As part of its administrative restructuring, the Whitehall City School District has hired a director of communication and marketing.
The position was created in October with the full support of the school board.
It's a first for the district.
Board members met Thursday, Nov. 14, in regular session and unanimously approved Ty Debevoise for the position. He will be in charge of public relations for the entire school district.
According to district treasurer Steve McAfee, Debevoise will be paid an annual salary of $69,320. With retirement and insurance benefits, his total annual compensation is worth $102,535.
Debevoise officially comes on board Dec. 5.
McAfee said the hiring is all part of a restructuring within the administrative staff. Last month, board members approved the retirement of Andy Riggle, the district's former director of administrative services.
Riggle was not replaced.
Instead, McAfee said, Dave Hausmann, the district's former director of facilities and transportation, took on additional responsibilities when he was rehired as the director of operations last month.
"The annual savings achieved from the restructuring was $33,000, while improving services to our schools and community," McAfee said in an email.
Whitehall City Schools Superintendent Brian Hamler, who has taken over all personnel duties in addition to his own responsibilities as the head of the district, also pointed out the cost savings in an interview last month with ThisWeek.
Hamler was not present for last week's regular board meeting as he is recovering from a recent surgery.
Debevoise currently is a Web specialist with Mount Carmel Health System and the former assistant director of marketing for the Columbus Clippers. He has a bachelor's degree in sports management from Flagler College and a master's degree in sports management from Ohio State University.
Hamler indicated when he was hired earlier this year that he would like to improve Internet communications via the district's website and/or social media.
In other news, the school board last week unanimously approved a measure to specify a single manufacturer for integral equipment and materials to be used in the construction of the 12 new classrooms being added at the district's three new elementary schools.
In January, board members and district officials agreed on a plan to help alleviate overcrowding at the elementary level while maintaining enough funding to make renovations to part of the old high school.
Board members agreed with the administration's recommendation to add 12 new classrooms to the elementary schools -- a recommendation also endorsed by the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (formerly the Ohio School Facilities Commission).
In the interest of continuity, the district has made a special request of the OFCC to waive its three-bid requirement for new construction and allow the district to use the same contractor or vendor in certain circumstances during the construction of the 12 new classrooms.
The 12 additional classrooms are expected to cost about $3.2 million total and will be funded via interest earnings from construction dollars combined with a total project cost savings of $6.2 million.