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Monday, May 2, 2016

Freeman, McHugh leaving Greencastle Schools

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Assistant Superinten-dent Kirk Freeman and Ridpath Elementary School principal Mike McHugh will leave the Greencastle Community School Corp. at the end of the school year.

Freeman is retiring.

"We hate to lose Kirk," said GCCSC superintendent Bob Green at a meeting of the school board Wednesday. "We're certainly going to miss him."

McHugh will be going to Plainfield, where he has taken an assistant principal's position.

"We wish him well in all his future endeavors," Green said.

Green also expressed appreciation for retiring teachers Matthew Huber, Patricia Miller and Patricia Gauly.

Also at the meeting, new policies were instituted to address ethnic and sexual harassment in the schools.

Some of the major changes included language to prohibit all forms of unlawful harassment, "including but not limited to harassment based on sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability or physical attributes."

"This dates back to some problems we've had in the district," Green said.

The changes were run past members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the school corporation's attorney.

A seven-part section was added to the policies to address racial harassment. Included in the section were topics such as unwelcome verbal expression of a racial nature, threats that conditions of education may be adversely affected by not submitting to racial harassment, racially offensive objects, pictures, video, audios or electronically distributed media or literature, patterns of conduct with racial overtones and denigrating racial remarks.

Also covered in the new policies were clauses banning sexual intimidation and "acts of physical aggression that inflict mental or physical harm."

A new section in the schools policy prohibits the posting of any sexually explicit pictures, images or graffiti at school, on school buses or during any school-sanctioned events.

Other major changes to the school handbook for the 2008-09 school year were the inclusion of wording that would allow school personnel to randomly drug test students on the grounds of reasonable suspicion.

Penalties for having cell phones in school were also stiffened.

"Cell phones are a big problem," said Greencastle High School principal Jim Church. "It's a mess."

Green delivered a financial report that contained some bleak points.

"Every month I go back and compare how we were doing a year ago," he said. "Usually my concern is the general fund."

Green said the school district does not have its tax allocations from the state for 2008 yet, and he didn't know when it would be coming in.

"We normally get a June draw," he said. "I've heard rumors that we may not be getting a draw until November."

Green blamed decreased enrollment for many of the school's financial woes.

"We've had to absorb an administrative, secretarial and teaching position," he said. "We can't continue to run programs without the funds. I know it hurts and I don't like to do it, but we have to if we want to keep our financial ship afloat."

Green said the corporation's transportation fund was "getting tight."

"We're spending $5,000 a month more on fuel this year than we did last year," he said.

Green suggested the board consider putting a plan in place to charge students who used school buses for athletic events and field trips.

"I hate to do that, but we're at the point where we're spending more than we're taking in," he said.

Board president Michael Dean said he was in favor of some cost for bus transportation for extracurricular activities, but worried that it "would be a logistical nightmare."

The board will revisit the matter at the June meeting.

Due to the increasing cost of food, breakfast and lunch prices will increase for the next school year. Breakfast will go up 10 cents, while lunch will increase 15 cents.

"I really tried to think of a way we could not raise prices," said GCSC food service director Linda Nelson. "Then I got realistic."

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Boy, you really glazed that one over.

Personnel as opposed to the race issue?

Follow-up is expected.

-- Posted by Sour Grapes on Thu, May 15, 2008, at 10:02 AM

Mr. Huber was such a great teacher. He made his classes fun in the basement of the old junior high on Spring St. What great times at that school & gym across the sreet. I was so sad/angry when the gym was torn down and made into a parking lot.

-- Posted by GuyFawkes1105 on Thu, May 15, 2008, at 8:21 PM

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