NW superintendent can return after allegations of ‘intimidating’ staff

Updated Jan 22, 2018
  • By Parker Perry
  • Staff Writer

The Northwestern Local superintendent who’s been on paid administrative leave since November might return to work on Feb. 1, according to an agenda released by the school late Monday.

Jesse Steiner was placed on paid administrative leave on Dec. 21 but has been paid not to report to work since Nov. 27. He remains on leave. School board members now are set to vote on his return on Wednesday, Jan. 24.

DETAILS: 2 months and $20K later, Northwestern superintendent still on leave

An agenda for a special board meeting at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the school board office, 5610 Troy Road, says Steiner didn’t act appropriately when dealing with others.

“The board has determined that Mr. Steiner did act on a number of occasions in a verbally aggressive, intimidating and angry manner toward others in the workplace,” the agenda says. “Whereas, the board has determined that Mr. Steiner’s conduct is unacceptable, in violation of board policy, and warrants formal discipline.”

The agenda says Steiner will be given a letter of formal discipline on Wednesday but then will be permitted to return to work Feb. 1.

The Springfield News-Sun reached out to each of the district’s board members, treasurer and Acting Superintendent Lori Swafford to find out more about why Steiner was placed on paid leave.

READ MORE: Northwestern superintendent supporter: Investigation unfair

New board member Leigh Taylor, who joined the board at the beginning of the year, said she didn’t have a comment and referred questions to board President Andy Gundolf. Gundolf didn’t respond to emails or phone calls from the Springfield News-Sun seeking comment.

Neither Swafford nor any of the district’s other board members responded to emails seeking comment either.

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Steiner makes more than $125,000 a year, according to his personnel file. He was paid more than $20,400 since he was told not to come to work in late November, according to the district. The Springfield News-Sun reached out to his family, who declined comment.