Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 2-7-2017

FEBRUARY 7, 2017

  • Awards and recognitions
  • Public Address
  • Betsy DeVos
  • Student performance on state mandates
  • Black History month
  • American Heart Association Month
  • Professional development day
  • Ron Register receives OSBA award
  • Personnel
  • Change orders
  • Business actions
  • Donations received
  • Five-year forecast
  • School boards meetings
  • Board committee reports
  • Upcoming meetings

Board members Ron Register (president), Kal Zucker (vice president), Jim Posch, Eric Silverman and Beverly Wright were present. Superintendent Talisa Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer were also present. The meeting took place from 7 to 8:55 p.m.

Awards and recognition

Winners of the East View United Church of Christ MLK Jr. Essay contest read their essays and received recognition. They were Ruby Tugeau, Roxboro Elementary School, first place; Sophia Muller, Fairfax Elementary School, second place; and Juliann Medlock, Fairfax Elementary School, third place. The essay topic was what Martin Luther King Jr. would say in a letter to Donald Trump.

Public address

Malia Lewis, a member of the Career Technical Education (CTE) group, stated that some of the items they submitted in an improvement plan during the facilities study have been implemented in the high school, but more improvements are needed. The group has changed it name to the CTE Advocacy group.

Betsy DeVos

Superintendent Dixon thanked community supporters for their protest against the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as education secretary.

Student performance on state mandates

Dixon mentioned the seven subject tests that the state mandates for Ohio students. About one-third of Heights' juniors have not earned passing status and a study of how to address this is being done.

Black History month

Black History month activities will include encouraging the students and community to read the book Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, to discuss race issues.

American Heart Association Month

Because February is also American Heart Association month, each building is helping to raise funds in some way. Last year, $22,000 was raised. Dixon will speak on Friday, Feb. 10, on Healthy Choice Options at one of the Heart Association activities.

Professional development day

Friday, Feb. 10 is a day of professional development for teachers. Many topics have been planned with Assistant Superintendent Felisha Gould’s team. The superintendent invited the board to visit the schools.

Ron Register receives OSBA award

The Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) presented a master school board member award to Ron Register. The presentation will be March 22 in North Olmsted. Only seven Ohio school board members are awarded master’s status annually. Other awards are achievement awards.


The board approved retirements, appointments, change of status, change of salary, leave of absence. The board approved the employment contract for Talisa Dixon as superintendent of schools, and A. Scott Gainer as chief financial officer/treasurer for the term Aug. 1, 2017 to July 31, 2022.

Change orders

The board approved the following change orders totaling more than $790,000. Seven changes totaling $650,931.00 were for unforeseen areas of weakened steel structures and ventilation area corrosion. A change of $32,690 was for added work scope projects consisting of laying fibers connected to the stadium press box. Design clarifications incurred a change of $113,767. The auditorium light area needed electricity, and an adjustment had to be made for capturing extra water due to higher and lower roof structures. Slides of progress and explanations of change orders were presented by PMC Regency staff. The high school will open on time [in] August 2017.

Business actions

The board authorized the execution of Turner Construction Company amendment no. 1, approved an agreement between the board and Cleveland State University for the school’s use of resources, and authorized the Ohio Schools Council Cooperative to advertise and receive bids for school bus chassis and bodies for school year 2017–18.

Donations received

The board accepted the following donations:

  • $150 to Noble Elementary School
  • $196 to Oxford Elementary School
  • $956.80 to Roxboro Elementary School
  • $325 to Monticello Middle School
  • $420 to the Delisle Center
  • $1,135 to Heights High
  • Instruments to Heights instrumental music program
  • $125 for Faith’s Alive Program

Five-year forecast

The board approved the five-year financial forecast, but Scott Gainer explained that the report depends on the state education budget. The audit for the district is complete.

School boards meetings

Ron Register reported on the National School Board equity symposium he attended in January in Washington, D.C. The speakers addressed the widening achievement gap and the negative publicity for inner-city schools. The speakers said that the positives happening in the schools should be emphasized. At the same time the National School Board advocacy conference discussed the differences between public and private schools in achievements. Register also attended the OSBA regional meeting. Coordination between state plans and the law was discussed.

Board committee reports

Superintendent Dixon and Beverly Wright spoke about efforts to get professionals into the classroom. Wright had attended a Case Western Reserve University event where Hidden Figures authors spoke. Kal Zucker attended the Heights School Foundation meeting. He mentioned that the foundation should be thanked for its activities.

Upcoming meetings

Upcoming meetings include an executive session on Thursday, Feb. 16, and a work session on Tuesday, Feb. 21; both will take place at the Board of Education building at 7 p.m. A joint meeting with Cleveland Heights City Council will take place Monday, Feb. 27, at 6 p.m., at Cleveland Heights City Hall.

LWV Observer: Lillian Houser.

These meeting summaries are abstracted from LWV observers’ written reports. The summaries have been edited and prepared by Anne McFarland, Charlene Morse, and Maryann Barnes. To receive email postings of full reports, send an email to or join through Google groups using “lwv-chuh observer reports” as a search phrase.

These reports contain member observation and selected highlights of public meetings and are not official statements of the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland. This disclaimer must accompany any redistribution of these reports.


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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 11:28 AM, 03.01.2017