VANDALIA – Butler High School student Jackson Martin was awarded the Vandalia Division of Fire’s Civilian Medal of Honor at Tuesday’s meeting of the Vandalia-Butler Board of Education.
Martin was honored for his actions an April 5 when he was playing basketball at the Butler Student Activities Center. While playing basketball, Martin noticed a friend had collapsed and was in medical distress.
Jackson rushed to his friend, called for help, and tended to his friend who was having a medical emergency. Jackson positioned his friend on his side and stayed with him monitoring his breathing until Emergency Medical Services arrived.
“It is the policy of the Division of Fire to recognize citizens of Vandalia who respond to assist other citizens in their time of need,” said Vandalia Fire Captain Chad Garver. “Jackson’s quick identification of this medical emergency coupled with the caring and compassionate care that Jackson provided his friend make him a hero by any definition.”
Martin received a standing ovation from the Board of Education and those in attendance.
Board members also acknowledged Superintendent Brad Neavin’s accomplishments during the personnel actions that included his retirement effective July 31. (See related story this page.)
“Brad is one of the most outstanding people I’ve ever met,” said Board President Bob Cupp. “He is genuine, good, honest, and a man of integrity. I’ve had hundreds of employees in my career and I’ve had none better.”
“We have accomplished so much, and I’m very sad to see you go,” said Treasurer Eric Beavers. “It’s very bittersweet for me. We didn’t always agree, but we always agreed on kids, community, and staff. I will truly miss working with you.”
“When I was out in the community all weekend, the most heart warming comments came from kids,” said Board Member Melissa Pruszynski. “When kids are going to miss their superintendent, that says a lot.”
Board Member Mary Kilsheimer remembered Neavin’s first months on the job when he had countless meetings in homes and businesses building support for the district and its levy.
“I want to thank Brad who has done a tremendous job in this community,” said Kilsheimer. When Brad first got here he came and did all those coffees in people’s homes and that openness has continued to this day.”
In other personnel actions, the board appointed Rob O’Leary, the district’s current Director of Pupil Services and Human Resources, as the Assistant Superintendent. O’Leary will likely be appointed Superintendent upon Neavin’s retirement.
The board also renewed its transportation agreement with Community Bus Services through June 30, 2022. The contract calls for payments of $59,343.75 twice a month or $1,424,250 for the 2017-18 school year. That fee increases three percent per year for the life of the contract.
Field trips, extra-curricular activities, and out-of-district special education trips are billed as an addition to the annual contract. Field trips and extra-curricular activities are billed at $37.67 per hour with a two-hour minimum. Out-of-district transportation for Special Education, which is pre-approved on a case by case basis, is billed at $59.20 per hour with a four hour minimum.
The board also approved the following donations:
- $749.38 from Chipotle Mexican Grill to Smith Middle School for Kamp Kern
- $1,080 from Vandalia Lioness Club to Smith Middle School for Kamp Kern
- $200 from Vandalia Lioness Club to Demmitt Elementary School for the first grade trip to Aullwood
- $350 from the Vandalia McDonald’s to Demmitt Elementary School for McTeacher Night
- $300 from the York Commons McDonald’s to Helke Elementary School for McTeacher Night
In other action, the board approved school fees for the 2017-18 school year; approved the purchase of books for the Smith Middle School Media Center; and approved the district’s strategic plan Connecting Aviators – Our Children, Our Community 2021.
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.