The Jefferson Local Schools Board of Education recognized high school social studies teacher Jenny Siddiqi on Monday for her leadership in the classroom and the recent accomplishments of her students on a national stage.
Members presented Siddiqi with a plaque of recognition for her work with the advanced history research team which won the Ohio History Day competition and placed fourth in the national competition at the University of Maryland.
The team, made up of seniors Garett Beachy, Erin Bradfield and Jimmy Foster, researched “Campus in Chaos: The Ohio State University Riots of 1970” as their project.
“In our category, there were about 100 senior projects competing, so to finish fourth was really great,” Siddiqi said.
She thanked principal Dave Metz and the board for their support of her efforts.
“It was your support that really made this possible. I’m extremely thankful for all of the support of Jefferson Local Schools. That’s why we are here, to thank you for a really great experience,” Siddiqi said.
West Jefferson High School students have excelled not only with the National History Day projects, but also with mock trial competitions. Both are under Siddiqi’s guidance.
“We have recognized Mrs. Siddiqi before, but this was really just the icing on the cake,” board president Dave Harper said. “Thank you and we are fortunate to have you as a teacher in West Jefferson.”
High and middle school athletic directors Shawn Buescher and Dennis Boyd gave the board favorable updates on the school’s athletic programs.
Boyd reported middle school athletic department finances are on track for entering the 2014-15 school year. He said a record 61 middle school students qualified as scholar athletes in 2014.
Buescher reported the high school athletic budget will open with an $8,000 surplus, instead of the projected $3,000 deficit. Buescher credited more aggressive fundraising efforts along with increased scoreboard advertising for putting the program in the black.
Board members approved a one-year contract for Thomas Ruane to teach art at Norwood Elementary. Budget cuts eliminated the position in recent years.
Norwood principal Sue Barte had high praise for Ruane. She informed the board that Ruane was named teacher-of-the-year in Florida.
“Our elementary art position was one that was riffed and it’s the one we heard the most about,” superintendent William Mullett said. “We are glad to have you here.”
In other business, the board approved the appointment of Ashli Stonerock to the Board of Trustees of the Hurt/Battelle Memorial Library, effectively immediately through Dec. 21, 2021. Stonerock, who is currently the prosecuting attorney for the Village of West Jefferson and a 1992 West Jefferson High School graduate, will complete the term of village law director Ron Parsons, who recently resigned from the library board.
The board also accepted a $500 donation to the Jefferson Local Band Program from Qwest/Century Link for Gary Hall’s volunteer hours.