BRUNSWICK — Kathy Verhest is stepping in as interim superintendent, effective Aug. 1 through Sept. 30, the 60-day window between Superintendent Mike Mayell’s retirement and when the district can rehire him.
Verhest is the district’s technology director. Previously, she was a principal in the district.
“We did hire a new assistant superintendent, but he’s brand new to the district, so the superintendent felt it was better to have somebody who had some experience for those two months to fill in while he was absent,” district Treasurer Mark Pepera said Monday.
Mayell previously announced his plans to retire and the school board decided to ask him to stay on as he is spearheading the new middle school project.
After fulfilling her role as interim superintendent, Verhest will return to the position of technology director.
“I’m excited. I’ve worked with her now, I’ve been in the district over three years,” Pepera said. “We work well together, she’s going to do a great job ... we have a great team here, so I think everybody will pull together to get things done during those two months. We’re not worried.”
Board president Grant Relic shared confidence in Verhest.
“She knows what’s going on ... she’s very well-qualified and we’re very, very happy with her being in that position,” Relic said. “I think she’s maybe a little bit nervous, but she’ll do a great job.”
Jason Niedermeyer will be the new assistant superintendent starting in August.
Former Assistant Superintendent Tracy Wheeler announced her resignation at a June 17 meeting, effective June 31. She took a job as a superintendent of Berea Schools.
The decision to keep Mayell required the board to hire him back.
His pension from the State Teachers Retirement System will take effect and then he is required to take 60 days off. His new term as superintendent will begin Oct. 1.
His new salary will be around $114,000, which is a savings from his previous salary of $148,000.
Nothing is set in stone, but the board expects Mayell will move on after the middle school project is complete.
“We are hiring him to finish this project,” Rich Nowak, board vice president, previously said. “That’s the idea, that’s what we are doing.”
Mayell has been in charge of the project long before voters approved in November 2017 a $48.1 million bond issue to allow Brunswick to consolidate Edwards, Visintainer and Willetts middle schools into one building on 30 acres of land owned by the district on Pearl Road behind Edwards and Visintainer.
The district’s three current middle schools will be combined into one facility with the completion of the project. The school will house up to 1,800 students and is expected to be finished in time for the 2020-21 school year.