Superintendent awarded new three-year contract

LISBON – Following a brief executive session, the Beaver Local Board of Education voted on a pair of personnel matters that included Superintendent Kent Polen and a district bus driver, respectively.

A new three-year contract for Polen, which had been tabled at a previous meeting, was approved by a 3-2 vote during the special meeting Wednesday evening at Beaver Local High School, but not before some pointed questions about the nature of the contract.

After returning from executive session, the contract vote was rushed forward by board President Greg Eisenhart following the motion from John Campbell and second by Jerry Barnett, skipping over the customary discussion period.

Treasurer Robert Barrett was already into the roll-call tally when Lance Shultz requested a discussion. Shultz asked if the pick-up provision of the new contract under the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio (STRS) was active on Polen’s present contract. District Treasurer Robert Barrett stated that it was not.

Under the STRS pick-up, the district will cover the costs of what Polen would normally contribute to his retirement fund. Barrett confirmed that BL will pay half of Polen’s contribution the first year, and the full amount for the second and third years.

Shultz then asked for the total compensation increase Polen will receive under the new contract, including a pickup of the Medicare contribution, which is presently 1.5 percent of salary. Barrett estimated the figure at $9,200.

“And that increases every year as the salary increases, correct?” Shultz asked.

“Yes,” Barrett replied.

In the end, Eisenhart, Jerry Barnett and John Campbell voted for the new contract, with Shultz and Bill Croxall voting against.

Polen’s present contract remains in effect through July 31, with an automatic one-year renewal, whose terms will be superseded by passage of the new contract.

Board members also decided the fate of district bus driver Karen Sprouse, who was facing an unpaid three-day suspension, for reasons that Barrett declined to discuss afterward, citing confidentiality protections of her contract.

Croxall was the sole dissenting vote against the suspension, which Sprouse will serve today, Friday and next Monday.