cost was $109,927 and natural gas was $24,494.
"There are so many variables. With no set prices, we're floating with the market. Yes, it would have been better if we had locked in a price before the hurricane in New Orleans, but prices were high and we decided to wait," he said. "Of course, now we know it would have been smart to do it then."
During the meeting Treasurer Mike Marbaugh said he had built a 40 percent increase into the natural gas budget and 10 percent into diesel and 20 percent into electricity.
"We know (costs) will go up, we just don't know how much. If we have a warm winter, it may not be too bad," Marbaugh said.
Music Department Chair Chuck Sellars informed board members that Intermediate School Principal Sally Tatham has been nominated for the Ohio Music Education Association's outstanding administrator.
"She demonstrates her dedication (to the music program at the intermediate school) on a daily basis. It's not unusual for her to drop by the music room, pick up an instrument and join in. I think that alone shows the kids music is important," Sellars said.