Several Pickerington schools will have new principals next year – Pickerington North High, Lakeview Junior High, Diley Middle, Fairfield Elementary and Violet Elementary.
With the exception of the principal at Fairfield Elementary, the principals will leave their current schools to fill other positions within the district. The school board will seek candidates to fill the vacancies.
"With staffing plans and recruitment fairs, spring is a busy time for staffing changes," Superintendent Dr. Karen Mantia said. "The pool of qualified candidates is shrinking as the demand for these positions is increasing. I want to reassure the board of education and the community that as a district we are working to provide the best educators and administrators for our students in an efficient and effective manner."
To help with future recruitment needs, the district entered into a program through the University of Dayton to financially assist up to 10 teachers in completing master’s degrees in education.
"This two-year program will begin this summer and professional development block monies received from the state will provide the necessary funds to pay for this program," Mantia said.
The personnel shuffle
•The Fairfield Elementary principal retired last fall and the school board rehired him, but only to complete the year. Effective Aug. 1, Ruth Stickel will enter a two-year contract to replace him at a salary of $82,707.
•Michael Smith will leave North to replace director of student services George Vickroy, who plans to retire. Smith will begin his one-year contract Aug. 1 at his current salary of $110,723.
•Lakeview principal Jim Sotlar will replace assistant superintendent Lew Stemen who is retiring. Sotlar will begin his two-year contract Aug. 1 at a salary of $98,074.
•On Jan. 5, Mark Jones will become principal of the new Toll Gate Middle School. Jones has been principal of Diley since it opened in 2000. His two-year contract is for $92,864 a year.
•On Jan. 5, Kristie Motsch will leave Violet Elementary to become principal of the new Toll Gate Elementary School. Her two-year contract is also for $92,864 a year.
•Heritage Elementary children will lose their dean of students on Jan. 5, as Sharon Caccimelio accepts a two-year, $82,707 contract to become principal of the new Sycamore Creek Elementary School.
•Deborah Sawyer will return to the district after spending a year as an administrator for Hilliard schools. Sawyer will become the assistant director of human resources – formerly referred to as the district recruiter. Her two-year contract will include a salary of $84,421.
•Dr. Larry Mullins will replace Varina McDuffie as director of human resources effective Aug. 1 with a two-year $99,732 contract. McDuffie left the district April 10. To assist the human resources department before Mullins takes office, the board hired Mary Pierce for a contract not to exceed 60 days, at a rate of $400 per day.
•To replace treasurer Vince Utterback, the board approved hiring Daniel Griscom at an annual salary of $102,000.
"I’m darned proud to say you’ll be part of the Mantia management team," Mantia told the administrators attending the board meeting April 14.
Board member Gail Oakes submitted her letter of resignation as a result of her moving from the area.
"I have enjoyed serving the community for 10 plus years," Oakes said. "I have learned a lot and have grown both personally and professionally. I am confident the schools will continue to excel."
Monhollen said the board will continue to accept applications through the district web site until April 25.
"After 10 days, the board will meet and hopefully select a candidate for replacement," Monhollen said.
Other Pickerington school news
•The board approved change orders totaling of $209,068 to further stabilize the soil at the site of the two new Toll Gate schools. An additional change order for $16,273 was approved to move the construction entrance for the site by 450 feet to distance it from a crest on Toll Gate Road as directed by Violet Township
•The board presented an award to Lakeview instructor Dorothy Williams who was recently awarded the national VFW Teacher of the Year title. Williams will retire at the end of the school year.
Williams received the honor after inviting World War II veterans to speak with her eighth grade students.
"My joy was to introduce (the veterans) to the students and what it means to be your brother’s keeper," Williams said. "(The students need to) stop thinking that the government is going to do everything for them."
Board vice president Lori Sanders read from a commendation stating that the board salutes Williams and offers her "our sincere appreciation for a job well done."