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Yellow Springs school community upbraids school board for poor management

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About 30 parents, teachers and community members attended a special meeting of the Yellow Springs school board today to express disappointment in the board’s management of its administrator contracts. Many people spoke in impassioned voices praising the dedicated, caring, hard work of all the district’s administrators, and urging the board to recover its fumble by approving as soon as possible, contract raises for the district’s five administrators, including Mills Lawn Principal Matt Housh, McKinney/Yellow Springs High School Principal Tim Krier, assistant principal Nancy Beers, YSHS athletic director Steve Rossi, and district special education coordinator Barb Greiwe.

After 45 minutes of public comment at the start of the meeting, which began at 2 p.m. at the Mills Lawn Graham Conference Room, the board adjourned to executive session for another 45 minutes, after which they reconvened to approve the administrative salary increases with an unanimous 5–0 vote from board President Benji Maruyama and members Sean Creighton, Angela Wright, Sylvia Ellison and Aida Merhemic. The salary increases for the two full-time principals and the other part-time positions includes a 3.5 percent salary increase per year for three years. The package was equivalent to the salary increases the board recently approved for all of the district’s teachers and staff. 

The salary increases do not apply to the district’s two top administrators, Superintendent Mario Basora and Treasurer Dawn Weller, whose compensation packages have been flat since they began their jobs with the district three years ago. And during the meeting, several people complained that the current board had been both undermining the district’s leadership and micromanaging well outside the bounds of their charge as a board. Several people also said they hoped Yellow Springs didn’t lose its current administrators to other districts as a result of the mismanagement.

After the meeting, Basora confirmed that he had recently applied for the job of assistant superintendent of the Wyoming City School District, in Cincinnati, where he served as a principal for two years before coming to Yellow Springs. Weller also said she had recently applied for a job as treasurer for Xenia City Schools. Weller gave as her reason for applying that Xenia is a much bigger district and a good career move for her. Basora said only that he and his family have enjoyed the Yellow Springs community.

“I love Yellow Springs, my family loves Yellow Springs, we’ve enjoyed living in Yellow Springs, and we’ve had a great experience with the teachers, students, the community and the parents here,” he said, adding, “I’ve worked with Wyoming before, and it’s a great place to work.”

More details on this story will appear in next week’s Yellow Springs News.

A video from the meeting will also appear at this week. 


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