Sidney BOE renews special education director’s contract

By Melanie Speicher -

SIDNEY — Members of the Sidney City Schools Board of Education voted against the nonrenewal of a contract recommended by its superintendent during Monday night’s board meeting.

Superintendent John Scheu recommended the nonrenewal of the contract of Tamara Drerup, director of special education. The board, following an executive session to discuss the employment of an employee, voted 5-0 to not accept the recommendation.

Board President Bob Smith then made a motion to renew Drerup’s contract for one year. Board member Chip Hix moved and Mandi Croft seconded the motion. All five board members, which also includes Linda Meininger and Jason Schaffner, voted in favor of approving the one-year contract.

“I believe both the board and Ms. Drerup felt the the one year contract was the best path forward,” Smith said Tuesday.

Drerup had submitted her resignation to the board at its April 25 meeting. Following an executive session, the board declined to make a motion to accept her resignation. Her current contract with the district runs through July 31, 2018.

With the board’s action Monday night, Drerup’s contract with the district is through July 31, 2019.

When asked about Drerup’s status following the meeting, Scheu said his recommendation for nonrenewal was based on several factors.

“My recommendation for nonrenewal was based on my required evaluations of her performance, along with significant input from teachers and administrators who work with her on a daily basis,” said Scheu.

“The board’s legal counsel advised them as to what options they had to consider, according to Ohio Revised Code. One of the options was, if the board voted down my recommendation for nonrenewal, granting Ms. Drerup a one-year contract, which can only be granted one time to an administrator,” said Scheu.

The board also approved the transfer of Doug Zimmer from Sidney High School, where he served as principal, to Sidney Alternative School, where he will be the principal. According to Scheu, Clayton Westerbeck, who is currently SAS principal, will be mentoring Zimmer until the end of the school year.

“The decision to move Mr. Zimmer to the Alternative School at the end of this year was to give him some time to get to know both staff and students as he will be the principal of SAS next year,” said Scheu. “Some issues surfaced at the HS this year that were unresolved, and I decided to reassign Mr. Zimmer to what I believe is a strength of his – working with a smaller number of staff and students. Mr. Zimmer has demonstrated an ability to work with students who are more nontraditional learners, and has a passion for helping kids succeed.”

Brooke Gessler, director of curriculum, has been named interim high school principal until the end of the school year.

Zimmer was transferred to SAS on April 25. The balance of his contract with the district, through July 31, 2020, will be as the SAS principal. His salary as SAS principal for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years will be $95,900.

“At the conclusion of this year,” said Scheu Tuesday morning, “it will be necessary for me to reassign several other administrators to positions in the school district,” he said. “No position is ever permanent, need and strength of administrator dictates placement, along with necessary qualifications.”

The board’s next meeting will be Monday, May 21, at 6 p.m. at the board office.

By Melanie Speicher

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.