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Mehno’s vacation day carry-over divides board

LEETONIA

The Leetonia school board Tuesday night approved the carryover of vacation days for select personnel, including the superintendent, but not without some dissent.

The school board approved the carryover of five vacations days to be used during the 2019-2020 school year for school Superintendent Rob Mehno. The board also approved a memorandum of understanding for affected custodians to carry over five vacation days to be used before the start of the school year.

Although the board unanimously approved the custodians to carry over the vacation days, board member Larry Duko voted against letting Mehno carry over his days, saying he prefers not to alter Mehno’s contract. Mehno’s contract allows for 25 vacation days and Duko said if Mehno was not able to used that many days this past year, he will likely be unable to use 30 days next year.

“I prefer to stick to the contract without pay or carry over (for unused vacation days),” Duko said. Duko also noted he has concerns that vacation carry overs will turn into cash reimbursements in settlements when a superintendent leaves the district.

“If we’re renegotiating his contract, we should just drop down to 20 vacation days moving forward,” Duko said.

Board President Michael Henderson responded to Duko’s concerns by explaining Mehno was unable to use his vacation days because he was busy with school work. Board member Dan Votaw also responded that a school superintendent has a hard time fitting in vacation days due to the nature of the job. They both said as long as the carry over is just on an as needed basis, it should be okay.

Mehno said he did not care whether the board awarded the carry over or if he had to lose the days. “The most important thing (to me) is the district,” he said. “I will work and lose vacation days if that’s what’s needed.”

The school year ends at the end of July and all vacation must be used by then unless otherwise approved.

In other business, the board approved a one-year limited contract to Anna Huston as Spanish teacher and a two-year limited contract to Tim Smith as a custodian. The board also approved Brandon Frenger, Lorie Bush and Catherine McCoy as Title tutors; and Gail Zoppelt, Rick Davis, Lori Yuhaniak and Jenna Pontius as Title aides.

Additionally the board granted supplemental contracts for the 2019-2020 school year to Marsha Coffee for high school student council advisor, Nick Hulea for varsity football coach, Paul Gray for head boys and girls golf coach, Paul Gray for varsity football coach volunteer, Bill Knight for junior high football coach, Anthony Fuller for varsity assistant football coach and Nathaniel Bodnar for varsity assistant football coach; and approved Courtney Sommers and Emily Shar as band staff volunteers.

Regarding the supplemental coaching contracts, Duko shared concerns about having one person coaching multiple sports. He said it raises the issue of having a parent complain about their child in a conflict with the person, who is coaching them in multiple sports. However, he did approve the list presented which included an individual for two separate sports.

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