The Solon Board of Education moved to keep stability at the top of the district’s administration at its regular meeting Monday, approving contract extensions for Superintendent Joseph Regano and Treasurer Tim Pickana.

“We are thrilled to have Mr. Regano and Mr. Pickana continue at the helm of the Solon Schools into the future,” Board President John Heckman said in a press release. “Their leadership continues to be invaluable to our school district and community.”

The board approved a new three-year contract for Mr. Regano to continue as superintendent through July 31, 2022 at a continued annual salary of $147,086. Mr. Regano has served in the role since 1987 and has taken a pay freeze for nine years, according to Mr. Pickana.

“I haven’t regretted one day being here,” Mr. Regano said in a phone interview Tuesday. “I want to continue to work; I’m just happy they (the board) felt the same way.”

The board approved a five-year contract extension for Mr. Pickana beginning Aug. 1, 2020 when his current contract expires through July 31, 2025. His annual salary will increase from its current $150,264 to $154,772 in 2019-20 and $159,415 in 2020-21. Mr. Pickana has served as Solon’s treasurer since 2009.

“I’m extremely grateful to the board of education for providing me with the opportunity to remain employed with Solon City Schools,” Mr. Pickana said in a phone interview Tuesday. “I have been blessed to be part of such a wonderful team and school district such as Solon City Schools. It is truly an honor to be able to continue to work here for the foreseeable future.”

Mr. Regano said the concurrent contract extensions will give the district a solid foundation moving forward, as it his plan as of now to retire following the end of his new contract.

“It’s stability. Sometime during Mr. Pickana’s tenure I’ll be leaving the school district, that’s pretty obvious I think,” he said. “He remains one of two employees hired by the board of education. Tim is hired by the board and I am, so that leaves one half of that duo in place and lets him be a resource during any recruitment and transition process that happens besides being an excellent treasurer.”

In other business, the board approved the appointment of Solon High School business education teacher and varsity football coach Jim McQuaide to serve as athletic director from June 2019 through June 2021. In addition to his base teaching salary of $105,932 and his supplemental coaching contract of $9,768, Mr. McQuaide will receive up to $17,086 beginning in 2019-20 for 30 extended days as athletic director, with 20 extended days added for the current 2018-19 school year.

Mr. Regano said since current athletic director Mark McGuire’s retirement came to the district late in the school year last month, Mr. McQuaide will fill in the role for the short term period of the next two years. Mr. McGuire will also continue on as an assistant athletic director with matters relating to the football team and other duties as needed, in part to prevent a conflict of interest and serve as an independent contact person for parents.

“Mr. McQuaide is a superior organizer,” Mr. Regano said. “So it’s really a win-win situation I think.”

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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