According to staff reports
MINGO JUNCTION — Nicole McDonald said goodbye to local schools in Indian Creek after leaving the district for a new position in Florida.
McDonald, who most recently served in the dual roles of principal of Cross Creek Elementary and district director of curriculum and instruction, traveled to Boca Raton, Fla., to take up the position of grants officer at the AD Henderson Lab School at Florida Atlantic University. Her first day in her new job was Monday Monday and she said goodbye to school board members during the May 19 regular session at Indian Creek Middle School. She originally planned to step down from her role as CCE director to focus solely on district business when the opportunity presented itself. McDonald then decided to leave Indian Creek after more than two decades on the staff.
“It happened very quickly. My husband had been living in South Florida for a few years and wanted to move back,” she continued. “I feel the skills I’ve learned at Indian Creek over the past 22 years have prepared me for this new role.”
As District Director of Curriculum and Instruction, she has been heavily involved in developing reading tools for students to enhance their education as well as test scores. She said the lab school primarily conducts reading research that Ohio State then uses to help students in the classroom. “I’m super excited to leave this to my friends here to make sure the district is always on the cutting edge of using evidence-based strategies. I really feel like Indian Creek gives students the time and support to be successful and also gives them the experience to be successful with the strategies.
Her two-decade tenure began when she taught sixth grade and then first, second, and third graders at Wintersville Elementary. She then taught at the old Wayne Elementary in Bloomingdale’s before returning to WES as Principal. From there, she was promoted to District Director of Curriculum and Instruction, but was called upon again to lead Wintersville and facilitate the transition to Cross Creek Elementary. Among its highlights were the new elementary and secondary school buildings and the changes implemented to meet the reading needs of students.
“We targeted the needs of students and skill groups and implemented changes with instruction. It gave us a head start on the language of dyslexia that runs through the state,” she commented. “The staff have been wonderful in their willingness to grow and learn to respect instructional strategies to teach students. It sets us apart and the staff really care about the kids. I am forever grateful to be part of Indian Creek.
Hills Elementary Principal Michele Minto will succeed McDonald in the district role and Superintendent TC Chappelear congratulated them both.
“McDonald has been an excellent teacher and administrator in the Indian Creek School District. I wish him the best in his new role and welcome Michele Minto as his replacement.
In other subjects, the council:
• Approved preliminary five-year forecast, but District Treasurer Denise Todoroff noted increases in health insurance spending as a result of COVID. Deputy Superintendent John Belt said the district negotiated a 10% cap on rate increases or there would have been a 20% jump. Todoroff said health care made up 19% of general fund operating costs;
• Heard that Chappelear has been asked to serve on the steering committee of the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy in School Funding, which is behind a lawsuit declaring EdChoice funding unconstitutional. He said the case may be bigger than the DeRolph v. Ohio case also regarding the method of state funding for public education;
• I learned from Dr. Chappelear that the year ended on a positive note and that he was pleased with the progress made throughout the district.