Cortney Sizemore, an instructional library aide at Hagerstown Elementary School, was subject of the Superintendent’s Spotlight at the Dec. 13 school board meeting. Pictured with her is Superintendent Emily Schaeffer, right. Photo by Bob Hansen

A library aide’s enthusiastic greeting of Hagerstown Elementary School students drew favorable attention from a visitor to the school; so much so that he sent an email about her to Nettle Creek School Superintendent Emily Schaeffer.

Cortney Sizemore drew the attention from Craig Towns, business partnerships manager for Reid Health, who visited the school in connection with a health fair. In his email to Schaeffer, he described seeing Sizemore in the school’s main entrance giving high fives and greetings to every student as they entered. He said students couldn’t help but be happy as they started school each morning.

HES Principal Tiffani Hokey said, “We see her out there (greeting the students). We have some difficult students … and those are the students who really seem to connect with her.”

Schaeffer presented a certificate and her thanks to Sizemore, whose current greetings now are accompanied with holiday music.

Also at the meeting, Hagerstown Jr.-Sr. High School FFA members reported on their activities, including what they did at the recent National FFA Convention in Indianapolis. They also spoke about local programs, including welding and small engines. Earlier this fall, chapter members prepared Farmer Snack Packs and then delivered lunch to farmers in the field.

Board member Cody Sankey said the presentation brought back personal memories for him. He attended the 1998 National FFA Convention in 1998 at Kansas City and his involvement with the group was meaningful. “The things I learned there have helped me get to where I am today.”

FFA members who attended include Leyton Berger, Carter Craig, Brooke Stuart, Jaedyn Patton, Audry Bell, Maggie Retherford, Kori Craig, Maggie Williamson, Lowell Berger, Hayden Arnold, Caden Wampler and Hattie Hobbs. Advisor Christy Herr attended.

In business, the board voted to uphold a student expulsion. The student had appealed the expulsion. The board discussed the appeal during a Nov. 14 executive session. The student can appeal the board’s affirmation in Wayne County Circuit Court. The student’s identity and the reason for expulsion has not been made public and it is not known if they plan a further appeal. 

The board also approved calendars for the next two school years. The only change from current practice, Schaeffer said, is giving students the Friday before Labor Day off.

The board approved the following personnel changes reported by Schaeffer.

Non-certified staff: Haden Dickerson, long-term substitute; Kasey Crabtree, on-call substitute; Allison Ullery HJSHS ISS assistant; Samantha Stainbrook, HES instructional assistant. 

Departures: David Hines, HJSHS teacher; Fabian Ford, HES custodian; Jamie Edwards and Rachel Moore, HJSHS instructional assistants; Jordan Jessee, preschool / daycare assistant.

The board’s next regular meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10, in the Hagerstown Elementary LGI room, 299 N. Sycamore St. The public may attend.

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A version of this article appeared in the December 20 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Bob Hansen is a reporter for the Western Wayne News.