Concerned NT parent complains to board


By Callista Kisling - [email protected]



NEW PARIS — The National Trail Local School Board of Education met on Tuesday, Aug. 23, to discuss the new school year and other issues.

Parent Jason Niswonger brought a concern before the board during the meeting. Niswonger explained he was concerned with an inappropriate interaction between a staff member and a student. He said he had reached out to Superintendent Robert Fischer several times about the issue. “I have exhausted all avenues of proceeding with Mr. Fischer,” Niswonger said in the open meeting. “I am proceeding in the process according to the National Trail policy, by providing a public complaint.”

He continued, “Mr. Fischer did not involve anyone in his attempts to look into the issues at hand, to my knowledge. If he did, he never told me otherwise.”

Niswonger elaborated more on the issue by saying it was “inappropriate name calling” and “inappropriate conversations.”

Niswonger is now asking the board to address the complaint before its next meeting.

Niswonger does not want this issue to be resolved without public knowledge, he said. He has refused executive sessions but will not list the names of the staff and students involved.

The school board and Fischer have chosen not to comment at this time.

The meeting continued with staff reports. All the district’s principals reported the first week of the new year went well. The elementary school has 351 registered students which is 10 more than last year. However, the middle school was lower in its numbers, with fewer than 300 students registered. According to Middle School Principal Jennifer Couch, it is common to have the numbers lower because grade 5 students change schools.

In his report, Superintendent Fischer elaborated on a grant for safety. The school will be applying for a safety grant which will pay for more safety devices including lock systems for more doors or fencing around the practice fields.

Fischer and the school’s Director of Transportation, John Toschlog, also spoke to the board about the railroad crossing closings and issues which could happen in the near future. With the school bus routes being changed, it may create problems for staff and students later this year.

By Callista Kisling

[email protected]

Reach Callista Kisling 937-683-4056.

Reach Callista Kisling 937-683-4056.