GIRARD Teacher is let go, but he didn't know
Don Rex says he had to go find out if he had a job next year.
By TIM YOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
GIRARD -- A veteran Girard teacher is miffed at the school board because of the way he was let go.
"I had to push the issue. I had to go and find out," says Don Rex, whose contract as part-time director of special pupil and student assessment wasn't renewed during a board meeting last week.
Before being hired for the job in late 2001, he served 31 years as a Girard teacher and administrator.
Board member Jane Harris said that though she has a lot of respect for Rex, the district has to watch its spending.
"We're trying to do a lot of stuff with no money," Harris said.
She explained that some programs former Superintendent Joseph Shoaf wanted to institute in Rex's area of responsibility weren't done, but she doesn't know whose fault it was.
She couldn't be specific about which programs fell by the wayside.
Rex said he completed every assignment given him.
Marty Santillo is serving as interim superintendent since Shoaf resigned.
Rex said that because nobody was telling him if he would have a job next year, he asked Santillo about it.
Rex said Santillo told him he wasn't sure the position would be available, prompting Rex to write letters to Santillo and school board members.
In response, Rex said, he received a form letter that said the position would be eliminated next year.
The job elimination is part of a proposed change in administrative positions.
Harris said the position may be reinstated after a permanent superintendent is hired. The elimination of the job "had nothing to do with Don Rex," she said.
Included in the proposal by the administration, Rex said, is a plan to hire Brian O'Hara, a math supervisor for the Trumbull County board of education and former Liberty High School basketball coach, as Girard basketball coach and dean of students, a new position.
High school principal Joseph Jeswald would be promoted to a new position of assistant superintendent, and assistant high school principal Ronald Ragozine would fill the principal's vacancy.
The plan has hit a snag because O'Hara decided not to take the job as dean of students, according to Rex.
When Rex accepted the part-time assessment job last year, he withdrew his candidacy for the school board.
Rex said at the time that he realized questions would be raised about his withdrawing as a candidate then taking the newly created $33,000 position.
He doesn't think he was given the job to force his withdrawal from the race.
"I certainly hope not. I took them [the school board] at their word." he added.