XENIA — Three years was long enough for Xenia school board members to know they have their guy in Superintendent Dr. Gabe Lofton.
So the board and Lofton agreed to tear up his contact and sign a new one for five years, keeping Lofton in Xenia until at least 2025. The new contract was effective Aug. 1 and will pay Lofton $167,000 annually.
“I was very happy that the board extended my contract,” Lofton said. “I think we’ve done a lot of work in the last three years that has moved this district forward. I really believe we’re doing some good work here.”
Lofton specifically mentioned the rehabilitation of Benner Field House, improvement of other facilities, and academic achievement.
Board President Jennifer Marietta said the way Lofton has handled the COVID-19 pandemic and his everyday leadership in general were big reasons for offering the contract extension.
“Districts throughout Ohio are struggling with this pandemic, amid a myriad of education funding issues,” Marietta said. “The leadership of a knowledgeable and forward thinking superintendent is critical during these times. While many districts may be seeking new leaders, the Xenia Community Schools Board of Education felt it was important to secure our leadership, Dr. Gabe Lofton, for a five-year contract, to ensure the continued success of our district.”
Lofton stressed continuity is good for the students, community, and district.
“I never had any plans on leaving,” he said. “It’s all about continuity and making sure some of the plans that we’re laying down and moving forward with, we can continue to move forward with. I thought when the board approached me … I was happy to accept. Glad to accept. I really believe we’re doing some good work here.”
Lofton also hopes the extension will help in November when voters decide on a property tax levy to build a new middle school.
“I would hope that that would definitely communicate to the voters that we’re not going to have a revolving door as it relates to the superintendent,” he said.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.