The Fostoria Board of Education celebrated Longfellow Elementary School’s success in building a culture of leadership on Wednesday evening.

Longfellow was recently awarded the Lighthouse Milestone for its successful implementation of the Leader in Me program, which works to create a lifestyle educators and students can follow to develop leadership, culture and academics in the building and beyond.

The board welcomed the lighthouse team, staff, parents and Patrick Graham, a representative from Franklin Covey, the organization that created the leadership initiative, to honor the elementary school for its achievement.

The attainment of the Lighthouse Milestone represents a significant benchmark, and it is evidence that a high standard has been met by a school, according to the website. Becoming a Lighthouse School is a recognition schools earn because they have produced “outstanding results in school and student outcomes by implementing The Leader in Me with fidelity.”

Graham presented Longfellow with a large banner, which the school can display as a visual marker of excellence. He shared the weight of the local school’s achievement, calling it a “top gun” for its “hard work, perseverance and dedication.”

“This banner only goes to the best of the best,” Graham said.

Further, he stressed Longfellow was only the eighth school in Ohio to be named a Lighthouse School.

The school board and attendees were also treated to the premiere viewing of “Becoming the Lighthouse: The Journey of Longfellow Elementary,” which details the school’s experience with Leader In Me over the last three years.

Separately, the board approved an agreement between Fostoria City Schools and Terra State Community College to offer the Early College High School program through the Fostoria Learning Center.

Early College High School will allow Fostoria Senior High School students to begin work on and possibly earn an Associate Degree from Terra State while attending high school.

“Fostoria City Schools and Terra State Community College are taking the right steps to raise the college attainment rate in Fostoria,” said Fostoria City Schools Superintendent Andrew Sprang. “Our students will be able to either get a jumpstart on a college degree or complete coursework to receive an Associate Degree with their diploma upon high school graduation.”

According to a press release, Fostoria Senior High students will be able to take classes at the Fostoria Learning Center during regular school hours at no cost to the young scholars. Classes will be taught by Terra State instructors with credit going toward their diploma and degree.

In other business, the board:

• Approved a resolution to become a member of the META Purchasing Cooperative effective June 1, 2018.

The purpose of the cooperative is to assist member districts in providing improved and expanded services for the students they serve, according to the resolution.

The city school district may be able to realize significant saving of staff time and dollars through membership. According to Treasurer Sue Lehmann, the state purchasing group is authorized to do bidding on behalf of the school district.

“We get the value of a better price without doing the work of the bidding process,” she said.

• Approved the revision of several board policies as well as 7 new policies.

• Lehmann also recommended the approval of the substitute teacher and substitute bus driver incentive plan as presented.

• Approved the resignations of Alexandria Gillis as a Spanish teacher at FJSHS; Abby Koerner as elementary school counselor; and Bryant Tela as a sixth grade teacher at Fostoria Intermediate Elementary School.

• Approved the retirement of Gail Getter as basic computers teacher at FJSHS after 30 years of teaching.

• Approved the retirement of Judith Keasal as art teacher at FJSHS after 30 years of teaching.

• Approved the employment of several classified, seasonal, certified home instruction, supplemental, agreement, volunteer, summer and substitute employees.

• Accepted Deborah Hammer’s resignation from per paraprofessional position with Fostoria City School pending approval of her employment as secretary to the Director of Student Services.

• Approved David Hossler as Director of Operations/Transportation and Jeremy Smith as District Technology Coordinator, both administrative contracts are effective July 1, 2018-June 30, 2021.

• Approved about 108 students for graduation for the class of 2018, pending the completion of all graduation requirements.

• Approved a 2018-19 teachers’ limited contract for 66 individuals.

• Approved Fostoria City Schools’ continued membership in the Ohio School Athletic Association for the 2018-19 school year.

• Approved the varsity assistant football couch supplemental for Jerome Haupert, effective for the 2018-19 school year.