CLAYTON — Northmont Schools Superintendent Tony Thomas honored Karin Wissing, a community member, by presenting her with his monthly Helping Hands Award at the beginning of the district’s Oct. 23 school board meeting held at the high school.
Wissing started “Middle School and High School Pantry” as a passion project for students with food insecurity to be able to “shop” on Thursdays or Fridays (depending on their schedules) and pick out items they need to get them through their weekend.
“I’d like to thank high school Principal T. D. Evans for nominating Karin for our Helping Hands award for the month,” Thomas said. “She has a real heart to make sure everyone is fed and no one is lacking what they need over the weekend. She has been a star in making sure the kids have whatever they need.”
Asked by Board President Linda Blum to address things she is really passionate about, Wissing replied, “I realized there was a need for the weekend. Forty-four students come every Thursday or Friday for food to eat at home.”
Blum said it’s well-known the students cannot survive their morning if they’re not fed.
“They’re hungry — that takes precedence over anything that may be going on in the classroom. So, we really appreciate all you are doing,” Blum said.
Wissing said people can help by dropping off items at the middle school or high school office — or their money if it’s not food.
“There isn’t going to be a better person to spearhead this and keep it going. Thank you, Karin, for bringing this to the forefront. I love watching it grow,” Thomas said.
A visitor, Heather Gohren, who had asked to be recognized, said she is a member of a new community organization called ‘Englewood Rise.’
“We are about providing fun activities and giving back to the community. We are three women who are business owners or community members,” she said.
As they gained members and support, the group decided to form ‘Englewood Rise, which stands for Revive/Innovate/Support/Engage.
It’s a multi-faceted, volunteer-run, community-based organization, made up of local business owners, public entity representatives, other community-based organizations and interested citizens, according to the group’s information.
They want to provide free, low-cost, sponsored events, entertainment, and peer support to encourage families to live here, spend money here, and feel connected to the community.
The groups’ first event will be ‘Holiday Storybook Trail,’ a community Christmas event that includes a Christmas tree lighting.
Thomas presented his report to the board, beginning with the girls’ soccer team.
“The team has advanced to the third round of the OHSAA tournament. This young team is gaining some valuable tournament experience. The competition is stiff as we advance, but we enjoy this run with the girls and the fanbase,” he said. “We are playing Springboro as we speak.”
Thomas next reported on the drama club production, ‘The Greek Mythology Olympiaganza,’ which he had attended.
“We have incredible talent and it is great to see them on stage sharing their talents. The script was very clever as Greek myths were intertwined with modern themes. Congratulations to our staff for finishing a great production so early in the year,” Thomas said.
Northmont board member Gerry Espeleta, who reports on activities and news at Miami Vally Career Technology Center, said the school’s building project is 93 percent finished and should be completed, under budget, by the end of the year. Weather-dependent finishing touches on outside projects will be completed in the spring, according to Espeleta.
“Also, at the next OSBA (Ohio School Boards Association) meeting in November, a member of the CTC will be celebrated for serving on the board for 50 years. Mr. Larry Beseker will be one of three people in the state of Ohio to be acknowledged for this length of service,” Espeleta said.
The next Northmont School Board meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Nov. 20 at Northmoor Elementary, 4421 N. Salem Road, Englewood.