Agreement between district, superintendent, includes who can respond to inquiries

Last updated: December 12. 2013 12:03PM - 2730 Views
By William Duffield Staff writer



Dr. Deborah Piotrowski
Dr. Deborah Piotrowski
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XENIA — A separation agreement between the Xenia Board of Education and outgoing superintendent Dr. Deborah Piotrowski includes some features that seem over and above the norm for an employee leaving a school district.


In a copy of the agreement obtained via public record request and forwarded to the Xenia Gazette, the details show the board agreed to items such as moving expenses and limiting who can comment on Piotrowski’s time in the district.


Piotrowski’s departure was announced at Monday’s board of education meeting.


Along with receiving pay during a leave of absence from Jan. 3 through July 31 of 2014, Piotrowski will receive the benefits she received while on “active duty of the board’s service.” This includes health care, sick leave and vacation leave accrual.


The agreement also states that, in the event there is an employment inquiry about Piotrowski from a prospective employer, only certain members of the board shall respond.


“The duty to respond shall be immediately directed to William Spahr, Lee Rose, Barbara Stafford or Steven Alex for response,” the agreement reads. “No other present or future member of the board shall offer his/her opinions, observations or statements about the superintendent. All members of the board and all employees of the Xenia Community City School District, current or future, will not criticize, disparage and/or comment in any negative fashion whatsoever concerning the job performance of the superintendent or concerning any other matters, personal or otherwise, regarding the superintendent.


“A failure on the part of any present or future board member or board employee to adhere to this non-disparagement provision shall serve as the basis for a breach of contract action filed on behalf of the superintendent.”


Three of the four board members listed in the agreement will be gone from the board as of the end of the year, leaving Spahr as the only active board member allowed to respond. The agreement does not list board member Dr. Robert Dillaplain, one of Piotrowski’s most outspoken opponents, and, by wording, excludes incoming board members Arch Grieve and Cheryl Marcus.


The agreement also states that, during the paid leave, Piotrowski will “make herself reasonably available to consult with employees and/or attorneys for the Board and to provide testimony when requested.” The Board will then pay reimbursement for any costs incurred, including any mileage, lodging, meals, telephone/cellular services, and office services.


Salary installments will be paid during the balance of the contract, the agreement continued, even if Piotrowski begins another job “as long as she makes herself reasonably available to provide consultative and/or witness services to the board.”


Piotrowski will also be paid for unused vacation days at the superintendent’s per diem rate. This will be paid in two installments beginning in August 2014 on scheduled payroll dates for the district.


The board shall also pay up to $9,000 of moving or relocation expenses if Piotrowski were to relocate prior to July 31, 2015.


Xenia High School principal Ted Holop will be Acting Superintendent beginning Jan. 4. The board of education has stated it will name an interim superintendent “as soon as (is) practical.”


Contact William Duffield at bduffield@civitasmedia.com or 372-4444 ext. 133.

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