WEATHERSFIELD Principal moves up into top job
The new superintendent declined a pay raise.
By MARY SMITH
MINERAL RIDGE -- Michael Hanshaw, the Mineral Ridge High School principal, is the Weathersfield school district's new superintendent.
Weathersfield Board of Education named Hanshaw to the district's top administrative post at its Wednesday night meeting.
His contract runs from Aug. 1 through July 31, 2007. He replaces Rocco Adduci, who will leave the district after four years to take over as Niles superintendent.
Hanshaw, who has been high school principal since 1996, will be replaced effective Aug. 1 by Lew Lowery, who has been a science teacher and is the high school's athletic director. Lowery joined the high school staff in 1987. Lowery will make $60,856 a year. His contract as principal is from Aug. 1 of this year to July 31, 2007.
His position as athletic director will be filled by Randy Cameron for the 2004-05 school year at a rate of $4,642.
The board had planned to pay Hanshaw a yearly salary of $73,000. Adduci's salary was $68,000. Hanshaw, however, declined to accept the pay raise and asked to be hired at the same salary as Adduci.
Board president Dr. Douglas Darnall said Hanshaw knew the salary increase could cause concern in the community, especially with a 5.5-mill, five-year emergency levy appearing on the Aug. 3 special election ballot.
The board has promised to restore busing to above state minimum levels if the levy passes, which will make the third time the board has gone to voters seeking extra funds to help operate the system.
The district was placed under a fiscal watch in March 2003.
In a related resolution, the board approved applying for a temporary superintendent's certificate from the Ohio Department of Education.
Hanshaw does not have certification as a superintendent, and although the board can make the same request for a temporary certificate each year, Hanshaw has decided to go back to school to complete the requirements for his certificate, which will take about 18 months, Adduci said.
Treasurer Angela Lewis said the net savings in salary and benefits in hiring Hanshaw as superintendent and Lowery as principal will be $73,246 for the district.
The board also accepted the resignation of Chris Moore, middle school band teacher, and expects another resignation by a teacher next month, for an expected annual savings of $125,000.
The savings are realized by hiring from within and putting lower-paid employees into various positions.
Adduci said that with all of the savings the district has made since October 2003, when it learned its personal tangible property tax income from RMI would be cut, is "well over $1 million."
The superintendent said that since cuts first started, the district has cut 14 teachers by attrition, adding "it does affect the educational process."
The superintendent added that teachers and nonteaching staff have gone without increases for the past two or three years. He said the savings will allow the district to give them small raises as negotiations for both teaching and nonteaching staff are held this summer.