New Albany News

Board hires financial employee, awards bonuses


The New Albany-Plain Local school board last week made several administrative changes to start the 2013-14 school year.

Those changes included adding a treasurer's office employee and approving performance bonuses for the superintendent and treasurer.

The school board voted Aug. 26 to hire Monica Gerhart as director of financial services, a new position.

"It relates directly to our goal to increase our financial information (made available to the public) and it will allow us to create even more financial reports," said Superintendent April Domine.

One of the school board's eight goals, reviewed Aug. 26, includes "expanding public access to financial information via the district's website."

Last school year, the district completed its first comprehensive financial annual report, which won an excellence in financial reporting award from the Government Finance Officers Association.

The district will produce that report, along with several other financial reports, this school year, said Treasurer Rebecca Jenkins.

Gerhart will earn $80,000 annually in salary in her two-year contract that spans Oct. 1, 2013, to July 31, 2015. Any additional days she works prior to Oct. 1 must be approved by Jenkins.

Gerhart's total compensation was not available last week because she had not yet completed her benefits information, district officials said.

The school board also is reviewing Domine's contract, which expires July 31, 2014.

Domine was hired in December 2010 and earns $155,000 in salary each year and about $60,600 in benefits. She is eligible to earn up to 15 percent of her salary in an annual performance-based bonus.

The board on Aug. 26 approved 14 percent of the 15 percent performance bonus permitted for Domine's work in the 2012-13 school year.

The performance bonus of $21,700 will be paid by Sept. 30, according to the board.

The board also approved a 5 percent performance bonus for Jenkins for her 2012-13 work.

Jenkins earns a salary of $132,000 and about $52,600 in benefits. Her performance bonus of $6,600 will be paid before the first payroll in October.

School board President Laura Kohler said both "exceeded our very high expectations."

Kohler said she hoped the board could approve a contract for Domine on Aug. 26 but said they were still in negotiations.

Kohler said board members would like to approve a "well-deserved extended" contract for Domine. She called Domine "the right leader for the district."

She said Domine helped improve academic achievement and built a healthy relationship with staff members. She said Domine also is working to implement the Common Core State Standards and a new teacher-evaluation system.

The board on Aug. 26 also approved changes for administration at the high school and middle school, where the district is lacking several key personnel.

Interim high school Principal Mark White will work with Assistant Principal Adonis Bolden, who was the high school's dean of students.

Bolden, who was earning $65,735 in salary, will earn $78,000 in salary and about $27,200 in benefits as assistant principal through July 31, 2014.

High school science teacher Robert Messenheimer will be the assistant middle school principal, working with interim Principal Kip Greenhill.

Messenheimer, who was earning $66,870 in salary, will earn $74,982 in salary and about $21,500 in benefits through July 31, 2014.

The district will search this year for new principals for both buildings, Domine said.