Approving administrative contracts topped discussion at the Newcomerstown Board of Education meeting last Monday evening (March 14).

Contracts for five administrators in the school district, including that of Superintendent Jeff Staggs, were up for approval, according to the board's agenda.

However, board members Tammy Rexroad and Vince Nay wanted to postpone the discussion and/or approval of the contracts until Governor John Kasich's bi-annual budget was released the following day (March 15).

"I didn't think we should extend the contracts until we knew what was going to happen with the state's budget," Nay said after the meeting.

He said he would have rather tabled the five administrative contracts until the school district knew what and if Gov. Kasich would cut to ease the gap of a $8 billion budget shortfall.

In statement later given to The News by Rexroad, she said, "My 'no' vote had nothing to do with the administrations' job performance or any personal reasons. The contracts that were up in July had to be voted on in March with a two-year minimum contract. I wanted to do the contracts for the two years to show tax payers we are doing everything in our power to do what is best for our school district and community as we face uncertainty with new budget cuts. I have always done what I think is best for the children of Newcomerstown."

Nonetheless, five administrative contracts were approved for the following individuals:

* Christie Green, assistant treasurer for three years, effective Aug. 1, 2011, through July 31, 2014. Green's salary is $43,790.

* Jason Peoples, Newcomerstown Middle School principal for three years, effective Aug. 1, 2011, through July 31, 2014. Peoples' salary is $75,265.

* Matthew Ritzert, Newcomerstown High School assistant principal for three years, effective Aug. 1, 2011, through July 31, 2014. Ritzert's salary is $56,212.

* Timothy Sherman, Newcomerstown High School principal for three years, effective Aug. 2, 2011, through July 31, 2014. Sherman's salary is $79,447.

* Jeff Staggs, Newcomerstown superintendent for three years, effective Aug. 1, 2011, through July 31, 2014. Staggs' salary is $97,810.

The school district's budget for 2011-2012, which included the costs of the five administrative contracts, had to be approved by the Newcomerstown Board of Education before March 31.

In other business, the board approved a resolution to enter into a contract with ARP Retail Energy to purchase electric generation for the period not to exceed the December billing cycle of 2013. This agreement allows the district to purchase electric generation at a reduced rate, less than the normal charged rate.

The board also accepted the donation of $210.59 and $321.22 from the Newcomerstown Moose Lodge 1337. The donations will be placed into a special cost center within the General Fund.

The board approved membership into the Newcomerstown Chamber of Commerce at a cost of $50 for calendar year 2011.

Mike Hoskins was approved as the assistant drama coach.

The board will meet again Monday, April 11 at 6 p.m. in the high school.