Eaton expanding busing

By Kelsey Kimbler -

EATON — During the board of education meeting on Monday, March 13, Eaton Community Schools Director of Operations Matt Robins shared a presentation on ways to reduce the “walk zone” for Eaton students.

Currently, for the high school, if a student lives within two miles of the school, they do not have to have transportation provided for them. For the elementary schools, any student who lives within one mile does not need transportation provided. These are the designated “walk zones.”

The proposed changes will reduce the high school “walk zone” to one and a half miles.

Prior to this presentation, two concerned parents spoke regarding the “walk zone.” Michele Werts and Chris Hartley spoke about the lack of school transportation for students who are within one to two miles of the school.

“The number one goal in a community is to raise our kids and have a good education,” Hartley said. “We can’t do that. Everyone here pays taxes. The last ones to build a school in Preble County was Eaton. We think there’s no problem with being able to get our kids to and from school. We pay our taxes. Two blocks over? They get a school bus route. Where we’re at? They get no school bus route.

“What’s the problem? We’re trying to keep the kids in school, not getting mixed up with miscreants. We all know there’s plenty around here, but we’re trying to get our kids to school. I don’t see the problem with this,” Hartley added.

The presentation did not require an immediate vote. A decision will be made at a later board meeting.

Two concerned cheerleading mothers also spoke during public participation. The first was Jacqueline VanZant, who wrote a letter to board members addressing her concerns about Eaton cheerleaders not getting enough recognition from the school. She mentioned how hard the cheerleaders work. She said they traveled for the SWBL competition and qualified, but on the Eaton High School Twitter account there was nothing acknowledging the team. She noted, on the morning announcements on Monday, Feb. 20, the cheerleaders’ competition was again not mentioned, while other teams’ participation was mentioned.

She said to the board, “These girls are not being acknowledged. I’m sure it’s not your fault. I only know that because that is what my girl does, I don’t know about the other sports. But to me, sports should have the support of the schools. They are wearing their outfits and they are out there cheering.”

She continued to share her concern as a parent that there is no school spirit. She wondered at who should be held accountable for recognizing the various sports teams. She then asked the administrators to support the teams and go to games.

She did meet with various administrators before the board meeting on Monday, Feb. 13 to discuss the situation.

Next, Davina Wilson took the microphone with similar concerns. She shared she could not make the meeting, but had heard a bit about what was discussed. What bothered her about the situation is there were 12 competitions, but none of them were mentioned on the Twitter page. She acknowledged the page did acknowledge all of the cheerleading teams competing, but did not wish Eaton’s Cheerleaders good luck or acknowledge them after the competition.

She was concerned she does not see any administrators attend Eaton sporting events. “These kids work their butts off, but we can’t send one person to go say congratulations?”she asked. “What does this show our kids? I’m not asking for all of you, I’m not asking everyone from the high school.”

During his Miami Valley Career Technology Center Report, Terry Parks reported, “The MVCTC Board of Education recently awarded the A-Z Gold Medal Effective School Board award. I have no idea what that is, but it sounds impressive. So we must be doing alright.”

In other news:

•The board accepted the resignation of Middle School Assistant Track Coach Emily Amburgey, effective March 2.

•The board accepted a resolution implementing a reduction in administrative force. Superintendent Barb Curry recommended the elimination of the Technology Integration Specialist position and the administrator impacted by the reduction was notified at least 15 days prior.

•MVCTC also recently hosted a representative from a university in Japan to visit the early childhood education program.

•There are three more satellite locations coming from MVCTC.

•Superintendent Curry shared that so far, kindergarten registration has brought 112 students.

The next Eaton Community Schools Board of Education meeting will be held on Monday, April 10, at 6 p.m. at Hollingsworth East Elementary.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH