COLUMBUS GROVE – The Columbus Grove School district has once again been awarded for their involvement in this year’s United Way campaign.

At Monday’s school board meeting, Superintendent Nick Verhoff reported he was contacted by Jan Fuetter, Executive Director of United Way of Putnam County, that Columbus Grove Schools again made the United Way’s Top Ten Campaign List for the past year. This will earn the district the United Way’s Bronze Award. Columbus Grove Schools is the only school district in the county to ever make the top ten campaign list and is one of only two school districts to earn the Bronze Award. Verhoff and Elementary Principal Brad Calvelage will attend the United Way’s Annual Meeting on Jan. 17 to receive this award.

“It says a lot for Columbus Grove school employees to be a part of this. Kudos to the facility and employees for their dedication,” he said.

Verhoff also reported that January is School Board Member Recognition Month. Verhoff wanted to thank the board members for all they do for the students of the district. Members work in a supportive and collaborative manner which greatly benefit the community.

“The school district is the hub of our community and this school district is something the community can be proud of,” Verhoff said. Board President Brad Brubaker has served the longest on the school board at 23 years. Ned Stechschulte has served 13 years and Brent Stechschulte, Ken Kruse and Brian Jones have served for 11 years.

Verhoff continued the discussion from the previous board meeting for the possible expansion of the district’s weight room. Verhoff has been discussing the possible expansion of the weight room with coaches and the Athletic Director because the number of student athletes has grown over the years. The current facility has 1,244 square feet of space and Verhoff noted the numbers of students who are participating in the junior high football program are so high it is hard to get them all in.

Verhoff said there were several plans that were considered but were believed to have been too cost prohibitive. He said there will likely be involvement from the district’s athletic boosters on the project.

In addition, Verhoff announced Connie Arthur turned in her resignation for the purpose of retirement as the district’s physical education/health instructor. Verhoff said Arthur has served the district for the past 24 years “always with a smile” and positive attitude in working with the students over the years.

“We’re going to miss Connie,” Verhoff said.

Dale Schroeder, maintenance director, reported he is already looking ahead at potential summer projects. He is also contacting summer staff about the possibility of returning this summer, Schroeder also reported Tony Birnesser who said the roof on the new building for the district softball program is finished as well as the sewer and water lines. Work by County Electric continue the structure. The project will be completed in time of the first softball game next spring.

In other business, the board:

• re-elected Brad Brubaker as board president for 2019 while Brian Jones was re-elected vice president of the board.

• heard from Board Member Ned Stechschulte that Dennis Fricke of Elida was elected president of the Apollo Career Center Board. Stechschulte served in that role last year.

• went into an executive session to discuss personnel. No other action was taken.

The next regular meeting of the Columbus Grove Board of Education is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 18, at 8 p.m. in the school library.