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Chesapeake schools superintendent resigns

Jul. 04, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

CHESAPEAKE, Ohio -- After losing the support of Chesapeake Board of Education members, Superintendent Scott Howard has resigned from his post.

The board voted 5-0 Monday night to accept the resignation and also voted not to offer Howard, a former Ironton superintendent, a buyout on the several years remaining on his contract.

The board also named former board member Art Suiter to replace Dr. Kim Oxley who resigned earlier this year. Suiter was sworn in Monday, said Board President Carl Lilly.

Howard's resignation is effective at the end of the month. He couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday.

"We feel that the $3 million project to add the turf field and the new track should have been put before the voters," Lilly said. "It wasn't. So we'll have to deal with that. We are seeking a $3 million loan from PNC Bank for the project."

The district has had several recent cost increases on the project after the turf field came in $175,000 over estimate and unstable soil near Ohio 7 led to an unstable area requiring more fill.

The project won't be done this football season, Lilly said. The project may not be finished until early next year requiring the Chesapeake Panthers to have no home football games this season. The project hopefully will be done to allow the track to be used next spring, he said.

Board members met with Lawrence County Auditor Jason Stephens who projected there were sufficient funds to finish the work. The district may have to extend an existing levy to cover the project, Lilly said.

"Art Suiter is a great addition to the board," Lilly said. "I served with him before."

Lilly has only been on the board for about a month.

"I think things are settling down," Lilly said. "We feel we're on solid ground financially."

The board will ask Dr. James Payne, superintendent of the Lawrence County Education Service Center, to serve as interim superintendent until a replacement is hired.

The board will pay Howard about $50,000 in accrued sick leave and vacation time, Lilly said.