SCHOOL DISTRICT Niles board OKs supplementals

The new assistant principal has worked for Niles schools for 35 years.
NILES -- Though the board of education Thursday awarded several supplemental contracts, some board members expressed their displeasure at doing so.
The board awarded 34 one-year contracts by a 4-1 vote for everything from department heads for the English and business departments to coaching contracts for eighth-grade football and boys and girls cross-country.
Member Marlene O. Rhodes cast the sole dissenting vote in each case.
"In keeping with my tradition, I am voting no on the supplemental contracts," she said.
The contracts award extra pay to employees of the district who assume extra duties for advising, coaching or heading various academic departments. Six of the contracts were awarded to people not employed by Niles City Schools, but only after the jobs were posted internally and no qualified candidates applied.
Though he voted in favor of awarding the contracts, member Nick A. Bernard suggested Superintendent Rocco D. Adduci review the contracts before next year to see if any can be eliminated.
Bernard said he didn't think it fair to award contracts for extra activities when the school district is facing budget constraints. Niles schools are in fiscal watch and just months ago avoided being placed in state-imposed fiscal emergency status.
Bernard said he felt the district needed to "tighten our belt more."
Contract bound
Adduci and board President John H. Davis pointed out that the board is obligated by the contract with the Niles Classroom Teachers Association to fill the posts.
"We could be bound by anything, but if we don't have the money, we can't pay for it," Bernard said.
Adduci said the only way the board could not award the contracts -- especially for activities like sporting events and the English festival -- would be if the activities were eliminated altogether.
The board also unanimously voted to hire Anthony J. Augustine as assistant principal at Niles McKinley High School. Augustine is a science and social studies teacher at the high school and has been employed with the district for 35 years.
"Looking at our financial situation, we felt it was best to go with someone from inside the school system rather than outside," Adduci said.
He also noted that Augustine was someone "who has the respect of the students and staff."
Augustine was awarded a two-year contract, retroactive to Sunday. He will be paid $65,025 annually for the job. Also, under the new contract, he will be required to work 260 days of the year, as opposed to 183 days when he was a teacher.
Augustine takes over for Mark Pallante, who assumed the job of principal when Michael A. Lastic retired earlier this year.
To fill the open teacher's position, the board hired Philip Annarella as a science/social studies teacher for one year, also retroactive to Sunday. Annarella, who previously taught at a school in Hermitage, Pa., will be paid $35,778, but his fringe benefits will not take effect until Sept. 1.

Subscribe Today

Sign up for our email newsletter to receive daily news.

Want more? Click here to subscribe to either the Print or Digital Editions.