July 25, 2016

Partly cloudy

Medina Schools boosters to kick off levy campaign

MEDINA — Friends of Medina City Schools is hosting its first fundraiser to support the November levy campaign.

The fundraiser is 6:30 to 9:30 tonight at Fox Meadow Country Club, 4260 Fox Meadow Drive, Montville Township.

“We are starting to build funds so we can actively promote the levy over the next six months,” said Brigid Turrittin, a Medina parent and levy campaign co-chairwoman.

Fundraiser activities include “Name that Tune” with DJs Tom McKenna and Dave Steirer, prizes, a 50/50 raffle, and swimming and games for children.

Turrittin, interim Superintendent David Knight, athletic director Jeff Harrison, boys varsity basketball coach Anthony Stacey, varsity football coach Dan Sutherland and Lafayette Township Trustee Bryan Macron will be “celebrity” servers.

Turrittin said she is glad the school board and Knight have come up with a list of what will be brought back if the levy is approved.

Knight has recommended the district seek a five-year, 5.9-mill operating levy on the Nov. 6 ballot. If approved, it would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $181 a year.

If voters approve the levy, Knight has said busing would be brought back to a one-mile radius from all school buildings. Busing is now at the state minimum of two miles, and there is no high school busing. It also would provide funding for more school resource officers.

Knight said levy revenue could pay to bring back various programs and services that were cut, including a reading intervention teacher at each of the elementary buildings, gifted services, counseling services, and more art, music and gym classes at the elementary level.

Knight was named interim superintendent in April 23 after the board placed Superintendent Randy Stepp on paid leave pending the outcome of a special state audit into his use of district money from a carryover account held by the Medina County Schools’ Educational Service Center.

Stepp has sued the board and other school officials for violating his contract after members voted to rescind it after pressure from the public. Turrittin said despite the controversy surrounding the district in the past few months, she hoped residents will see the need for a levy.

“It’s time to start healing and moving on,” she said.

The cost to attend the fundraiser is $15 per person at the door.

For more information, contact Tim or Brigid Turrittin at tturrittin@gmail.com or bturrittin@zoominternet.net.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.