- By Richard Wilson Staff Writer
Yellow Springs High School Principal Tim Krier will not work for the district this school year, but he will get paid as though he was until the spring.
Krier, who has been on leave from his position since March, resigned and the school board approved a separation agreement during a special session Thursday night.
Krier’s letter of resignation and the separation agreement were signed on the same day, Aug. 30. The agreement stipulates that Krier’s resignation does not go into effect until April 22, 2019, and he will continue to receive his full salary of approximately $108,000 as well as benefits until that time or until he finds other employment in the education field.
The agreement also says that Superintendent Mario Basora will provide Krier a letter of reference.
Krier went on medical leave effective March 8, a day after a Yellow Springs student reported sexual assaults involving one or more students. Krier was not a suspect in the alleged sexual assaults, officials said.
Krier’s status changed over the summer to paid administrative leave after his doctor cleared him to return to work in a letter to the district dated June 27, according to district records.
“Krier’s resignation follows an outside investigation into whether allegations of student misconduct were promptly and appropriately investigated and reported to outside authorities,” according to a statement from Basora. “The investigation determined that Dr. Krier did not violate his legal obligation to report allegations of abuse or neglect to appropriate outside authorities (local police or Children Services).”
The investigation also cleared the school board and Basora of any wrongdoing, according to Basora’s statement.
“The investigation further made clear that the board of education and superintendent first learned of the alleged incidents of student sexual harassment and assault in March 2018 and took immediate and appropriate action to investigate the matter and ensure student safety,” the statement reads.
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The board’s actions drew criticism in discussions in online forums. Yellow Springs resident Jessica Thomas, who teaches secondary education at another district, called the board’s decision “absolutely ridiculous.”
“If an employee chooses to leave a job before they finish a contract, I don’t think the school board should be obligated to fulfill any terms of the contract. It sounds like he’s leaving on his terms and threatening lawsuits so they will continue to pay him,” Thomas said. “The district is asking for money for levies to support new buildings. You have to look at the district’s fiscal decisions the year before. I don’t see this going over well with the community.”
Thursday’s open meeting lasted about 30 minutes, and the vote was 4-0 in favor of approving the agreement with one member, school board President Aida Merhemic, abstaining.
Merhemic, a local mental health therapist, did not provide a reason for abstaining from the vote, according to officials.
After the open meeting, the school board held an executive session. Basora said he and Treasurer Dawn Bennett were not permitted to attend that closed meeting.
Jack Hatert will continue working as the interim principal at the high school and McKinney Middle School at an annual salary of $95,000, approximately $20,000 more than his salary last year working partly as the assistant principal and partly as a teacher, according to district records.
Teacher Cameron McCoy will split his time teaching and serving as the interim assistant principal, at an annual salary of $68,736, an increase of approximately $15,000 from his salary last year.
In February, the district plans to seek permanent administrators who will start working in the 2019-20 school year.