An interim treasurer has been hired to tide the Groveport Madison school district over until a permanent replacement is found.
During an Aug. 22 special meeting, the Groveport Madison Board of Education voted 4-0 to hire Steve Huzicko as the district’s interim treasurer. He will receive $60 an hour plus expenses, and will work no more than 25 hours a week.
Huzicko will fill in until a permanent replacement is found for former treasurer Anne Spano, who resigned from the Groveport Madison district to accept a treasurer’s position in the Chagrin Falls district.
Huziko, who has nearly 30 years experience as a school district treasurer, said this is the first time he has worked as an interim treasurer. He said he was approached by the Groveport Madison district to fill in until a replacement can be found, which is expected to be sometime this fall.
"We decided we are going to do this for a while," he said. "I suspect it might be a minimum of two months, maybe longer, depending on their process."
Huziko retired in 2003 from Elyira City Schools, which is west of Cleveland, after 13 years as the district’s treasurer. Prior to that he served 14 years as Worthington’s treasurer. Since his retirement, the Polaris-area resident spent one year working with the Ohio School Boards Association and one year working with the state of Ohio.
He emphasized he is not interested in filling the position permanently, and his role at Groveport Madison will simply be to help keep the treasurer’s office running smoothly until a permanent replacement can be found.
"I’ve heard they have an excellent staff, which makes a world of difference," he said.
Also during the special meeting, the board voted 4-0 to dispose of nine excess school buses. Board member John Kershner said three will be sold on an online auction; one will be given to the band to replace their existing bus, which was built in 1985; and the remaining buses will be sold at a traditional auction.
High school athletics update
Athletic Director Mike George updated the board on the status of high school athletics for the start of the 2007-08 school year.
"Things have just taken off," he said, noting the football team has more than 100 participants compared to last year’s 39. "Right now we’re far, far above that. We’re looking forward to a great team and getting a lot of people out in the stands."
Several fundraisers have already been conducted, including a spaghetti dinner, sports team camps and the sale of stadium banners. George estimates since he has taken the helm of the department approximately $20,000 has been raised.
He said Cruiser Stadium has been spruced up, and he hopes parents and district residents take notice.
"It’s a beautiful complex," he said. "If you haven’t seen what we’ve been doing, please come over."
In addition, George wants them to take note of the relationships the coaches have developed with the students.
"Our coaches care about our kids," he said. "Everything we do is based on what is right for our kids."
Marti Prince, treasurer of the Athletic Boosters, told the board, "The relationship between the boosters and the athletic department has changed tremendously…Mike has been a breath of fresh air. Everyone is working together."
Prince said at the last meeting of the Athletic Boosters there were about 20 people there, when at the same time last year there were only two or three.
"The buzz is going around the community that we need your help," she said, noting they are already coming up with ideas for new and different fundraisers.
As far as bringing back Bingo games goes, Prince said, "We’re working on that. We need to take baby steps first."
George noted he has not given up on his idea for a "pay to participate" policy that would allow parents and family members to work off a student’s participation fees by volunteering.
"I have rewritten the policy and I can give it to you," he said. "This is not a fundraising issue. This is to get the support of the parents."
Board member compensation
During the Aug. 8 regular meeting of the board, the board touched on the issue of board member compensation. Under state law, the board cannot change the pay scale for current board members. Any changes regarding compensation take effect upon election of new board members. Currently, the Groveport Madison Board of Education members make $80 a meeting, with a maximum of 18 meetings a year.
"Any changes we would make to compensation have no effect up here," Kershner reminded the board. "It would affect the people coming in – not for ourselves…At some point I would like to consider we change to, as many districts do, the maximum allowed by law. I just think it’s fair for anybody who comes after us."
Superintendent Scott McKenzie said the board has added several subcommittees in the last year, for which board members are not receiving any compensation for attending the meetings.
"I do think that’s a good idea," he said. "The board gets paid very, very little for all the work they do."
Board member Teresa Burch said she would hesitate to make the subcommittee meetings count as paid board meetings.
"I know we’re doing a lot of volunteer work," she said. "I guess it just rubs me wrong. We volunteered to do that."
The board agreed to revisit the issue at a later date.