The West Geauga Board of Education made several staffing decisions at its regular meeting on May 28, including the approval of administrative contract extensions, hiring of new teachers and one reduction in force for a classified staff position.

The board approved three-year administrative contract extensions from Aug. 1, 2020 through July 31, 2023 for Assistant Superintendent Nancy Benincasa, West Geauga High School Principal Jay Bishop, West G Middle School Assistant Principal Shawn Krippel and school psychologist Ashley Wilcox.

Superintendent Richard Markwardt noted that the contract extensions do not include an increase in compensation. Annual base salaries will continue to be $112,000 for Ms. Benincasa, $102,982 for Mr. Bishop, $81,549 for Mr. Krippel and $63,769 for Ms. Wilcox, according to district records.

Additionally, the board approved three-year supervisor contract extensions from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2023 for Systems Technician Edward Chandler, Transportation Supervisor Cheryl Fowler and Facilities Manager Mark Richardson. Mr. Chandler will continue to receive an annual base salary of $69,468, with Ms. Fowler earning $51,655 and Mr. Richardson earning $60,000.

Ms. Benincasa introduced the board to new Westwood Elementary School teacher Lauren Cantini, Lindsey Elementary School teacher Megan Connor and elementary Title I tutor Katherine Hess who will work at both elementary buildings.

“We had an extensive search process for our elementary teaching positions,” Ms. Benincasa said. “We had over 183 applicants, we spent at least five whole days of work looking at candidates in person and reading through resumes to offer an exemplary slate of candidates to you.”

Ms. Cantini has been working in the district as a long-term substitute this year and previously worked at Euclid City School District and Kirtland Local School District and will earn $51,285 annually. Ms. Connor has worked at Fostoria City Schools and will earn $45,476. Ms. Hess comes to the district from Newbury Local School District and will earn $43,749.

Mr. Bishop introduced new high school math teacher Erin Gray, who recently earned a graduate degree from Ohio State University with a mathematics science degree and taught undergraduate courses in calculus, algebra and math for elementary school teachers. She will earn $44,590 annually.

The board unanimously voted in favor of all four staff hires.

In other business, the board declared a reduction in force for one full-time equivalent classroom aide and approved the non-renewal of athletic director Tim Skoczen’s contract. Dr. Markwardt said the athletic director position is posted and he expects the position to be filled before Mr. Skoczen’s contract expires on July 31.

Tim Tedeschi covers the Solon and West Geauga Board of Education, as well as statewide education issues, sports and features. He is a lifelong diehard Cleveland Indians fan and a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University.

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