‘We Convinced Him to Stay’

Just before the start of school, the Springs School Board met briefly last week to finalize the district’s hiring plans for the coming year.

In the spring, partly because of the district’s increasing enrollment, the board decided to hire a full-time superintendent. For the past few years, the position has been part time.

Elizabeth Mendelman, the board president, said that John Finello, who has served as superintendent over the past year, would assume full-time duties starting in January. From now until December, he will continue to serve in a part-time capacity, provided he secures a necessary waiver from the state’s commissioner of education since he is technically retired and below the age of 65. Come 2015, when Mr. Finello turns 65, a state waiver will no longer be necessary.

“We fell in love with him and convinced him to stay,” said Ms. Mendelman, adding that the board had opened up the search for about a month, subsequently interviewing a handful of candidates. She described Mr. Finello as “absolutely the most qualified person for the job.”

For the 2014-15 school year, the district budgeted an annual salary of $174,167 and an additional $56,139 in employee benefits. Though the district had previously supplied a monthly housing allowance of $3,600 to help offset the cost of moving, Ms. Mendelman said that as of this month Mr. Finello will pay his housing costs himself. The full-time contract is for three years.

Regarding other appointments, Frank Cole will split his time as a technology and social studies teacher. His full-time annual salary will be $110,994 plus benefits. In addition, Tracy Larkin will work as a part-time family and consumer science teacher at an annual salary of $28,824, and Stephanie Marigliano is now a part-time library media specialist at an annual salary of $28,823. Finally, Diana Russell, Kyle McCann, and Jacklyn Rossi were all appointed teaching assistants at annual salaries of $22,580.

In other news, the Springs PTA will host its annual back-to-school barbecue and family fun night on Sept. 19 starting at 6. The PTA will provide hot dogs and hamburgers, and families have been asked to contribute potluck items, beverages, and desserts. An outdoor movie will be shown.

The board will next meet on Monday at 7 p.m.