Nordonia moves forward with bond issue; joins Ohio Checkbook

by Laura Bednar

June 21 board of education meeting

The Nordonia Hills City Schools Board of Education voted 4-1, with Matt Kearney dissenting, to take the next step in putting a bond issue for new buildings on the November ballot.

The “resolution of necessity,” as Treasurer Matt Brown explained, “generally declares the necessity of the bond issue … and prompts the county fiscal officer to make a certification as to the estimated average annual property tax levy required … to pay debt charges on the bonds and related matters.”

The Summit County fiscal officer will assign millage to Nordonia’s $165 million bond request. The estimated interest rate will be 5.25%, according to Brown. “The interest rate market is volatile,” he said, adding that this is a conservative estimate that might be higher.

Before the vote, Kearney said, “I would love to see new facilities and buildings, I would just ask that the board consider pausing until we at least see what happens with interest rates and inflationary costs.”

Kearney asked what would happen if the interest rate increased. Brown said the district would be unable to build as much as planned and the millage, or tax rate, could increase.

Board member Chad Lahrmer said if interest rates rose, the county would adjust the millage before applying it to a resident’s property value.

Ohio Checkbook

Brown said the school district joined, an online data base that shows how the Nordonia school district spends its money. According to a press release from Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague, “The district’s online checkbook includes more than 127,000 individual transactions representing over $165 million in spending from July 2019 to May 2022.”

In the release, according to Brown, “Public access to the Ohio Checkbook site will expand the efforts of the district to be fiscally transparent and accountable to our taxpayers and stakeholders.”

To view Nordonia’s checkbook, visit

Academic coaching

During open forum, Pam Bichsel, with Academic Coaching Specialists in Macedonia, outlined her company’s services. Bichsel said in 17 years working in higher education, she has seen high school students struggle to transition into a college workload due to “lack of … time management skills, planning, organization, goal setting and accountability.”

Her coaching firm provides mentorship and helps students set goals and develop skills for their academic and personal development.

According to the company website, “Coaching is available for students of all academic abilities, but can be especially helpful if your son or daughter has a history of ADHD, ADD, executive functioning disorder, anxiety or other learning differences.”

Bichsel said for the company’s new one-on-one academic coaching program, she is asking schools to identify 10 students who are challenged in the mentioned areas. Academic Coaching will provide a 20-week course to improve grades, become motivated and gain confidence.

Superintendent Dr. Joe Clark said he would pass along the information to the school’s curriculum director. ∞