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Strycker outlines The Leader in Me program

The monthly Butler County Board of Education meeting was held in the District Board room on Tuesday, Jan. 16. Despite the inclement weather, many were in attendance as pressing information was on the agenda.

Superintendent Dr. Stryker opened the meeting recognizing the school board members in honor of School Board Member Recognition Month. He thanked the members for their service. Principals from each school in the county presented members with a gift.

Next Stryker and CSFO Brandi Mosley presented reports outlining the county visions for each student and the financial outlook on the year.

Stryker said, “If children are hungry and don’t feel safe, one plus one means nothing.

Kids have not changed; therefore our plan has not changed.”

Implementing a strategic, proven plan, Stryker encouraged the school board of its effectiveness.

“So many school districts and communities act according to the latest and greatest, we are going to remain steadfast, and I’m going to take an ‘Old School’ approach, with discipline in the schools and making sure students needs are met.”

Along with this, Stryker plans to implement “The Leader in Me” program in grades K-6th grades, as well as require grades 7-12th to be involved with one extracurricular activity.

“Each one of us needs something to connect to; something to be excited about.” Stryker explained this to be a graduation requirement for the students; however, funding is needed for this plan.

He also presented a document outlining the school’s ranking compared to other schools in the state. Currently, Butler County Schools ranked 133 out of 137, in local funding. The school system also has a high debt per student ratio due to past facility construction. Stryker encouraged the community and board to face the facts and press forward.

Because of this lack of funding and/or debt, the school system in recent years was forced to cut some programs in the county. One such program was alternative school. Kenneth Crum, head of the Butler County Concerned Citizens (BCCC), spoke of the need for an alternative school.

“It’s a deep concern in our community that we do not have alternative school.”

Working with the principals and administrators of the schools, the BCCC offers a mentorship program in the school system for the students.

“We are mentoring, and we are making great progress with the students. We are in the community holding our community accountable.”

Crum added, “We know that funding may be a challenge […] but I feel like we can come up with creative ways to find funding.”

Stryker will present a financial plan to the board next month. The next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 13, 2018 at 6 p.m. in the Georgiana School library.