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Fihe chosen as NH’s interim superintendent

The North Harrison Community School Board of Trustees announced Thursday night Thomas Fihe as interim superintendent to succeed Dr. Phil Partenheimer.
‘I appreciate the opportunity to go through the school and community to meet as many people as possible,’ said Fihe. ‘I look forward to working with the school and community.’
Fihe, of Salem, is expected to take over duties on Jan. 1. He retired as superintendent of the Salem Community School Corp. in 2002 after five years of service.
‘I enjoyed my years at Salem,’ he said. ‘I got involved heavily with community organizations.’
Partenheimer resigned effective at the end of the year to take the executive director position with the Wilson Education Service Center’s Region 2, located in Charlestown.
In other business at Thursday night’s regular board meeting, the school trustees tabled the hiring of a central office position, as recommended by Greg Rupp, a teacher in the school corporation and president of the North Harrison Classroom Teachers Association. Rupp said the association feels the appropriation would be a budgetary line item and a reoccurring expense, something the board has said it does not want.
Rupp admitted the central office employees probably need more help, but the hire will effect the school’s ‘bottom line,’ draining the general fund.
Partenheimer said the central office employees have worked substantial overtime hours since he has been at the school. One reason for the overtime, he said, is the new account system enforced by the state board of accounts. Health insurance formerly required one line for the entire corporation; now the employees are responsible for nearly 300 lines.
‘The new system causes a great burden. Our ladies are overwhelmed; they’re in dire need of assistance,’ said Partenheimer, adding it would be a ‘big problem’ if one of the employees had to miss significant work days due to illness or any other reason.
The request is for a 12-month, full-time position, which would give the office a fourth person.
Michael Beyerle made the motion, seconded by Jerry Renneker, to table the measure. The motion passed unanimously.
The board approved a bid of $107,000 by Musco Lighting, a worldwide sports-lighting company, for lighting on the baseball field. The Harrison County Community Foundation provided a $60,000 grant for the project. The project will take two weeks to complete once the products and equipment arrive, which will take four to six weeks. The board approved the measure with a 4-1 vote; board president Bobby Chinn opposed, citing a rock clause in the contract.
The board also voted to modify bus fuel contracts from 45 to 30 days because of the volatility of the fuel market pending unanimous agreement of all parties. It also approved Kovert Hawkins Architects as the architect for the Morgan Elementary School expansion project. The board tabled the appointment of the construction manager for the project.
Resignations Thursday night included Joan Martin as varsity girls’ golf coach, Jeremy Shireman as varsity assistant football coach and Pat Rudolph (retirement) as cafeteria manager at Morgan effective at the end of the school year.
Appointments included Shellie Pence as teacher at North Harrison Elementary School (temporary contract for maternity leave for Mickey Page) effective approximately Nov. 10 to Dec. 19, Tonya Caffee as Renaissance sponsor at North Harrison High School, Jeanie Doss as head varsity cheer coach effective immediately, Christain Lang as varsity assistant cheer coach, Mark Burson as seventh-grade boys’ basketball coach, Robert Higdon as golf coach at North Harrison Middle School, John Lambert as girls’ varsity softball coach and Helen Day as volunteer assistant swim coach at the high school.