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WRITER: Raymond L. Smith

Shedding state control: Plan could return Youngstown schools to local leaders

YOUNGSTOWN — Supporters of local control in school operations are hoping members of the Ohio House and Senate conference committee retain language in Senate Bill 165 that provides pathways for Youngstown and two other school districts to move from under control of academic distress commissions. East Cleveland, Lorain and Youngstown would, under the proposed road map, be able to begin moving from under state ...

City schools map out changes

YOUNGSTOWN — The Youngstown City School District’s P. Ross Berry building, McGuffey Elementary and the former Williamson Elementary School will become the district’s new middle school buildings under a reorganization plan. The reconfiguration will shift the district to six pre-kindergarten to fifth-grade schools, two sixth- through eighth-grade middle schools, an early college middle school, an ...

Former member sues board

YOUNGSTOWN — A former Youngstown Board of Education member has filed a lawsuit against the board for violating the state’s open meetings law by not having minutes of numerous board meetings dating back to June 2019 through March 30, 2021. Dario D. Hunter, who ran for and won a seat on the board as an independent candidate in 2015, is seeking to force the board to provide minutes of approximately 61 ...

Youngstown schools chief, on way out, urges patience

YOUNGSTOWN — Outgoing Youngstown schools Superintendent Joseph Meranto is optimistic the current board of education and CEO Justin Jennings can work together and remove the district from control of a state academic distress commission. Meranto, however, warned the district needs stability in its leadership to accomplish that goal. “It can’t keep changing every couple years,” he said. “True change ...

NAACP, teachers focus on best practices for black students

The Ohio Department of Education is working with the Ohio NAACP and educators from across the state in determining the best academic practice models for black students. Youngstown activist Jimma McWilson, founder of the African Education Party, is a part of this process. Receiving a quality education has always been the surest way of getting black children out of poverty — but in Ohio, black children are ...

Workshops seek to chip away at systemic racism in the Valley

To register for systemic racism workshops, click here. WARREN — Vincent Peterson, a longtime Trumbull County probation officer, pastor and former Youngstown State University football standout, has seen and experienced much in his 57 years. A graduate of the Raymond John Wean Racial Equity and Inclusion workshop, Peterson said the two-day program opened his eyes to the history of inequality in the Mahoning ...

After year of disruption, tradition returns for grads of Girard High

GIRARD — For the 134 members of Girard High School’s graduating class of 2021, having their commencement ceremony outside in Arrowhead Stadium was a return to tradition. Even the threat of rain-filled clouds hovering over the ceremony did not deter members of a class that began the year online, returned to in-person learning for one week in November, but learned they had to return to online learning ...

Foundation seeks to address systemic racism

Vincent Peterson, a longtime Trumbull County probation officer, pastor and former Youngstown State University football standout, has seen and experienced much in his 57 years. A graduate of the Raymond John Wean Racial Equity and Inclusion workshop, Peterson said the two-day program opened his eyes to the history of inequality in the Mahoning Valley and around the country. "It brings a lot of awareness to ...

Shy over shots

School districts in Mahoning and Columbiana counties worked in concert to promote opportunities for 16- and 17-year-old students to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations during the first weeks in May. However, student participation in receiving the free vaccinations varied by district. More than 300 students in 19 Mahoning and Columbiana school districts have received the first of two Pfizer COVID-19 ...

Ex-Liberty firefighter pleads not guilty

WARREN — A former Liberty firefighter who resigned amid a drug investigation at the department pleaded not guilty to charges he faces in connection to that inquiry Tuesday. Joshua Cleland made his first appearance in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court after a grand jury indictment last week charging the 42-year-old with aggravated possession of drugs and tampering with evidence, both felonies. The former ...