The Olentangy school board on March 14 voted 4-1 to approve a five-year contract with Superintendent Wade Lucas, who has been with the district since March 2009.

The Olentangy school board on March 14 voted 4-1 to approve a five-year contract with Superintendent Wade Lucas, who has been with the district since March 2009.

The contract will begin Aug. 1, 2013, and end July 31, 2018. His current contract will end July 31, 2013.

Board president Dave King said, "Given that the dynamics at Olentangy are, have been and remain unique, (that) we have achieved academic excellence through unparalleled growth, (that) the impacts that we have on our financial revenue opportunities, Dr. Lucas has excelled in the role of superintendent and has become an integral part of the community.

"Like so many of us, he has found his home here. I have a lot of respect for the fact that one of the main requests that Dr. Lucas made of the board in his contract was that this is where he wants to retire. He is a member of the Olentangy community. I appreciate the commitment that he has made.

"We have excelled at our performance index and other measurables (on the Ohio District Report Card). We continue to have several complex issues, Project 2020 being one of them (deciding how to deal with future overcrowding in the high schools), and to continue to make our progress. I'm appreciative and excited that he will be here to lead that business."

Lucas' base pay of $160,000 has not increased since his original contract and will not increase under the new contract. Some of the supplemental compensations and benefits have increased and others have decreased from the previous contract.

The cost to the district of Lucas' contract for the past year is $248,556. It includes base pay, health care benefits, a performance stipend, life insurance, a board-paid tax-shelter annuity, the state-required board-paid 14 percent of earnings for the State Teachers' Retirement System, Lucas' 10-percent share to the retirement system, and a monthly allowance for using his own cell phone and car.

All district employees pay 20 percent of their health insurance premiums.

The first year of new contract will cost the district $249,796, including the supplemental compensation.

Some specifics of the contract include $950 for the car and cell phone allowance.

The contract was approved by King and other board members Kevin O'Brien, Stacy Dunbar and Julie Wagner Feasel. Member Adam White voted against the contract.

White later said he objected to the cell phone and car allowance, the rollover and payout of sick leave, and the annuity.

The district allows employees to accumulate as many as 300 days of sick leave. White said he wants to see it reduced to 120 days, the minimum required for Ohio public school employees.