JA booster groups detail changes

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Jonathan Alder School District’s athletic and music boosters groups gave updates on their organizations at a school board meeting Monday night.
The Jonathan Alder Music Boosters organization gave an update to its nearly decade-long growth plans at the school district board meeting Monday night.
Music Boosters President Lucas Gutierrez highlighted the achievements of the boosters group since 2014, showing how the organization has grown and learned from its endeavors. He also showed some of the goals for the next five years.
“We’re, of course, realizing this growth, we’re changing how our boosters are structured and we’re also finding creative ways for volunteers (to join),” Gutierrez said. “We are now, in our upcoming two years, figuring out how do we involve our alumni.”
Gutierrez said since 2014, the organization has been working on internal improvements, such as updating its by-laws, created communication platforms on Facebook and its own website and establish itself as a nonprofit group.
Gutierrez said the Jonathan Alder music program has risen in participation, going from 427 students in the 2014-2015 school year to 615 students this year. He said this has led to the idea of restructuring the program’s budget and fundraisers in the next five years.
“Over the last three years, we’ve been strategic on our focus on operational needs,” “What we wanted to do is make sure the band program can operationally support itself, the choral program could support itself and the boosters fill in the gap where they need.
He said the group is also looking for ways to partner with the district to support various areas of need, such as acquiring band uniforms.
“If you’re not growing, you’re dying, and we’re definitely growing,” Gutierrez said. “We have to focus on what’s up and coming. What we realized now is we have really focused on our budget and fundraisers.”
Gutierrez said he hopes to continue finding more volunteers for the organization. With more than 125 volunteers helping with the program, he said that number “needs to double.”
He ended his presentation with a commendation of its concession stand, as “it’s the envy of other schools.”
Board member Shannon Foust extended his appreciation for the organization, as it makes him proud.
“It’s unbelievable the support you guys give the school district,” Foust said. “It goes unrecognized.”
The athletic boosters group also presented what’s been going on within its program.
Athletic Boosters President Michelle Farley-Mancini praised the group’s social media posting for events and activities. She also highlighted how volunteers have contributed much to the organization and are still onboard.
She said she wants to incorporate students into the volunteer process for tasks like updating the website.
“This is a partnership where we can have to help students get experience,” Farley-Mancini said.
Also at the meeting:
-The board accepted a $20,000 donation from Memorial Hospital to go toward the athletic per service agreement.
-Jonathan Alder High School Principal Mike Aurin honored two seniors for their academic achievements. He honored Clair Grywalski for being named a commended student in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program, and for Sandra Moser for being named a National Merit semifinalist.
-The OSBA Capital Conference will be held from Nov. 11 to 13.
-The board’s next strategic planning committee meeting will be held Nov. 5.
-The board held its first reading of a long list of NEOLA board policy revisions and updates.
The updates are state-issued and range from specific language revisions to noticeable changes. One of the changes involves the suspension policy for students ranging from kindergarten to third grade, stating a school could not suspend or expel one of those students unless they brought a firearm or weapon to school, or made a threat of bodily harm.
The board will meet again at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 12, at Plain City Elementary School.



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