The West Geauga Local Board of Education held a rescheduled special meeting Monday night where they passed a resolution to formally accept the territory of the Newbury Local School District.

What officially started as a proposal to the Governing Board of the Geauga County Educational Service Center on Jan. 14 of this year by the Newbury Local Board of Education will go into effect June 30, 2020.

Board member Kathy Leavenworth motioned to accept the resolution, which board member Chet Ramey seconded. The resolution passed unanimously.

The county board unanimously voted to approve the territory transfer in early October with their second and final vote on the matter after efforts to pass a referendum on the transfer by Newbury residents failed. The petitioners secured only 1,074 of 1,335 needed signatures to put the issue on the March 2020 ballot.

There was no discussion before the board took their vote, but Superintendent Richard Markwardt gave a few brief remarks on the transfer in his report to the board.

“The board tonight has taken a huge step in terms of the acceptance resolution related to the Newbury territory transfer,” Dr. Markwardt said. “Now we can begin with some of the transitional work that we were sort of holding off until the formalities were concluded.” He said the West Geauga school district has done “a great deal of exploratory work” in the field of how the district plans to transition students, staff and the community into West Geauga. “Now it’s time to see some of those things actually come to fruition.”

BOE President Ben Kotowski added that the board will attend the Ohio State Board of Education meeting next week to present the resolution for informational and formal resolution purposes.

“The board takes no formal action on [the resolution],” Dr. Markwardt said. “They just have to be aware of it.”

In other news, the board approved two business resolutions.

The board passed an agreement with PSI Affiliates, Inc. of Twinsburg to provide registered nurse and school health assistant services to St. Anselm School in Chester at the cost of $12,560 for one year.

The board also passed a contract with the Summit Educational Service Center Governing Board of Cuyahoga Falls for audiology services to the local school district at the cost of $2,487.

The board also accepted the retirement of two longtime staff members of the school district. That includes Intervention Specialist Joy Painter, who is retiring after working 26 years, and Educational Aide Kelly Cikach, who is retiring after working 24 years.

Sam Cottrill started reporting for the Times in February 2019 and covers Auburn, Bainbridge, Bentleyville and Chagrin, Kenston, Solon and West Geauga schools. She graduated from Kent State University in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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