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Thursday, August 11th, 2011

St. Marys district hires interim superintendent

By Amy Kronenberger
ST. MARYS - Gerry Skiver of Portsmouth is the interim superintendent for the upcoming school year.
School board members unanimously approved hiring Skiver at Wednesday's regular school board meeting. He starts Monday.
"In my whole career, I don't feel like I've worked a day," Skiver said about coming out of retirement. "I love my job."
Skiver worked as superintendent at New Boston Local Schools in Scioto County from 2003 to 2007. Previously, he had worked in the administrative offices at Kenton City schools and Portsmouth City Schools.
"I always wanted to make a difference," he said. "My whole life I've marched to the beat of a different drummer. I have a different way of doing things, and I liked St. Marys because it has a history of success and a great tradition."
Skiver will be paid $400 per each day worked during his one-year position.
The board intends to post the job for superintendent in January. Those interviews are planned to take place next spring.
Also at Wednesday's meeting, the board narrowly approved accepting the low bid for synthetic turf at the new athletic complex. ProGrass LLC of Pittsburgh, Pa., submitted the lowest bid of $486,070, plus $8,462 for soccer field markings and $2,400 for St. Marys district logos.
The measure passed 3-2 with Craig Gottschalk and Aaron Braun voting against the measure.
Gottschalk and Braun argued the board should not be approving projects before the money is raised. The $4.5 million athletic complex, to be paid through fundraisers, will include a football stadium, restrooms, locker rooms, a soccer field and practice fields.
Additionally, Gottschalk said the bid approval could wait until later in the school year or next summer.
"We're committing to a $4.5 million project, and I don't know what the phases are and what the timeline is," he said. "I think this is a bad time, and we should wait until next year."
Board member Rees McKee said about $1,000 has been collected for the project.
Board member Ralph Wiley argued that if they didn't pass the measure, they would lose the low bids and end up paying higher prices next year.
The next lowest bid was $494,200 from LeVans Excavating, West Liberty. The highest bid was $515,811, also from LeVans. The district estimated a cost of $545,000.
In other action, the board:
• Approved a Bring Your Own Technology policy for the new school year. Students will be allowed to bring smart phones and other portable computer devices for learning purposes in approved classes. Otherwise, cell phones must be turned off and kept in lockers.
• Approved a resolution setting Aug. 29 to receive bids for districtwide mowing and trimming for 2012-13. The bids will not include mowing athletic practice and competition fields because they are regularly watered and need mowed more often.
• Set a personnel committee meeting for 11:30 a.m. Friday. The meeting will be held in executive session to consider the compensation of a public employee or official.
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