Drummey reports strong cash balance
By LENNY C. LEPOLA
News Assistant Managing Editor
Members of the Big Walnut Local School District Board of Education held a meeting Friday morning, June 29, in place of the regular July board session.
During the meeting, district treasurer Felicia Drummey said that June is a good month to review where the district has been over the past 12 months, because June 30 is the end of the fiscal year; that June is when the district can examine actual revenue and expenditures against the previous year’s projected revenue and budget.
Drummey especially noted the revenue disbursement timing differences that create month-to-month revenue versus expenditure fluctuations, adding that the end of the fiscal year is a great time to see how those timing differences level out.
“Over the past year we’ve had a $332,000 difference,” Drummey said. “Out of a $26 million budget that’s almost dead on.”
Drummey did note that in a year to date review of district finances personnel expenditures were $513,000 higher than projected. That increase, she said, was driven by benefits — especially healthcare. She added that the personnel expenditure increase was partially offset by a $389,000 reduction in services and materials.
Drummey’s report shows FY 2012 with $26 million in expenditures and $33 million in revenue, for an ending cash balance of $6.5 million, the strongest cash balance the district has had in at least the past 10 years.
“June is typically a low cash balance month,” Drummey said. “In 2009 and 2010 we had a zero cash balance at the end of the fiscal year. This is the first year of the levy cycle. Our end of year cash balance will drop in June of next year and continue to drop as we get near the end of the levy.”
Drummey said it’s wise for the district, considering recent difficult times, to put itself in a position to take care of its financial obligations during lean months.
“The Ohio Department of Education recommends a 60– to 90-day cash balance,” Drummey said. “With the economic conditions of the last three years most school districts are content with 30 to 60 days.”
The district has to maintain a strong cash position until cash comes in, Drummey said. Real estate tax disbursements only come in two times each year, income tax quarterly.
“Our balance might seem like a lot, but $4.5 million only lasts 60 days,” Drummey said. “To the average person that looks like a lot of cash; to us, what we have is three months cash on hand, and we will not get a real estate tax disbursement until the end of August or the first of September.”
Board members briefly discussed parent concerns about how the new grade five and six Big Walnut Intermediate School will be operated – with an elementary school format or like a middle school.
“Grade Five will be more like an elementary school format, grade Six will be more like middle school,” said district assistant superintendent Gary Barber. “The transition between elementary school and middle school is going to be built into the building.”
In other business, board members approved stipends for district teachers who mentor new teachers. Barber said the mentors have to go through state sponsored training; and larger school districts hire teachers full-time just to mentor new teachers. Smaller school districts use a stipend or a percent of salary base.
“It used to be teachers sent in a $5 fee to get their license renewed, now even teachers with 25 years experience need to continue their education versus just sending that $5 in,” said district superintendent Steve Mazzi. “With these new teachers it’s even a more rigorous move through getting their license and moving forward.”
Barber added that the school district is looking at Federal Title 2 dollars to pay mentors next year.
Board members also approved a motion seeking a waiver from the Body Mass Index Screening Program.
“Body Mass Screening is an unfunded mandate,” Barber said. “We only have one school nurse and limited physical education staff, and a large part of this is intervention. Even if we adopted Body Mass Screening families could opt out. We have to ask ourselves if this is part of our business.”
Board members approved the purchase of two school buses from Center City International: one 71 passenger diesel type C conventional bus with options for $80,222, and one handicap diesel type C conventional bus with options for $85,307.
Drummey noted that a five-year forecast from five years ago showed a bus purchase cycle of one bus the first year, two buses the second year and three buses the third-year, but with financial difficulties over the past several years the district had not maintained the bus purchase cycle.
“When the guys that take care of our fleet say we need new buses, we really do,” Mazzi added. “The state used to reimburse us; we would get three buses for every two we would buy, but not anymore.”
Barber said with the district’s new three-tier busing schedule there would be an increase in miles traveled per bus.
“From an expenditure standpoint we’re going to save money with one less driver,” Barber said. “There are so many advantages to living in this community, but the one disadvantage is the amount of square miles school buses have to travel.”
Board members also approved hiring Megan Forman as the Hylen Souders Elementary School principal. Forman will replace Joe Jude, who has been with the district for the past three years.
Board members approved Transfers and Advances as required to balance funds and close Fiscal Year 2012. The Board further authorized the Treasurer to return said advances as monies are received from other sources in Fiscal Year 2013.
Board members approved the Final Appropriations and Final Amended Certificate of Estimated
Resources for Fiscal 2012; and authorized the establishment of Temporary Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2013 in accordance with Section 5705.38 of the Ohio Revised Code.
Board members approved the Negotiated Agreement between OAPSE/AFSCME Local 4/AFL-CIO #696 and the Big Walnut Board of Education July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2015.
Board members approved Administrative I & II 260-day staff to sell vacation days in excess of ten (10) and/or carry-over vacation days in excess of ten (10) for vacation accrued during the 2011-12 school year and to be used during the 2012–13 school year.
Board members approved a one-year limited contract for the following certified staff for the 2012–13 school year: Jessica Amodio, second grade teacher, General Rosecrans Elementary, BA step 3; Katie Keller, third grade teacher, Big Walnut Elementary, BA step 4; Steven Kreiner, first grade teacher, General Rosecrans Elementary, BA step 0; Danielle LaSota, first grade teacher, General Rosecrans Elementary, MA step 3; Sara Nagra, first grade teacher, Big Walnut Elementary, BA 15 step 5; and Margaret Pharazyn, fourth grade teacher, General Rosecrans Elementary, MA step 0.
Board members approved a 90-day probationary contract for the following classified staff: Brandon Mason, second shift custodian, General Rosecrans Elementary/Big Walnut Intermediate School, step 0, salary effective June 25, 2012, benefits effective July 1, 2012; and Travis Dickson, second shift custodian, Big Walnut Middle School/Big Walnut Intermediate School, step 0, effective July 1, 2012.
Board members accepted the resignation of Alison Sberna, Intervention Specialist, Big Walnut High School, effective at the end of the 2011-12 school year.
Board members approved a 215-day 2-year Administrative Contract for Megan Forman, Principal, Hylen Souders Elementary, $65,000 annual salary, effective August 1, 2012.
Board members approved a $1,200 stipend for each of the following certified staff for the Summer Enrichment Program (payment from Title Funds): Shannon Mignogno, Kim Castiglione, Rina Hoge, Ashley Lang, Katie Cordle, Karen Snyder, Ashley Longshore, Mark Adams, Julie Paplaczyk, Roberto DeVito, Susan Monfort, Susan Stein, Heather Smith, Cathy Griffis, Erin Barr, Marie Beck and Cindy Barno.
Board members approved Kriste Martin, Special Needs Educational Assistant, to provide summer behavior intervention services for a student at $15.05, effective June 11, 2012.
Board members approved the following certified staff as Home Instruction Tutors, at an hourly rate of $18, for the summer of 2012 and 2012–13 school year: Shannon Mignogno, Margaret McNaughton, Scott Bowden, Ashley Bennett, Jamie Sohovich, Heather Smith, Erin Barr, Lindsey Simmons, Susan Missman, Ashley Lang, Darlene Burks and Erin Curtis.
Board members approved payment to the following Mentors for the 2011-12 school year:
• Entry Year Certified Staff Mentors Receive $2,000 Each: Mike Ruark, Leslie Wolford, Keri Kotchounian and Christina McDonough.
• Mentors for Certified Staff with Three Years or Less Experience Receive $1,000 Each: Sarah Wytzka, Kari Thomas, Anne Davis and Lisa Shaw.
• Buddies for Certified Staff with Three Plus Years Experience Receive $350 Each: Katherine Graven, Michael McGann, Mark Adams, Julie Paplaczyk, Laura Wood and Erin Erjavic.
Board members approved payment of $600 to each of the following Race to the Top teacher members of the RttT Transformation Team from the RttT Federal Grant: Mike Stone, Chris Lawless, Nicole Leinweber, Patty Thompson, Sarah Sandrock, Angie Stooksbury, Mary Wolf and Georgia Craig.
Board members approved the following supplemental contract for the 2012–13 school year:
• Middle School: Charlie Brodhead, Facility Manager.
• High School: Lisa Huston, Assistant Band; Craig Porter, Band; Daisy Duhl, Color Guard; Erin Gibbons, Drama (up to three performances only); Ben Broschart, English Department Chair; Georgia Craig, Foreign Language Department Chair; Georgia Craig, German Club; Denise Duncan, French Club; Tammi Jordan, Guidance Department Chair; Mike Ruark, Junior Class Advisor; Dora Riggs, LEO Club; Mike McDonough, Math Department Chair; Mike Delaney, Mock Trial; Lisa Huston, Musical Assistant Drama; Stacey O’Reilly, National Honor Society; Chris May, Percussion; Lisa Huston, Performing Arts Department Chair; Nadine Adams, Science Department Chair; Matt Wallschlaeger & Linda Martin, Science Fair; Lisa Huston, Show Choir; Scott Elliott, Social Studies Department Chair; Carol Burchett, Spanish Club; Erin Curtis, Special Education Department Chair; Sarah Wytzka, Senior Class Advisor; Alan Frank, Stage Manager; Angie Stooksbury, Student Council; Lisa Danne, Vocational Department Chair; and Mary Mitton, Yearbook.
Board members approved the following Extended Service contracts for the summer of 2012: Ed Kitchen, Technology Support (67 percent paid from Title Funds), 10 days; Ric Cavicchia, Guidance Counselor, Big Walnut Middle School, five days; Corry Schull, Guidance Counselor, Big Walnut Middle School, five days; Blanda Lynam, Librarian, Big Walnut Middle School, two days; and Brian Shelton, Dean of Students, Big Walnut Middle School, five days.
The next regularly scheduled Big Walnut Local School District Board of Education meeting will be held at 7 p.m., Monday, August 13, at the Big Walnut Middle School Library.