Rumors swirl of alleged buyout of school official

NORTHERN CAMBRIA – Some school board members addressed rumors – but wouldn’t confirm plans – to buy out the final year of Superintendent John Jubas’ contract.

The question regarding Jubas’ contract, which expires next summer, came toward the end of a two-hour 2014-15 budget workshop Tuesday.

Finance Director Sam Kirk Jr. said he hadn’t set aside funds to buy out the contract in the $16.4 million general fund budget, and board member Brian Bougher said even if there was money for a buyout, the board should spend it elsewhere for students’ benefit.

Board President Ronald Dolansky, as well as board members Delvin Lockard and Kevin Krug, said they were aware of the rumors.

Four other board members said nothing. Board member Frank Frontino was absent.

“The board has not officially sat with me and asked if I would be interested in a buyout,” Jubas said after the meeting.

Next school year will mark his 37th in public education, he said, after which he plans to retire.

Several residents also expressed displeasure at a planned personnel switch being considered for next year: to transfer Jason Hicks, a full-time shop teacher, into what would be a newly created position of Director of Pupil Services.

The administrator chosen for that job would handle test coordination, scheduling and data collection.

Hicks currently is performing some of those duties, officials said, while the rest is spread out among secretaries, guidance counselors and teachers.

One resident, and several board members, said they didn’t want to add an administrator at the expense of a full-time teacher.

“Pretty soon, we’re going to have more administrators than we do teachers,” Lockard said, later adding that he would not vote for the budget unless there were some administrative cuts.

Both district principals said the move would be a way to save money by not having to hire additional personnel and having other teachers cover Hicks’ classes.

Dolansky reminded residents that the budget presented Tuesday hadn’t been voted on, and there is time to make changes.

“It’s not cast in concrete tonight,” he said.

Mirror Staff Writer Kelly Cernetich is at 946-7520.