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GIRARD Board chooses schools chief in 2-year pact



Published: Tue, July 16, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The new superintendent's contract contains no drug-testing clause.

By TIM YOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

GIRARD -- Marty D. Santillo, former assistant principal of Girard High School, is returning to the district as superintendent.

As expected, Santillo was selected unanimously by the board of education during a special Monday night board meeting.

Santillo, 58, was given a two-year contract that pays $75,000 annually.

Santillo retired in May as superintendent of the Richmond Heights schools near Cleveland, where he was paid $88,000. He is collecting his retirement from there.

Priorities

The first two priorities are to open the intermediate school to regular classes in the fall and "bring the community back together," he said.

Santillo has sold his house in Macedonia and is planning to move back to the area.

Santillo has been interim superintendent since May 16 when he was hired to replace Joseph Shoaf, 36, who resigned May 10 and was subsequently charged with using cocaine in his office with a female student.

Santillo said he doesn't have a random drug-testing clause in his new contract but is willing to be tested.

Jamie DeVore, school board president, said such a clause "was never really considered. It never came up."

The school district has been divided since the intermediate school was closed May 1, 2001, because of health issues.

Reopening building

Although summer classes are being held at the building, Santillo said he wants to make sure it reopens in the fall.

"Everybody's trying to do the best for the kids," Santillo said, adding that there are different opinions on how to do it.

Concerning employee drug testing, board member Mark Zuppo said members of the board's safety committee have been discussing it.

Bus drivers are the only union employees who are now tested. They are members of the Ohio Association of Public School Employees/American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 425, which represents the nonteaching staff.

Santillo said the school administration is about to approve a new contract with Local 425. Since the subject of drug testing for nonteachers wasn't an initial district proposal, it can't be placed on the bargaining table.

Guidance for union

Julie Medicus, president of the Girard Education Association, said she has asked the parent Ohio Education Association for guidance on testing but hasn't received it.

"It's a difficult issue," Medicus said, noting she knows of no other teachers union that has drug testing in a contract.

Zuppo noted the district has no intention of breaking any union contract.




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