State representative Joshua O'Farrell (D) recently spoke with members of the Newcomerstown Board of Education during its meeting Sept. 13.

O'Farrell stated to school board members that his main objective as state representative was to "become a fierce advocate for public education."

O'Farrell, a native of New Philadelphia previously resided in North Carolina, but recently returned to New Philadelphia to practice as an attorney and raise his children in a school system that was more familiar. He is a graduate of New Philadelphia High School and later attended Wake Forest University of Law.

O'Farrell currently represents Tuscarawas, Harrison and Belmont counties; he was appointed June 1.

"I look forward to representing my community, becoming a leader on jobs, agriculture and public education. I believe every child in Ohio has the right to a quality education," he said.

O'Farrell said he has recently been visiting the school systems and meeting the school board members in the counties he represents. He said his intentions were to convey his support and availability for any questions or concerns the school systems may have.

Items presented during the Sept. 13 regular session included:

* Approved permanent appropriations of $16,601,282.09 for fiscal year 2011.

* Amendment regarding Mark George's salary to $15,669. Study hall monitor salary should be $5,358.

* Approved temporarily employment of Bill Little on an as-needed basis to accompany a district special education student to and from Starlight School. The hourly rate for Little will be $13.25 per hour.

* Accepted the resignation of Brenda McCoy, In School Suspension monitor and Achievement Test Intervention instructor, effective Aug. 20.

* Approved employment of Robin Masloski as entry-year mentor to Joel Hillwig; Gretchen Yerian as entry-year mentor to Brianna Zehnder; Lorraine George as entry-year mentor to Adam Lefler; Rita Lahmers as entry-year mentor to Tracy Rominger; and Sarah Johnson as entry-year mentor to Kristen Casteel. Each mentor will receive a stipend of $1,066.

* Approved an athletic training agreement between Union Hospital and Newcomerstown High School, effective for Aug. 20 through Nov. 6.

* Approved Derek Hickman as volunteer for the 2010-11 school year at the Newcomerstown Middle School. Hickman is volunteering to organize a student group for the purpose of improvement in the learning environment.

* Approved open enrollment students for the 2010-2011 school year. A total of 106 students are currently in open enrollment, in which 51 students will be leaving the school district this year.

* Approved a new policy for eighth grade students participation in a class trip to Washington D.C. The new policy will be based on merit. Students exceeding the maximum point level for the 2010-2011 school year may be dismissed from attending the trip.

* Brenda McCoy was approved as instructional assistant for Special education at the Newcomerstown Middle School, effective Aug. 25. She will receive a one-year contract at a salary of $11,546. She will work 6.5 hours per day at $9.55 per hour.

* Carol Boltz, Newcomerstown Middle School teacher, and Sascha Durben, West Elementary teacher, were approved for one-year supplemental contracts for building technology support staff for the 2010-2011 school year.

* Approved a contract with Coshocton County Memorial Hospital to provide physical therapy for IEP students, effective for Aug. 27, 2010, through Aug. 26, 2011.

* Approved agreements with HARCATUS Head Start, Tri-County C.A.O., program for transitioning of children that are eligible to start kindergarten.

* Approved participation in program for audiology services to be provided by East Central Ohio ESC for one year, effective July 1.

* Approved a contract with East Central Ohio Education Services for the 2010-2011 school year. The services include: Psychology, Dean of Students, Special Education Coordinator, Nursing Services, Cooperative Services, Preschool, Alternative School and SBH Itinerant Services (for students attending Buckeye Career Center).

* Accepted a donation of $138.94 from the Newcomerstown Moose Lodge 1337.

* Wall of Honor (for Newcomerstown High School alumni) and Citizens Wall of Honor applications will be accepted through March 31, 2011, selections will be made at the April 2011 school board meeting.