Northwestern teacher Lauri McCutcheon address the Northwestern Board of Education at their meeting last Tuesday regarding proposed changes to Board policy.

McCutcheon had submitted her resignation in March, well ahead of the deadline of July 9, and expected her benefits would continue through August 31, the end of her contract year.

The Board heard the first reading on Board Policy changes that would deny her the benefits.

“I submitted my resignation early to give the Board plenty of time to find a replacement,” said McCutcheon. “I was totally up-front with you.”

She said she knows several other employees who are waiting until the July 9 date to submit their resignations so that they won’t lose their benefits.

“I know COBRA is available, but it is substantially more expensive,” said McCutcheon.

The board had no official response to McCutcheon’s request.

In other action, Board President Donna Myers presented Board member Russell Steele with a certificate from the Ohio School Boards Association honoring him for ten years of service on the Northwestern School Board.

Superintendent Jesse Steiner stated that the district has lost revenue due to the decline of the Upper Valley Mall and the surrounding area. He said that several stores have applied for a reduction in their property values.

Steiner said he is optimistic for the future, though. “No building permits have been issued in Springfield,” he said. “I think we’re in a prime location for future development.”

The Board’s agenda included an unusually large number of new hires and resignations. “April’s agenda is always pretty heavy,” said Steiner. “We have a young staff and have a lot of turnover.”

Steiner added that there should be fewer staff changes in the future as the staff becomes more seasoned.

The next meeting of the Northwestern Board of Education will be on May 18 at 6:00 p.m. in the Elementary School library. The public is invited to attend.