COLUMBIANA - Two resignations were approved by the Columbiana school board last week, including one for South Side Middle School Principal David Buzzard.
Buzzard is wrapping up his three-year contract with the district. He submitted his resignation letter on Feb. 27. He will begin retirement July 1.
"I thank all of you for the support which you have given me over the past three years. It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve the community of Columbiana and work with the outstanding students at South Side," he said in the letter.
He also said he will continue to support and assist the school district.
Prior to being hired at South Side Buzzard was principal at Daw Middle School in Wellsville. He has 30 years of education experience.
Board President Dr. Jay Hertel congratulated Buzzard on his retirement and said he will be missed.
Superintendent Don Mook, Treasurer Lori Posey, other board members and staff at the meeting also wished Buzzard well.
The board also said a fond farewell to Jim Marino, director of building, grounds and maintenance.
Marino is closing out his five-year classified employee contract and will retire June 1.
In other personnel matters, Mook will be staying on another five years. The board unanimously approved a five-year contract, effective Aug. 1 through July 31, 2017.
Mook will receive a 3.5 percent salary increase the first year, with possible increases the remaining years to be determined later.
Posey said his current salary is $90,480. After the first year increase he will make $93,650 annually. He was brought on as superintendent in 2009.
Mook has made it a priority to visit each of the schools to see first-hand how teachers and students are performing in the classroom.
He only recently completed visits to Joshua Dixon Elementary and was very impressed.
"It's a well-oiled machine. In 15 minutes you can get a real sound look at the different modules and pods of education happening. Our staff is stacking up against anybody," he said.
He plans to visit the middle and high schools over the next month.
"I want to get in and see some classroom instruction. How are we preparing our kids to get into college?" he said.
School Principal Kim Sharshan said her staff is working on adjusting to state education changes - including changes to the rating system - and that more emphasis is being placed on teacher and student evaluations.
Buzzard said his staff is working on adopting new state standards for academics and believes the school will be able to make the transition by the June 2014 deadline.
In other business, the board approved:
- A three-year contract with Marci Vogelberger, coordinator of special education/assistant principal, effective Aug. 1 2012 through July 31, 2015.
- A three-year contract with Jason Martin, coordinator of technology/assistant principal, effective Aug. 1 2012 through July 31, 2015.
- A one-year contract (2012-13) with Kim VanKleeck, transportation coordinator, effective July 1.
- Patti Bettura and Laura Heestand as substitute support staff for the 2011-12 school year.
- Accepting a $250 donation from the Miles family to be used for the Joshua Dixon OLWEUS anti-bullying program in memory of Julieann Miles.