Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Sycamore assistant hired as Kings school superintendent



By Erica Solvig
The Cincinnati Enquirer

DEERFIELD TWP. - The assistant superintendent at Sycamore Community Schools was hired as the new superintendent of Kings Local Schools Tuesday evening.

Kings school board unanimously approved a three-year contract for Chuck Mason, a Tristate educator for more than 30 years. Mason, who was chosen from 29 applicants, will earn $110,000 a year.

"I felt Kings would give me a chance to do things I might not get to do in other places," the 56-year-old grandfather said. "I've always admired what Kings did. ... I'm thrilled."

Among his first challenges: what to do about overcrowding at the junior-senior high school campus on Columbia Road. Voters turned down a $43 million proposed fix in May. But at recent meetings, parents have started asking the board about short-term solutions as the district develops a long-term plan.

"The community is sending some sort of message," Mason said. "One of my jobs is to understand what that message is. The only way I can do that is to get out into the neighborhood and talk to people."

He will also be weighing the district's financial needs.

School officials said last monththat before moving forward with another bond issue for facilities needs, they need to address shortfalls in the budget. The district is estimating a $1.4 million deficit by the end of 2006.

Mason's contract is effective Aug. 1, but he will start shadowing retiring superintendent David Query in mid-July.

E-mail esolvig@enquirer.com




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