Pickerington Times-Sun

Board OKs Walker's retire-rehire request

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

The Pickerington Local School District Board of Education last week approved Superintendent Rob Walker's request to retire from the district for one day and then be rehired.

The board June 10 unanimously approved a retire-rehire request for Walker, who was hired as the Pickerington Local School District's superintendent March 28, 2012.

The action came at Walker's request and ahead of changes in the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio's pension plan policy, which would have reduced the amount of money the superintendent would have been eligible to collect from his pension had he not retired before June 30.

"I was very pleased and happy about that," Walker said.

"This was something I made (the board) aware of about 18 months ago.

"They were basically in a position where the contract, everything would've been over because I would've retired and walked away," Walker said.

"My intent now is to keep on working."

Upon coming to Pickerington, Walker was given a three-year contact which extended from the 2012-13 school year through 2014-15.

Under the terms of the retire-rehire plan approved by the board, Walker, 58, has been granted a one-month "bridge" contract through July, and a new one-year contract, which will cover his employment through the 2013-14 school year.

Terms of the new contract hadn't been finalized as of last week, but Board President Cathy Olshefski said they could be as soon as this week when the district's attorney returns from vacation.

"We're replacing the existing contract," Olshefski said.

"At the end of the day, some of the terms of his original contract will change.

"(Walker's) done a fantastic job in his first year," Olshefski said.

"He has jumped in and learned as much as he can, and I feel like he has gotten to know the district very quickly.

"He has put his handprint on this district and is guiding it in the right direction."

Walker has worked in education for 35 years.

Immediately prior to becoming PLSD superintendent, he spent three years as superintendent of Lancaster schools.

When Walker's plans for seeking retire-rehire became public last March, he said his new contract would be "$15,000 to $20,000 less than what they were paying" former superintendent Karen Mantia, who also was a retire-rehire employee.

Prior to her resignation, Mantia was paid a $144,000 annual salary and received $63,492 in employee benefits, bringing her total compensation to $207,492.

According to the district treasurer's office, Walker currently receives a $135,000 annual salary and benefits package which includes health insurance and vehicle and telephone allowances.

His total compensation from the district, including benefits, is $210,498.

Last week, Walker declined to discuss the proposed terms of his impending contract, but said he'll receive less money from the district.

"My (impending) contract is less than what I was making this year," he said.

"I'm looking forward to continuing the work we begin this year ... and continuing the excellence and tradition here at Pickerington Schools."

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