Westerville News & Public Opinion

Board OKs raises for Kellogg, Griffith

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The Westerville school board approved raises for its two top administrators Monday, Aug. 11.

After resounding job evaluations for both men, the board voted unanimously to approve pay raises for both Superintendent John Kellogg and Treasurer Bart Griffith.

Kellogg was hired in February 2013 to replace former superintendent Dan Good. Kellogg finished his first year as superintendent of Westerville schools in July and the board evaluated his performance.

"The evaluation was resoundingly successful if you were Dr. John Kellogg," board President Nancy Nestor-Baker said.

"The board felt very strongly that Dr. Kellogg is the right fit in the right position at the right time," she added.

Kellogg's new contract is through July 2016. He received a 3 percent pay increase in salary this school year, increasing it from $185,000 a year to $190,550.

He also received a 2 percent one-time lump sum bonus payment of $3,700 and an additional 1 percent of his salary will go toward State Teacher Retirement System.

In addition to his pay raise, the board increased the number of unused vacation and sick days Kellogg can accumulate for pay upon retirement to 50.

Some of the board members originally worried about providing Kellogg's rookie experience as a superintendent -- he was deputy superintendent of South-Western City Schools immediately prior to his hire -- but they were very pleased with his work in his first year.

"I was concerned about a very green superintendent stepping into a district that was in turmoil," Nestor-Baker said. "(He) laid all those concerns to rest. I very much appreciate the relationship (he) developed and continues to develop with the board."

Kellogg thanked the board and attributed the district's success to fellow administrators.

"It takes a lot of people to do the things we do, and I'm thankful for that and for all the leadership from the board all the way through the organization. It has been fabulous," Kellogg said. "The easiest way to describe my goal for next year is, 'No sophomore slump.' "

Kellogg's new salary ranks him No. 7 among Franklin County's 16 public school district superintendents, the district said.

Griffith came to Westerville in 2011 from Hudson City School District in Hudson, Ohio. His original contract was a three-year agreement for $133,000 annually plus benefits.

Similar to other district employees this school year, Griffith was awarded a 3 percent raise, increasing his salary to $161,009 for 2014-2015.

The increase also reflects the elimination of his monthly $100 electronic communication allowance. He also now can accumulate up to 75 days of unused vacation and sick leave upon retirement for pay upon retirement.

Griffith's contract was extended an additional four years, through July 2018.

His new pay ranks him No. 9 among Franklin County's 16 school treasurers, according to the district.

"One of the board members commented that Bart Griffith is a remarkable return on investment," Nestor-Baker said. "When we look at the process, the procedures and the strategic level of thinking that Bart brings to the job, we are an incredibly lucky district."

"It's awesome and it's a good thing. I'm happy," Griffith said.

Board members echoed the sentiment.

"We were so thankful to get Bart," board member Carol French said. "This is a person that does explain everything to us."

"We are sound, stable, and financially secure now," Nestor-Baker said. "We're very lucky to have Mr. Griffith at the helm and we appreciate (him) immensely and look forward to continuing to work with (him)."

This summer, the board approved pay raises for administrators, administrative staff, and three unions representing classified employees. Next up will be negotiations on the next teachers contract with the Westerville Education Association. The WEA's current contract runs through July 2015.

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