Palestine administrator’s retirement is final this time

EAST PALESTINE – Gary Contini is leaving the school district for good.

The school board approved his retirement resignation this week. It is the second time he has retired from the district.

In 2011, Contini was granted an administrative contract through 2014 for the high school principal position. When given the three-year contract he was already serving as principal and earning a pension from his first retirement from the district.

Last year the board, with the exception of Sue Weigle, approved reassigning him to the director of special education position. He was issued a 190-day contract that included a salary of $61,075.

Weigle had said then she didn’t approve of the reassignment because she believed he was doing a good job in the administrative position.

Contini was not at the April board meeting in which his retirement was approved, but Superintendent George Fisk said there are no plans to rehire him. He also said the decision to leave the district was Contini’s.

“He’s riding off into the sunset. He just decided to retire” for good, he said.

Contini had 30 years in with the district when he decided to retire the first time about 10 years ago.

Board member Ron Novak, who has always disapproved of double-dipping (when an employee retires but continues working while receiving benefits), also said there are no plans to rehire Contini.

“He decided to terminate his position in the school district, and that’s where it stands right now,” he said.

Novak has previously said that although he didn’t approve of Contini continuing to work while receiving benefits, he did not disapprove of him as an employee.

His last retirement will take effect July 31.

Other retirements approved by the board recently were for high school social studies teacher Doug Silhanek, middle school aide Shirley Birnesser and middle school language arts teacher Jill McGee.

Fisk said they are not intending to be rehired either.

Other items approved included:

– Linda Foster as classified aide, secretary and custodian.

– Joe Polaski and Zach Sherry as volunteers.

– Tina Marteney, Sarah Brooke and Sherrill Savors as certified substitutes.

– Pete Monteleone, Carol Cope and Jan Faust as athletic department employees for the 2012-13 spring sports season.

– Additional supplemental contracts for Zack Macioce and Lance Peterson.

– The 2013 graduation list.