Tipp board hires superintendent

By Sam Wildow - Miami Valley Today

TIPP CITY — The Tipp City Board of Education approved hiring a new superintendent during its meeting Monday evening.

The board approved to hire Mark Stefanik as superintendent of Tipp City Schools, effective Aug. 1. Stefanik will be on a three-year contract, from Aug. 1, 2020 to July 31, 2023, with a salary of $145,000 per year.

Stefanik has been the superintendent of Currituck County Schools in Currituck, N.C. since 2015, where he oversees a district of 10 schools with 550 total faculty and 4,100 kindergarten through 12th grade students. His background also includes experience as a director of elementary education and director of education services and interventions at Wooster City Schools in Wooster, as well as a principal and teacher in Currituck County Schools.

Stefanik’s educational background includes a bachelor of science degree in Early/Middle Childhood Education from the Ohio State University and a master’s in Education from Old Dominion University.

“We’re just sad he couldn’t be here,” board member Corinne Doll said Monday, noting Stefanik was managing challenges due to the coronavirus at his current position in Currituck, N.C.

“I welcome him and (look forward) to the transition,” said Dr. Gretta Kumpf, Tipp City’s current superintendent. Kumpf’s retirement will be effective July 31.

Also during the board’s meeting, a resolution to waive the 45 business-day notification requirement for the Meijer Distribution Center revenue sharing between the city of Tipp City and Tipp City schools failed for a lack of a motion.

Tipp City is seeking to to enter into a Community Reinvestment Area Agreement with Meijer Distribution Incorporated. Meijer plans to construct a new 372,719 square foot automated warehouse structure on the 160-acre property located at 645 W. Kerr Road. As part of that agreement, Meijer is seeking a 50 percent, 15-year property tax exemption for the $120 million project. The project would retain 225 jobs and create 56 new jobs for the first year it’s open, with an estimated 65 new jobs in total.

Since Meijer is requesting a tax abatement at the 50 percent level, the board of education’s approval is not required for the city of Tipp City to approve this tax abatement. However, since the project creates a new employee payroll greater than $1 million, the city of Tipp City is required to provide revenue sharing for 50 percent of the income tax receipts on all new employees for the 15-year tax incentive period. The increase in payroll, resulting from an anticipated 56 new employees in the first year, will be approximately $3,650,000.

The city is required to give a 45-day notice to the Board of Education of this revenue sharing, and the city was seeking to have the board waive that requirement so Meijer could begin construction early. Community Development Director Matt Spring of the city of Tipp City spoke during the meeting, saying the Board of Education would receive approximately $27,500 each year for as part of that cost sharing.

Board president Theresa Dunaway spoke about how, when she originally found about this agreement via a letter from Spring in January, she was told she could not share the information with the rest of the board. The board did not find out about this agreement, which has not been approved by the city of Tipp City yet, until after March 9.

“This just kind of popped up out of the blue last week,” board member Anne Zakkour said. Zakkour said the city put Dunaway “in a very compromising position,” and Zakkour called that, and the lack of notice, “disturbing.”

Dunaway also suggested discussing the stadium land, implying it could be a possible trade between the city and the board.

“Meijer wants to start construction immediately,” Dunaway said. “We’ll take that land at the stadium … Let’s talk about that stadium land.”

The board later did not vote on the waiver for the 45 business-day notification requirement for the Meijer Distribution Center revenue sharing.

Later on, a motion to continue open enrollment within the district failed. Doll and board member Joellen Heatherly voted in favor of the motion. Dunaway, who originally made the motion to approve the open enrollment, voted against the motion. Zakkour abstained from voting. Board member Simon Patry was absent. According to a previous board work session held in February, for the 67 open enrollment students from contiguous districts, the Tipp City school district receives $6,020 per open enrollment student from the state, amounting to approximately $400,000.

A motion to approve a contract with Lean Six Sigma also failed. Heatherly and Doll voted for the motion. Dunaway and Zakkour, the latter who originally seconded the motion to approve the contract, abstained from voting. The contract would have provided six training sessions for teachers.

By Sam Wildow

Miami Valley Today

Reach the writer at swildow@aimmediamidwest.com. © 2020 Miami Valley Today, all rights reserved.

Reach the writer at swildow@aimmediamidwest.com. © 2020 Miami Valley Today, all rights reserved.