South board offers words of gratitude for Tricker, Milner


NEW MARKET — Trustees shared words of gratitude and congratulations Monday in light of operations director Mike Tricker’s upcoming retirement and Dr. Carrie Milner’s end of term as interim superintendent as Dr. Stephanie Hofer takes on the permanent role.

Tricker has served 28 years in public education, 21 of which he has spent at Southmont in various positions of leadership. His past titles include assistant principal as well as principal to both the junior high and high school. He is set to retire from his position as director of operations on June 30th of next year.

Milner congratulated Tricker on his retirement in her end-of-meeting report. She went on to express her appreciation for the board and the district throughout her incumbency.

“I want to thank the board and all the folks out there … Thank you for all the good support, and I know you’re in good hands with Dr. Hofer,” Milner said.

Hofer was approved for the superintendent’s position in April, coming from the Metropolitan School District of Decatur Township where she served as interim superintendent. She thanked Tricker and Milner for their support and dedication through the preparation process.

“Mike, thank you very much for all of your support so far as a new leader,” Hofer said. “You’ve become one of my go-to people pretty quickly, and I’m excited to work with you for the next year as we wrap up dozens of projects. Dr. Milner — I just want to thank [you] publicly for all of [your] dedication and work mentoring. We’re ready in a very short time. I will be solo up here beginning next month, so I just want to wish you well on your next adventure.”

Daryl Hutson, president of the board, echoed these thoughts about Tricker.

“I’ve known you a lot of the time you’ve been here at Southmont as a parent and a board member both, and also as a bus driver. Thank you for all of your services you have brought to our school,” Hutson said.

The board discussed developments at the Ladoga Elementary playground, which entail Southmont’s collaboration with the Town of Ladoga and Clark Township to replace existing playground equipment. They remarked that plans are not moving as quickly as hoped, however the project is estimated to be completed along a three- to six-week timeline. Currently, project heads are ironing legal details and collecting financial estimates. More information will be released at next month’s regular school board meeting.

In personnel matters, the board voted 6-0 to approve the hiring of five new staff members at New Market Elementary, including three elementary teachers, Ashley Bluening, Ashton Cloud and Ramey Rothgerber, Sheridan Knowling as nurse, and Annika Cummins as instructional aide. Also approved were Tricker’s retirement and the resignation of Karla Kinsel, HR/payroll assistant, effective May 31; and Darcy Weiler, instructional assistant at the junior high, effective May 25.

The board approved extra duty recommendations for the following amounts: Wendy Black, after school detention, $270; Jamie McCormick, after school detention, $240. Additionally, donations were made to Ladoga Elementary in the amount of $800 and to Southmont Jr./Sr. High in the amount of $1,082.

Next month’s regular school board meeting will take place at 6 p.m. July 8 in the corporation board room.