Licking Heights school board members met Friday morning, May 16, and voted 5-0 to hire Nicholas Roberts as treasurer.

Licking Heights school board members met Friday morning, May 16, and voted 5-0 to hire Nicholas Roberts as treasurer.

Roberts, treasurer of Circleville's Logan Elm school district, will begin his new job June 1.

Board President Brian Bagley said Roberts signed a three-year contract, effective through July 31, 2017.

His annual base salary will be $94,000 and he will receive benefits "in accordance with board policy," Bagley said.

Interim treasurer Peg Betts said the full value of Roberts' benefits package could not be calculated yet because medical-insurance contributions for him weren't yet available. However, his retirement, Medicare and workers' compensation contributions will total $15,510.

Bagley said the board received many applicants for the treasurer position "on the front end," but narrowed the field to four candidates who went through the interview process.

The other candidates were Daria Shams, senior policy analyst for the Ohio Department of Education; Heather Darnold, treasurer for the Knox County Educational Service Center; and Robert Kuehnle, treasurer for the Benjamin Logan school district.

Bagley said Roberts stood out because of his enthusiasm for working with a growing district with a 2.86-mill bond issue on the Aug. 5 ballot and 155 acres of recently purchased land for expansion, potentially including a new high school.

Bagley said all the candidates were asked how they felt about being involved with a district experiencing such growth and change.

"(Roberts) said that stuff is exciting," Bagley said.

"I'm excited, all the things they're doing," Roberts said. "The district is going to continue to grow."

Roberts had another advantage, Bagley said, because he worked as an accountant and auditor for the Ohio Auditor of State from 2008 to 2012.

"We weren't just looking for a treasurer, we were looking for a CFO for the district," Bagley said. "We agreed Nick was the guy."

Roberts said his main goal is to make certain he's a "positive influence" and moves the district in a positive direction.

Roberts said he believes being a former auditor for the state "definitely helped" secure the position.

"I've had experience on both sides of the fence," he said.

Bagley said Roberts will work with Betts to familiarize himself with the district before she steps down.

Betts succeeded former Licking Heights treasurer Jennifer Vanover, who accepted a newly created assistant treasurer position in October.

"With a levy on the horizon and hopefully a new (high school) building, we're excited to find a candidate to lead us into the future," Bagley said.