Brookfield school Supt. Toby Gibson said he wants school to be back to as close to normal as it can be when classes resume Aug. 26.
Students and staff will not be required to wear face masks, the sneeze guards on desks are put away, and classes will be back to in-person and five days a week.
“We’re trying to get back to a sense of normalcy,” Gibson said. “Sitting in classroom with the sneeze guards in place are a distraction. It’s hard to see. We’re gonna try to get back into a routine.”
Gibson added that, just like last year, drastic changes could be in store if the number of COVID cases rises.
“If things change in the county, as far as COVID numbers, or in the district, then we’ll adjust from there,” Gibson said.
While COVID-19 cases are on the rise nationally, and even in Trumbull County, the Brookfield area has been “good” in terms of cases, he said.
“We’ve been lucky in this area, just checking the health department’s website. It’s not out of the woods. There’s always gonna be something. We’ll just have to deal with as it comes and keep on moving,” Gibson said.
Social distancing will be encouraged, and there are times when some students and staff members might have to go into quarantine, he said.
“The only time you find yourself in situations where quarantine may come into play, if you wear a mask, is at lunch, because everybody has to take off it to eat,” Gibson said.
Students and staff who want to wear masks will be allowed to do so, and the school will provide masks upon request.
“If you’re not sure, as a parent or a student, wear a mask,” he said.
Students will be assigned seats in classrooms, at lunch and on buses.
The school will keep up the cleaning protocols it had adopted the last school year, and maintains extra cleaning personnel.
Parents are asked to assess their children’s health before they leave for school, but the school will not routinely be taking temperatures, Gibson said. The school – and many schools – found that temperatures did not indicate whether someone had COVID, he said.
There will be no half days of school this year. The district and the teachers’ union agreed that students will work from home one day each semester instead of coming to school for half a day.
The school is providing a full remote learning option for parents who want to keep their kids at home. West Branch Local Schools will provide that remote learning service, using the Edunuity Inc. curriculum. Remote students will be monitored by Brookfield school personnel.
The school will hold an open house from 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 19. Brookfield United Methodist Church will give away school supplies at the open house. The district’s new board office and administration building, which is across Bedford Road from the school building, also will be open for tours.
The last school year wasn’t even over and Brookfield Local School District had 72 kids enrolled in
kindergarten for the 2021-22 school year.
“That is way higher than normal,” elementary Principal Stacey Filicky told the school board at the time. “That is enough to almost make my heart palpitate a little bit.”
Filicky later predicted the class would have 80 to 90 students, and enrollment had reached the low 80s as of July 29, with more enrollments expected, said Supt. Toby Gibson.
The school ended the last school year with 77 kindergarten students, and graduated 73 seniors.
The number of enrollees is inflated by children who were held out of school by their parents because of
the COVID-19 pandemic, Filicky said.
“A lot of them are parents, I think, that just decided to not enroll their kids last year,” she said. “The
pandemic hit, they felt, ‘Well, we’ll just wait another year.’”
The district is ready to handle the extra kids, Filicky said. “We’ll take all we can get.”
Brookfield Board of Education and its non-teaching union have agreed to a two-year contract extension.
The 36 members of the Brookfield Association of School Employees will receive 1.5-percent pay hikes
this year, and 2-percent raises in 2022-23, said district Treasurer Julie Sloan. All union members will get
a one-time payment of $400.
There were adjustments to the pay bus drivers receive for field and extracurricular trips and how cook
helpers are classified, Sloan said. A $2,500 retirement incentive has been set for employees who retire
during those two years, and newly hired employees will get credit for up to 5 years of service with other Ohio public school districts, she said.
Union members include transportation, cafeteria, custodial and secretarial personnel, monitors and
educational assistants. They ratified the contract unanimously in May, said union President Dawn Burns.
The board approved the contract July 21.
“An extension of our contract was in the best interest of all parties in light of the extenuating circumstances (COVID),” Burns said. “Brookfield Association of School Employees are glad to be able to work cohesively with the Brookfield Board of Education for the betterment of all involved. It is important that all sides work together for the prosperity of our community and school district.”
Brookfield Board of Education has awarded three-year contracts to Supt. Toby Gibson and Treasurer
Julie Sloan to keep them around, but also to show the board’s appreciation for the work they have done in
their short tenures.
“It represents the job that you have (done) over the last two years, bringing the district through COVID
and all the other situations that have been taxing and stressing to you both,” said board member Jerry
Necastro. “You’ve done a great job. Keep up the good work.”
Board President Sarah Kurpe said Gibson and Sloan were hired at “low-ball” salaries to see how they
would work out.
Gibson and Sloan have shown “hard work and dedication, coming through with flying colors during this
very, very, very difficult (time),” said board member George Economides. “This is our way of saying
thank you to you both.”
Gibson, a Brookfield High School graduate, was hired June 12, 2019, at a salary of $88,000, and had 20
years in the district as a teacher and principal before being kicked upstairs. Gibson will make $95,000 this year, $99,000 next year, and $104,000 in 2023-24.
His contract also requires the district to pay “for all actual and necessary travel and other expenses
required in the performance of the official duties of superintendent”; 90 percent of his health insurance
and 100 percent of his dental and other insurance benefits; $2,000 a year into a tax-deferred annuity of
Gibson’s choosing; the employee’s share of his pension plan; and the full premium of a $100,000 life insurance policy.
The board is to evaluate Gibson’s performance annually.
Sloan was hired Jan. 13, 2020, at a salary of $67,000. The new contract supersedes the 3.5-year deal she
was given upon her hiring.
She will be paid $70,340 this year, $73,340 next year and $77,340 in 2023-24. Her contract has many of
the same benefits and clauses as Gibson’s, except that the board will pay $5,500 a year into an annuity,
her life insurance policy benefit will be equal to her base salary, and the board will pick up her share of
the Medicare payroll tax.
The board also recently approved contracts for these administrative and office support personnel:
• Jeri Hamilton, special education supervisor, a two-year contract that pays her $74, 843 this year
and $75,088 next year.
• Stacey Filicky, elementary principal, a two-year contract that pays her $80,364 this year and
$81,971 next year.
• Craig Boles, middle school principal, a two-year contract paying him $80,364 this year and
$81,346 next year.
• Darla Davis, superintendent’s and pupil services secretary, a one-year contract that pays her
• Jena Rummel, Education Management Information System and enrollment coordinator, a one-year contract that pays her $15.02 an hour to work 5.92 hours a day.
As of Aug. 3, seven students were enrolled in the new Head Start classroom at Brookfield schools, said Sharanita L. Brogdon, Head Start administrator for Trumbull Community Action Program.
The Head Start classroom is the culmination of Brookfield school Supt. Toby Gibson’s desire to start a preschool program in the school district.
“We have everything set to go,” Brogdon said.
Head Start is a federally-funded preschool program designed to prepare kids for kindergarten. Children
ages 3 to 5 are eligible, with the 5-year-olds being children who are not yet eligible for kindergarten,
There are income guidelines based on the federal poverty guidelines. Contact TCAP at 330-393-2507 or
go to its website at trumbullcap.iescentral.com, to learn more, and to enroll a child.
The Brookfield program can handle up to 36 students spread over two sessions, one in the morning and
one in the afternoon, and students are bused to school, Brogdon said.
The demands on the youngest children for school readiness are much tougher than they were years ago,
Brogdon said. They are expected to know their numbers and letters, be familiar with a computer, and
know how to interact with adults and other students, she said. Head Start deals with all of those issues,
plus many more, gets the kids outside, when appropriate, to play, and feeds them twice a day.
The students will be isolated from other students at Brookfield schools.
Brookfield Board of Education
On June 29:
• Approved one-year contracts with the Educational Service Center of Eastern Ohio, the former
Mahoning County Educational Service Center, to provide school psychology and career
counseling services. The ESC has provided these services to Brookfield for several years.
• Approved a one-year contract with EduTech Group to provide technology services for $80,000. EduTech is a private company split off from Madison School District, which had previously provided technology services to Brookfield. The same personnel who had worked for Madison now work for EduTech.
• Accepted the donations of food pantry items from Brookfield United Methodist Church; and
1937-41 Echo yearbooks from Art Catterson.
• Approved an agreement with the Brookfield Federation of Teachers for an additional parent-teacher conference day in March.
• Approved a three-year contract with Sharon Regional Medical Center to provide athletic training
services for $48,075 a year. Although the price went up $15,000 a year, school officials said there
are few options for athletic training services, and Sharon Regional has scaled back to serve fewer
• Approved a one-year contract with Youth Intensive Services to provide in-school student mental
health services. The agency bills the student’s insurance company. If the student does not have
insurance, the school district uses state Student Wellness and Success funds to pay for the service.
• Hired Turner Dairy Farms to provide dairy products to the cafeteria, and Cocca’s Pizza to provide
• Named Lynn Pegg, who has taught health and physical education, as high school guidance
• Hired Danielle Buie as a nurse assistant to work 5.92 hours a day for $22,364.
• Promoted Jessica Clark from part-time custodian to full-time. She’ll make $32,885.
• Transferred Lee Ann Mosora from cook’s helper/cashier to part-time custodian. She’ll make
• Transferred Tammi Vadala from cook’s helper/cashier to educational assistant. She’ll make
• Hired Bethany Praznik as an educational assistant. She’ll make $13,538.
• Approved maternity leave for Jessica Flanagan.
• Accepted the resignation of Christine Swanson as cook’s helper/cashier.
• Transferred Melissa Dean from cook’s helper to cook’s helper/cashier. She’ll make $14,302.
• Transferred Suzanne Eliser from bus driver to cook’s helper/cashier. She’ll make $14,047.
• Hired Adrienne Garcia as cook’s helper/cashier. She’ll make $13,812.
• Hired as tutors Jessie Dunlap, elementary; Bonnie Centofanti, middle school; and Josilyn Kirila,
high school. They will be paid $24.64 an hour.
• Named Timothy Taylor, athletic director, $11,443; Keith Joseph, assistant athletic director,
$5,558; Jay Bodnar, assistant volleyball coach, $3,923; Andrea Grimm, assistant volleyball coach,
$3,596; Erin Puskas, assistant volleyball coach, $3,269; Shawn Hammond, boys head basketball
coach, $6,212; and Ken Forsythe, girls head basketball coach, $5,885.
On July 21:
• Approved joining the Equalis Group – Master Intergovernmental Cooperative Purchasing
Agreement, and accepting the donation of a Xerox copier for one year from ComDoc.
• Approved the seeking of a waiver from providing career technical education to seventh- and
eighth-grade students. School officials said they now provide 45 hours of career technical
instruction, short of the 90 hours required, and plan to eventually provide the full 90 hours.
• Hired Jennifer Thompson and Deborah White as bus drivers, and approved the resignation of bus
driver Harry Strawn. White will be paid $17.38 an hour. Thompson was hired at that rate, but she
was set at the incorrect step in the contract and an adjustment will be made at the August meeting.
• Approved volunteer assistant volleyball coach Sean Kirkland, and volunteer boys soccer coach
• Hired Adam Hughes as assistant football coach for $3,596.
• Accepted the resignation of educational assistant Jason Caldwell.