After discussion, Springfield Board of Education votes to bring back retired secretary
SPRINGFIELD TWP. During the June 16 Springfield Local Schools Board of Education meeting, the board reconsidered a vote for Secretary Paulette Ryan to continue her employment.
The original resolution was to employ Ryan as secretary to the superintendent at step 0 of the exempted employees’ contract, effective Aug. 1.
Board Member Neal Hess, however, said he could not vote to approve any administrative support staff when 16 teachers were laid off and programs were cut for students. Hess added that Ryan is a fantastic employee and public servant to the school district.
“We are asking our kids to do more with less and we have to ask the administrative department to do the same,” said Hess.
Ryan’s husband said that this was all discussed back in January that she would retire and then continue to work in her position saving the district $10,000 a year. He said to the board that it has an employee with 32 years of service to Springfield who is coming back at step zero.
“This was discussed in January and everybody was OK with it, that is why she went ahead with her retirement,” he said. “She would not have retired and just continued to work. She likes working here.”
Ryan had brought up that she could retire to save the district money as she was heartbroken about teachers being laid off.
Hess said it was his belief that there were other secretaries to fill the job.
Superintendent Chuck Sincere said that was not true.
Board Member Mary Lou Dodson said she couldn’t believe this was happening and thought the retire-rehire was a go.
Ryan said if she had known this, she would have found another job before she retired. She does work for administrative staff members and is an exempted employee.
Hess said he did not realize that there was only one other exempted employee and that he had learned more at the meeting than he knew previously.
“I’m able to admit when I am wrong, and I am willing to make a motion to reconsider this motion,” he said.
Board Member Chad Lance said that was the most the board had learned and he said the Board needs to ask some more from the administration as far as giving back on the budget cuts.
The board reconsidered the employment with an outcome of Ryan’s job intact. Lance cast the lone no vote.
In other business, the board:
• Recognized retirees Darlene Conner, Bud Grimsley, Don Hill, Tracy Hill, Dave Johnson, Patricia Loggins, John Luse, Gloria Suzuki and Rebecca Wilde. Superintendent Chuck Sincere said the nine retirees totaled 264 years of experience in the district. Retirees were invited to the meeting and received a bell.
• Heard from Curriculum Director Mary Meadows who said plans are in the works for next school year, including hybrid plans, in person plans and completely online plans. Gov. Mike DeWine will release plans giving guidance on reopening schools at some point.
“That guidance will help us lead the conversations,” said Meadows.
• Brad Beun, director of special services, spoke to the board thanking the parents and teachers for their work over the last several months.
“Everyone made sacrifices, everyone found new ways to do things,” he said. “It was challenging for special education students. Without the understanding of the parents we wouldn’t be able to do it. Everyone rolled up their sleeves and made it work.”
• Approved a memorandum of understanding with the Springfield Local Association of Classroom Teachers (SLACT) in regard to payment of supplement and extracurricular salaries for sports and student-related activities during the 2020-21 school year. Pay is divided into payments depending on if the sport or activity takes place.
• Approved two resolutions declaring it necessary to submit the question of the two renewal tax levies that will be on the November ballot. Along with the two renewals, a resolution declaring it necessary to submit the question of an additional tax was approved. Treasurer Chris Adams explained that this is for November’s election if the levy does not pass in August.
• Approved an agreement with Kent State University to provide student athletic trainer field experience at Springfield Local Schools in partnership with Summa Athletic Training Services.
• Approved a purchase agreement with Great Lakes Petroleum for fuel purchase and tank agreement. Business Manager Dustin Boswell said the cost of fuel has been running anywhere from 25 to 50 cents cheaper purchasing it through Great Lakes, plus the time savings of drivers not going to the gas stations. They will be able to open the fueling options to other community entities through the new transportation facility.
The board went into executive session to discuss preparing for, conducting, or reviewing negotiations or bargaining sessions with employees.
The next regular board meeting will be held at 6 p.m., July 21 at the high school.