Thursday, August 21, 2014

New Levy, New Elementary Principal at Newbury
July 3, 2014 by Josh Echt | No Comments

Voters in the Newbury Schools district failed to pass another levy during the May 6 primary election a few months ago.But school board members and…

Voters in the Newbury Schools district failed to pass another levy during the May 6 primary election a few months ago.

But school board members and Superintendent Dick Wagner said they are not giving up.

At last Wednesday’s board meeting, the board voted unanimously to place the same issue on the Nov. 4 general election ballot.

In May, voters said no to a five-year, 8-mill additional emergency operating levy by an 871-808 vote, or a roughly 52- to 48-percent margin, according to final unofficial results of the Geauga County Board of Elections.

Had it passed, it would have cost property owners about $280 annually per $100,000 property valuation, according to Treasurer Nancy McPeak.

Passage would have also generated $1.35 million annually, Wagner said earlier this year.

If November’s passage fails, then the school system could be placed on fiscal emergency watch and fall under the control of the Ohio Department of Edu-cation, Wagner said last month.

The district lost $293,262 in its budget since the 2011 cut of tangible personal property taxes. The state’s funding guarantee decreased from $1.05 million in 2008 to about $572,000 in 2014.

School Board President Marty Sanders said the district needed to regroup.

“We’re doing the same thing, but hoping for a better outcome,” he said after the meeting.

He said the loss of state funding is a primary reason for the funding issues in the district.

“The district survived this year, and we have made substantial cuts to make it through next year,” McPeak added.

Board members also welcomed Cynthia Tomassetti, of Painesville Township, as Newbury Elementary’s principal for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.

She will be paid $73,000 per year on a two-year, 215-day limited contract, pending approval of a background check, according to board minutes.

“There were three very good candidates, but none of them had administrative experience,” Wagner said.

Both he and current elementary Principal Craig Caroff, whose term ends July 31, interviewed the first round of candidates.

Board member Susan Arnold, along with elementary teacher Bernadette Stefancin and high school Principal Michelle Mrakovich interviewed the second round of candidates. After the meeting, Mrakovich said she felt Tomassetti understood small schools and how to work under fiscal constraints.

“Cynthia was the candidate they wanted,” Wagner said, adding her experience with the Local Professional Development Committee was a plus.

“Welcome aboard,” he said.

In other news, the board accepted the resignations of intervention specialist Jamie Ciccero, art teacher Caryl Church and secondary science teacher Joseph Intelisano, effective immediately. It also accepted the resignation of Transporta-tion Supervisor Kim Sass.

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