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Beaver Local board extends superintendent contract

CALCUTTA – Beaver Local Superintendent Eric Lowe has a new five-year contract following action taken at this week’s school board meeting.

Lowe’s current four-year contract expires next August, and the new deal unanimously approved by the board runs from Aug. 1, 2020, to July 31, 2025.

“As a board, we feel Mr. Lowe has proven to have shown the leadership, character and passion that will continue to benefit the Beaver Local school district in the future,” said board President Jerry Barnett, adding their action is direct reflection of their belief that Lowe has the district headed in the right district.

“Mr. Lowe has shown exceptional vision in education, and his dedication to our children is second to none. We look forward to the next five years under his guidance and we will further collaborate to make the best decisions for our district,” he concluded.

Lowe, 42, has spent his entire 20 years in education with Beaver Local and is as humbled today by the board’s faith in him as when they first named him superintendent in 2016.

“I’m honored they believe in me. It’s not a job to me,” he said. “I am blessed to have so many great staff members, students and families that support our school community. It’s a great place to be.”

Under the contract, Lowe will receive pay raises totaling 7 percent over the life of the contract, with his salary reaching $111,480 in fiscal year 2025. He said the only other major change is the district will pick up the remaining 25 percent of his contribution into the State Teachers Retirement System.

In other action, Lowe reported the first installment of state funding through Ohio Department of Education’s Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) program is expected to arrive in October, but he does not know how much yet. The funding is for school districts to use in creating a plan and programs to encourage good behavior among students.

Beaver Local already has programs in place to address this issue in some fashion. Lowe said they will use the additional funding to build on those efforts, and their plan will include contracting with the Columbiana County Educational Service Center and county health agencies for those additional services.

“We have these kids who come to us with these issues, and what are we doing for them?” he said. “More and more that is our role. We can say what we want, but this (serving as social worker) has become part of our job.”

The PBIS is similar but separate from the additional funding schools are receiving under the new new two-year state budget to provide so-called wrap-around services – social services for struggling students in need of assistance. This includes such things as food, medical and mental health care, family support services, and mentoring.

In other action:

– Lowe reported repairs are going to be made to the rubberized playground surface, which has begun separating in places. The playgrounds are entering its fifth year of use, and they generally last seven to 10 years, he said.

-Vale Road resident Andrew Collins addressed the board about the change in bus routes that resulted in his five young children being left off at the road instead of up the lane where he and others have homes. He said they now have to walk more than 0.4 miles from the bus stop to their home.

Lowe said they consolidated bus routes as a way to save money after a long-time driver retired at the end of this past school year, and this resulted in some cluster bus stops where groups of children are dropped off instead of at each inidividual home. He said some of the cluster sites serve as such only after school, with the children being picked up at their doors in the morning.

Lowe said he would investigate whether any adjustments can be made.

-The board accepted the resignation of teacher and middle school football coach Richard Shilling, who has taken a job with the Oak Glen school district as athletic director.

-The board hired James Boling as custodian and changed the job status of Lisa Cook from custodian to bus driver.

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