By Sue Kiesewetter
ROSS TWP. - Superintendent David McWilliams will lead the Ross Schools at least one more year after his May 31 retirement.
The Ross Board of Education recently agreed to accept McWilliams' resignation, and then gave him a one-year contract that runs from Aug. 1 through July 31, 2004. He will earn $71,958, a reduction of $16,542 from his current salary, and he will collect retirement pay from the state system.
McWilliams' contract can be extended one year if both parties agree.
"I'm just very pleased to be able to retain the services of Dave McWilliams for one more year," said board member Edward Bosse. "You want to make sure you have a good rudder - stability for the schools - on the ship. Mac can provide stability, he can coach and counsel with our new administrators."
McWilliams is needed for at least another year to give the district direction as the new administrative team gels and the design for the new high school and additions to Elda Elementary are completed, Bosse said Wednesday.
In November Ross voters approved a 6.25-mill bond issue that would provide $24.9 million toward the district's share of a $50 million facility plan to be built over several years.
Under Ohio law, once a person retires from public education, he must wait 60 days before beginning a new job in another Ohio school district, or forfeit his retirement pay.
McWilliams said he would use the time to travel and visit with his grown children who live in Colorado.
"I've never taken off more than a week the whole time I've been here," said McWilliams, 56, who has been superintendent at Ross the past nine years.
"Two months off will recharge him. I think he'll come back stronger in August," Bosse said.
During McWilliams' absence, Assistant Superintendent Greg Young will serve as acting superintendent.
"My long-term goal is to ride my bicycle across the United States," McWilliams said. "I won't try that this summer. It would be too intense, and I wouldn't be as prepared as I should be to come back in August."
McWilliams is ending his 34th year in education. He spent nine years as assistant superintendent in the Talawanda Schools. He has also worked at the Switzerland Local Schools in Monroe County, at Ohio University and was a classroom teacher in Pennsylvania.
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