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APS board hires interim treasurer

6/26/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Becky Tompkins

The Akron Public Schools (APS) Board of Education hired an interim treasurer at the June 23 meeting to fill in after Jack Pierson retires in July until they find a suitable replacement for the 21-year veteran treasurer.

Clifford Reinhardt was unanimously approved for the position. According to board President Lisa Mansfield, he has 24 years of experience as a school district treasurer in Mogadore, Black River, North Royalton and Willoughby-Eastlake school districts, as well as business financial experience.

Human Resources Director Kathy McVey said Reinhardt’s contract is for up to three days per week, at $400 per day, until the district finds a permanent treasurer.

The board also approved paying The University of Akron (UA) $450,000 for operational expenses for next school year for the district’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) High School housed in the former Central-Hower High School.

The vote was unanimous but not without dissent. Board member Tim Miller, a vocal opponent of the December 2012 deal to “sell” the building to UA in exchange for $13.5 million in UA scholarships for APS students, said, “With all the room we have, we shouldn’t be paying rent for classroom space.”

School board member Patrick Bravo said, “We need to come up with another solution — that’s nearly one-half million dollars a year.”

Board member the Rev. Curtis Walker added, “That’s a lot of money; can we revisit it?”

The 10-year contract with UA has an opt-out clause after several years, said APS Business Affairs Director Debra Foulk.

In case of winter weather that closes schools up to three days longer than the allowed number of calamity days, the board approved a work make-up plan for 2014-15 that includes “blizzard bags” and online lessons to substitute for adding days to the school year.

That is what the district did this year after losing eight instructional days to weather. The plan will be filed with the ODE, according to Superintendent David James’ resolution.

The board certified the June graduation of 1,135 APS seniors, including 113 from Buchtel CLC and 271 from Firestone High School.

The APS board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for July 14 at 5:30 p.m. at the Sylvester Small Administration Building, located at 70 N. Broadway St. in Downtown Akron.

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