Franklin students praised at board meeting

Substitute superintendent Pat Gavin had a lot of good things to say about Franklin students during Monday’s Franklin School Board meeting.

Gavin began his portion of the meeting by congratulating the boys basketball team for making it to the District 10 Class 3A semifinals for the first time in nine years.

He commended the players and their coaches for the way they have handled the season, but it was their response to what could have been an “ugly” situation that had Gavin beaming with pride.

“It (the game) had the opportunity to turn ugly very fast,” Gavin said of Friday’s 50-48 Knights’ victory over Girard at Oil City High School.

Gavin said Girard’s coach was ejected for his behavior. The Franklin players, coaches and fan section weren’t swayed, however, and remained supportive of their team in positive ways, Gavin said.

“I was pleased with the behavior of students and staff … they kept their cool and they represented Franklin in the best light,” he said.

The Knights will play Sharon tonight at Slippery Rock in the semifinals.

Gavin also highlighted several other student achievements, such as the robotics events held Thursday and Friday at the high school, pennies made by Victory Elementary students in honor of Presidents Day, and a recent program that taught life skills students how to approach service dogs.

“I ask for positive things and I get a lot,” Gavin said while sifting through a ream of notifications sent in by district staff. “This is good.”

In other business Monday, board president Brian Spaid notified board members that the district received a letter signed by four local veterans who took issue with recent malfunctions of the American flag that flies in front of the high school.

Spaid said the flag was flown for a period of time in December upside down, and then, more recently, flew unattached to the bottom grommet.

Gavin said he notified building and grounds director Leon Billingsley who tried to use the district’s bucket truck to fix the problem, but the pole was too high for the truck to reach.

The problem was resolved Monday after the district borrowed another, taller bucket truck.

The board also discussed new football uniforms.

District athletic director Becky Barnes and business manager Jackie Dutchcot told the board the team is due for new uniforms this year in keeping with the district’s four-year rotation.

Dutchcot said that if the district wants an almost $3,000 discount on the team’s jerseys, the district would need to indicate its intent to place an order by today.

The total price of $13,950 doesn’t have to be paid until July 1 when the district’s budget is finalized.

Board members ultimately approved the motion, but board member Erin Leccia voiced dismay that the district’s uniforms are not cohesive in the way Franklin’s name looks across all sports.

“There needs to be a branded way to represent Franklin,” Leccia said, noting that the basketball team’s lettering is in cursive while the football team’s lettering is in block print.

Barnes said the styling of the jerseys is typically left up to the coaching administration of each team, but she said she could look into a more uniformed approached.

Spaid said different uniforms “handle” certain fonts differently, but Leccia said a specific font could be found and utilized across all uniforms.

“The Steelers write their name on millions of different things,” Leccia said.