SCHOOLS Board appoints new superintendent

Webb is the first full-timer to contribute a portion of health-insurance premiums.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The board of education officially appointed Assistant Superintendent Wendy Webb as the district's new superintendent, awarding her a salary of $102,000.
The amount represents a $6,000 increase over her current salary and is the same salary paid to outgoing Superintendent Benjamin L. McGee.
"Dr. Webb and the board are very cognizant of the financial situation of the Youngstown city schools and, therefore, came to terms on a salary significantly lower than had been previously discussed with the national consultant from the superintendent search committee," Kathryn Hawks Haney, chairwoman of the board's personnel committee, said Tuesday night.
Haney also said Webb will pay 5 percent of the cost of her health-insurance premiums, making her the first full-time Youngstown city schools employee to contribute to the cost of health care.
The board passed a resolution appointing Webb to the position for a three-year term, beginning Aug. 1, and for an interim period running July 1-31. A system of achievement-based raises have yet to be negotiated.
The board also passed a resolution reappointing Carolyn Funk as treasurer, for a four-year term, retroactive to January. Funk makes a salary of $90,126 a year and will receive five percent raises annually if certain goals are met.
Plans for college high
The board also discussed plans for the opening of a Youngstown Early College High School this fall at Youngstown State University. The partnership between the university and school district would open a high school on campus for at-risk students who would graduate high school with up to 60 college credits.
Questions about the project's finances were raised at a YSU trustees' committee meeting last week, when Trustee Larry D. Esterly said he fears the school district will not live up to its end of a financial bargain because it faces a deficit in fiscal year 2006.
Funk said the district does not face a deficit in 2006 and presented budget numbers showing the district solvent through fiscal year 2007 and facing a deficit in 2008.
Funk said she is certain the district can financially support the four-year program for a first group of 75 students. She said future funding is uncertain, however, and that it is unlikely the district would be able to fund the initiative come 2008.
Tony Atwater, YSU provost and vice president for academic affairs, attended the meeting to voice his support and the support of YSU President David C. Sweet. He said YSU administrators are searching for other ways to keep the Early College High School afloat, such as grants from outside sources.
"We want this thing to work, not just for two years, three years, four years, but in perpetuity," he said.
Also on agenda
In other matters, the board:
UHeard from Curtis J. Moody of the Moody Nolan Inc. Columbus-based architectural firm. The board has awarded the firm architectural contracts for the new Volney Rogers Junior High and Paul C. Bunn Elementary schools. The board has awarded architectural contracts for the new Wilson Middle School and the new North Elementary to Ricciuti Balog & amp; Partners Architects of Youngstown, for the new Rayen Middle School to Hanahan Strollo & amp; Associates Inc. of Youngstown and for the new Mary Haddow Elementary to MS Consultants Inc. of Akron. The projects had been assigned differently before it was determined the schools would be new buildings instead of renovations. Tony Deniro Jr., the district's executive director of school business affairs, said the change to include Moody Nolan helps keep 25 percent of contracts with minority firms.
UApproved an additional cost of about $141,000 to remove unforeseen debris and materials from the East High School construction site; approved the bidding of an early foundation package for the new P. Ross Berry Middle School with an estimated cost of about $739,000; and awarded the contract for demolition of the Williamson Elementary School to Rudzik Excavating Inc. of Struthers for a cost of about $180,000.

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