By ERIN HOWARTH
Daily Globe Correspondent
SHELBY - Pioneer Career and Technology Center board members were met with much good news Monday evening during their regular monthly meeting. This good news included new hire recommendations and a successful refinancing of the school's loan.In her financial report, Treasurer Linda Schumacher was pleased to present the board an updated status on the refinancing of the school's Certificates of Participation. In the days immediately following April's board meeting, rates began to drop and Pioneer's advisors from Rockmill Financial advised Schumacher and Superintendent Greg Nickoli to proceed with the refinance.Schumacher said, "We saved $458,000 over the life of the loan so we were really happy." Schumacher also shared that "Rockmill Financial said it was the smoothest sale they've had all year."Nickoli praised Schumacher for her efforts during the entire refinancing experience saying, "She did a tremendous job. She always kept me updated and explained some of the financial terms and processes I didn't quite understand previously."Later in the meeting, upon Nickoli's recommendation, the board voted unanimously to approve the hiring of candidates Jolene Young and Donald Paullin as career technical supervisors for the school.Young comes to Pioneer from Knox County Career Center, where she has been the job training coordinator since 2012. Prior to that she was a CEI coordinator and has extensive experience as an intervention specialist. She has a both a bachelor's and master's degree in Special Education from Ohio University. She also obtained her Administrative License from Ashland University.Paullin has been an Agriculture Instructor with Hardin Northern Local Schools in Dola, Ohio since 2005. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University in Columbus where he majored in Agriculture Education. He holds a master's degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Cincinnati as well as a master's in Instructional Technology from Kent State University.Nickoli said both candidates were able to come out on top during a rigorous interviewing process and, "we are thrilled to have both these individuals joining our administrative team."Both Young and Paullin were present for the board meeting. Young said, "I would like to thank the board and administration for this opportunity and am looking forward to getting started."Paullin shared the same sentiment in appreciating the opportunity at Pioneer and said, "I really believe in what career centers do and I am looking forward to helping our students become better."During his report, Kris Kowalski, director of operations for the High School, introduced Pioneer seniors Logan Spohn and Autumn Swartz, who were on hand to present their senior projects to the board. Kowalski said that thanks to the Gorman-Rupp Foundation, both students earned a scholarship for their projects.Board members listened attentively as Spohn, a student in the carpentry program, presented his project on the dovetail joint and Swartz shared hers on book binding. Spohn had with him a large wooden chest he built which showcases the dovetail joint. Swartz brought a copy of her book which she wrote, illustrated, and bound herself. She is in the graphic arts program at Pioneer.Moving forward, the board voted unanimously to approve the retirements of Ms. Pam Bell and Ms. Cindy Bodkin. Bell has been with Pioneer for 32 years as an instructor in a variety of programs, most recently working in the medical office. Bodkin retires with 35 years experience in education, 27 of which were spent at Pioneer as a classroom instructor in the special needs department.The board also voted unanimously to appoint Nickoli as the representative for the Crawford County Tax Incentive Review Council for 2015 as well as approved the addition of two full make-up days to the end of the school year. Nickoli said so far, Pioneer has had 10 closures, seven two-hour delays, and three blizzard bag days for the 2014-15 school year.The board voted unanimously to adopt a resolution recognizing the Byron Carmean Award winner, which will be presented during Student Awards Night on April 30. Nickoli said there are six candidates this year for Pioneer's most prestigious award.A monetary donation in the amount of $5,500 from Joyce Leimbach to the Dr. Gale J. Leimbach scholarship fund was unanimously approved. Also approved was a donation of tools valued at approximately $3,000 from Judy Alfano of Tractor Supply Co. in Mansfield. These tools will be used in various career technical labs for educational purposes.Additionally, the board approved to adopt resolutions for both Staff Appreciation Week, to be held May 4-8, and for support of partner school levies for Crestline Exempted Village Schools and Wynford Local Schools.Jim Grubbs, director of business affairs, recommended to the board that they adopt a resolution to participate and authorize Metropolitan Educational Council (MEC) to advertise and receive bids for a new school van. It is necessary to go through MEC for bids because the cost of the vehicle is more than $25,000.Grubbs informed the board that Pioneer's fleet has been reduced from seven to five during the last couple of years. "Our two oldest vans are 1993s and we believe they need to go as well," he said. He is suggesting an MPV true nine-passenger van for safety reasons because it looks so much like a bus and better alerts other drivers of its use." The board unanimously approved the resolution.In closing, the board entered into executive session for the purpose of updating the board on negotiations.