Northmont discusses school re-opening

By Marilyn McConahay Contributing writer

CLAYTON – The Northmont City Schools’ Board of Education members discussed a renewal levy that is to appear on the upcoming November ballot.

“We need to do something with our old levy that is expiring. At the last meeting, we had a discussion about whether or not to make it a continuing levy or for five years,” said Board President Linda Blum. “There was total agreement to do something with the issue and put it on the ballot in November. We need now to hear from the rest of the board as to how we want to proceed.”

“My feeling is to do it as continuing — that way, we will have to be evermore cognizant to put it to the community what it really means. There is a lot going on in the world and in the community, so I think continuous is the way to go,” said board member Jane Woodie.

Board member Thomas Walker said his concern is to make everyone aware of the fact they are going on the ballot and that it is a “non-increase in taxes.”

“Make sure everyone is aware that it is on the ballot, and that we need their vote. With all that said, I’m with Jane in (making) it continuous,” Walker said.

The discussion ended with an unanimous decision to place a 5.9-mill, continuing levy so the board won’t have to come back and ask voters to approve it every five years.

Possible future scientists at Northmoor Elementary School received kudos from the Northmont School Board during the board’s June 9 virtual meeting held at the board office in Clayton.

Superintendent Tony Thomas and Board President Linda Blum presented sixth-graders Alex Hoyng and Bennett Stouder with Certificates of Achievement for winning a first-place award in the national Exploravision National Science Project competition, for their project involving turbines.

They students won a $10,000 scholarship for their efforts after they submitted a video of their project, along with an 11-page paper.

On hand to help celebrate their win were STEM teacher Jenn Stormer and Northmoor Elementary Principal David Lawrence.

The students’ project was named GBAR (Ground-Based Airport Runway) Turbines.

The turbines are designed to be on the side of runways to power airports and more. They will spin on a horizontal axis with slightly curved blades, designed to catch air.

Energy generated from the turbines will power the airport and it will be stored in a battery. The purpose of these turbines is to take the moving air that comes out of jet engines and use it to spin a turbine.

The energy efficiency of jet engines is only 30 percent, so the turbines will help by harnessing more of the energy to power the airport, so that non-renewable energy sources to power the airport won’t be needed. This idea will reduce carbon emissions and reduce fossil fuel use at the same time.

“They are outstanding young men,” said Thomas. “They are sixth-graders. Their project was to halt a jet! It was fully their idea.”

Thomas said the boys also will be attending a ceremony to be held in Washington, DC.

“You have to know they were so adorable and were well-spoken,” Blum said.

“From what their parents said, this was a labor of love for them. They told me the hardest part was writing the 11-page paper and that the science part was not as tough as the paper,” Blum said.

During the meeting, Thomas touched on the re-opening of school.

“We are fighting with scenarios and working with the Montgomery County Board of health and we think we have made some breakthroughs,” he said.

He said there will be six-foot distancing, full masks and a lot of other things like that.

“We’re working to get some of those things reconsidered, or at least reduced, because when we have to come back, it will be so limiting. We have some scenarios where we would only have room for 12 students. For a classroom, that doesn’t work,” Thomas said.

“All superintendents in the county are working together and we are hopeful we can come up with something,” he said. “As we know more, I’ll continue to share it. We do have a current survey ready to go, but we’d like to wait and see if the health department comes up with anything before we do anything.”

Thomas said Northmont has two candidates for the 2021 Ohio Teacher of the Year. They are

Joy McKarns, MS, at the middle school and Col. Kenneth Knotts at the high school.

“They are both good candidates,” he said.

The next Northmont School Board meeting again will be virtual, but at Northmont High School, rather than at the board office, with social distancing. It will begin at 7 p.m.

Go to the Northmont Schools Board of Education page to find links to virtual meetings or contact the board office at 1-937-832-5000.

By Marilyn McConahay Contributing writer