•  East Knox Board Of Education
    23201 Coshocton Road
    Howard, OH 43028
     
    Phone: 740.599.7000 x1002
    Fax: 740.599.5863

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Superintendent Welcome Page

  • 22 July 2021

    Dear Parents, Students and Community Members,

         I reviewed the past few summers’ worth of Purple Pride articles as I sat down to write this. I laughed when I looked back on Summer, 2018 and compared it at the time to the Pax Romana- a time of relative peace in the Roman Empire that lasted a couple hundred years. Things have changed a bit since then. Commentary on this past school year cannot possibly be covered in a novel let alone a few paragraphs in this newsletter. It is truly incomprehensible on so many levels when reflecting on the gargantuan effort it took on everyone’s part to make the 2020-2021 school year happen at all let alone the success that it was.

         Every class leaves its mark. The Class of 2021 is no different. A few items of note include: 65% of the class had a 3.0 grade point average or higher; 21% of the class had a 4.0 grade point average or higher; first boys’ basketball sectional championship in 30 years; first baseball district championship in school history; and first back-to-back football playoff appearances since 1992-1993. The following statistic, though, is the most important. This class has a 100% graduation rate! Not a single classmate left behind in a year of global pandemic. That is quite an accomplishment!

         East Knox staff retention rates have fallen from 16% annual turnover during our fiscal emergency in 2015-2016 to around 4% since then after voters approved the 10-year operating levy. We have an uptick this year as several of our veterans are embarking on the next chapter of their lives in retirement while a couple others sought employment closer to home. The Board recognized our retirees at the June 17th meeting. Honorees include: Donna Buckingham (26 years), Roxanne Berry (33 years), Corby Frere (34 years), Peggy Hardesty (26 years), Lois Jacobs (20 years) and Stephanie Warner (33 years).

         Our $19 million construct project continues full steam ahead. I had the honor on June 1st to tighten the last bolt on the first vertical column installed in the new building. The project to date has continuously captured two of my favorite phrases regarding the undertaking: on time and under budget. However, we are starting some supply areas of potential concern as we get deeper into the meat and potatoes of it all. For example, the contractor found it difficult to procure sheet metal screws for the decking, but prevailed nevertheless. We are also seeing supply shortages in areas such as paint. That is obviously an issue considering we want to paint the entire gymnasium this summer in addition to most areas of the rest of the 1994 addition. It continues to be a dynamic process that requires daily attention. Fortunately, our experiences with Elford Construction continue to be top notch.

         I look forward to another exciting and challenging school year as we educate our students. My guess is that we may have one of the larger Kindergarten classes in recent history as a number of parents kept their students home an extra year with the unknowns of the pandemic this time last year. I am not sure if it is Covid related or just that the nationwide teacher shortages we have heard about are now affecting Knox County. Either way, we are fortunate to find quality applicants though they have indeed been much fewer in number. As I write this, we still need to hire three special education teachers to start to 2021-2022 school year. However, I remain confident that we will be fully staffed and ready to go when students arrive for our first day of school on August 17th.

    That’s the news for now. I hope you have a great remainder of the summer!

    Sincerely,

    Steve Larcomb

    Superintendent of Schools

     

     

    18 June 2021

    Greetings,

        The Board and Administration recognized six retiring staff members at the 6/17/21 school board meeting. Together their experience adds up to 172 years at East Knox. Congratulations to Lois Jacobs (20 years), Donna Buckingham (26 years), Peggy Hardesty (26 years), Roxanne Berry (33 years), Stephanie Warner (33 years) and Corby Frere (34 years). Thank you for all you have done for our Bulldog community. We wish you much happiness and good health in the years ahead!

    Sincerely,

    Steve Larcomb, Supt.

     

    17 June 2021

    Dear Parents, Students and Community Members,

    As the summer break continues, there is a complete revamp of the building-level Administrative Team for the 2021-2022 year due to resignations and retirement. Cody Reese is moving from the Elementary to take over as Junior/Senior High Principal. Joining Cody is our new Assistant Jr/Sr High Assistant Principal/Athletic Director Scott Brickner. Missy Moreland is the new Elementary Principal. We welcome Ben Snedeker as our new Director of Student Services.

     
    The campus is a beehive of activity with the 1994 Jr/Sr High renovations in full swing. As with all things, patience is the order of the day as our construction crews are working diligently to have that part of the building ready for our use again when school resumes.
     
    I hope you are having a great summer. Please be safe!
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Steve Larcomb, Supt.

     

    2 April 2021

    Dear Parents, Students and Community Members,

         I don’t know about you, but I sure am excited to have warmer temperatures and a real sense that we are about to shed not only the winter months, but also the malaise of the pandemic. People just seem to be happier and more patient as of late. There is a real sense of joy and cautious optimism as Pfizer, Moderna and now J&J vaccines are increasingly available in the U.S. I in no way judge those who do or do not get their vaccinations. Everyone travels their own path. However, I will say that I am thankful to get mine and even more so when my wife was able to get hers as well a few days later.

         The years continue to pass faster and faster as birthdays come and go. This past year has been both a blur and a long slog at the same time. What seemed unthinkable early last summer became the “normal” throughout the school year to date.  Knox County Superintendents spent many hours last summer (not to mention before and since) discussing how to educate students in a pandemic environment. At the time, a “red” county designation was thought to be a critical crisis point that would keep schools shut down. Now the designation is barely noticed as we live with it every day and adapt accordingly. That is a real testament to how we typically find work-around solutions when presented with an issue that cannot be immediately resolved.  Our students, staff and parents have been very cooperative in observing mask requirements and minimizing risk factors to exposure as much as possible as we continue all-day, every-day classroom instruction since last August 24th.

         In other news, our construction project continues on time and under budget. Our construction folks were only delayed about a week when we had that cold spell around the third week of February. Fortunately, those types of issues were built into the schedule. Building footers should be in the pour process by the time you read this. This summer will be an exciting time as progress will continue to move forward swiftly. I remember well, spending many days of my fourth-grade year watching an overpass built outside my second story classroom window. In some respects, I get to relive my youth as I have a front row seat from my office. The windows occasionally rattle and I wonder at times whether the bulldozer is coming on through the building, but I am not complaining one bit. It continues to be an exciting time at East Knox and I am grateful to be a part of it. Our students’ futures are incredibly bright thanks to you and this community.

    That’s the news for now. I hope you have a great spring!

    Sincerely,

     

    Steve Larcomb

    Superintendent of Schools

     

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