Is there low morale among the people and staff of North Central Schools? That’s a question one local man wants answered (among many) by the school board in the hopes of turning things around.
Jared Stewart, who helps organize the Eagle Mania events at the school, spoke for several minutes on the lack of pride among community residents, staff and students. His hope is the questions he asks will lead the administration to turn the corner.
Stewart’s intent was to ask questions he did not expect to get answered that night. He just wanted to avoid a repeat of actions that occurred over the past 9-10 months.
Stewart emphasized he did not want to appear confrontational. He just wanted to be realistic about getting his questions answered.
The situation has gotten so bad that within the last month, a parent who spoke to the board could not look them in the eye and say they were still proud to be part of the North Central community.
“I am not OK with that,” Stewart said. “Are we OK with community members saying they are not proud to be a part of North Central?”
Stewart touched on staff morale, which he said was poor. The recent turnover of teachers troubled him.
“We need to fix it,” Stewart said. “At my place of employment, the first reason is leadership.”
He asked how many athletic events the board and superintendent had been to, especially given the success of the fall sports program.
Stewart directed some of his concerns toward Superintendent Ken Boyer, who he said was hired to make decision for everyone and not just “a small group.”
“The perception is people are afraid to talk to you,” Stewart said. “They are afraid they are going to get bullied if they talk to you.”
Stewart said the school community must become better communicators, be positive and have open lines of communication.
“We have to be better,” Stewart said.
The board later went into executive session to discuss Stewart’s concerns. That pleased Stewart.
“It’s time for us to change,” Stewart said while the board was in executive session. “It’s time to start bringing back positives, rebuilding our pride in North Central.
Fall sports season a success.
After 16 years of futility, North Central Schools has taken the early lead for the Buckeye Border Conference All-Sports Trophy race, Athletic Director Brian Hughes said.
The school celebrated a great fall that saw its teams finish at or near the top of the standings and several athletes move on in the postseason tournaments, Hughes said. The students not only excelled on the field but in the classroom as well with 15 scholar athletes and three with 4.0 grade point averages, he said.
The golf team finished second in the BBC and was fifth at the sectional.
Boys cross country was second in the league and the girls were third.
Volleyball was third in the BBC and seeded sixth in the district.
In the junior high, eighth-grade volleyball lost in the semifinals and finished fourth overall at 10-10. Seventh-grade volleyball were league champions but lost in the tournament final. They finished at 18-2.
The success of the teams means that after 16 years of futility in the all-sports trophy chase, North Central is leading after the fall sports season concluded.
Among the positives of the season, the school sports program is being helped with the conversion of the old cafeteria to a new weight room and conditioning purposes.
In other athletic news, the boosters will have a reverse raffle Nov. 5.
Eagle Mania for the winter sports season is 8-10 p.m. Nov. 11. A few more alumni are being sought for a 5-on-5 basketball game, Jared Stewart said.
Football starts at youth level
With an eye on competing at the varsity level by 2022, football made an appearance this year in Pioneer.
The youth football program concluded its season with a 4-2 record. The program had its first game at North Central Oct. 15 with an 8-0 win over Edon. There was also a scrimmage between Montpelier and West Unity. The two match-ups drew 557 fans who paid $1 each to get in.
The money went to support the Green Meadow League, organizer Darrell Moore said.
The program is not connected to the school right now but has an eye on fielding a junior high team in a couple of years which will feed into a JV team and a varsity team by 2022.
North Central has never had football, but local support for such an endeavor is strong, Moore said.
James Pruitt may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org