The Solon Board of Education Monday lauded school officials for ending the fiscal year with a clean budget and starting the new school year with top academic ratings.

During a regular meeting this week, the school board also approved the retirement of longtime teacher Larry Evans and the designation of Assistant Superintendent Fred Bolden as a hearing officer for disciplinary actions.

Mr. Evans currently is a grade five teacher at Orchard Middle School, and will be retiring on Jan. 17, 2020, after 27 years of work at the district. The board approved a limited teaching contract to Jody Radcliffe for the 2019-20 school year to take over Mr. Evans’ class, according to Mr. Bolden. Typically teachers don’t retire midyear, Mr. Bolden explained, but Mr. Evans needs to do so for personal reasons.

“He’s had a very long, successful career with us,” Mr. Bolden said. “We wish him the best.”

Board member Julie Glavin made a motion to appoint Mr. Bolden to the role of hearing officer, on behalf of the board, for disciplinary actions in the place of Superintendent Joseph Regano. Mr. Regano is currently on a medical leave of absence. Mr. Bolden said that his role as hearing officer will be to listen to appeals of disciplinary actions like suspension.

Treasurer Tim Pickana also announced that the district’s Popular Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ending June 30 now is available on the district’s website. Mr. Pickana said that the audit report came back clean and the district’s finances have all been accounted for, and the district has provided a simplified report for the community to access.

“I think it’s very important that people know that we’re fiscally responsible here,” said board member John Heckman. “We take that very, very seriously.”

As for the board’s response to receiving first in the state for performance on the district report card, issued by the Ohio Department of Education on Sept. 12, several members commended the community both within and around the school district for their continued support.

“The superintendent said that kind of consistency is to be commended,” Mr. Bolden said of praise the district received from State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria.

“I would like to recognize [Deborah] Seigel,” Ms. Glavin added. “She has been the driving force behind our curricular movement and everything that we’ve done over the last 20 years.”

Board member Marilyn Thomas also commended Ms. Seigel, emphasizing that the district’s philosophy of being proactive about solving problems throughout the year has been the key to their success.

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