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West Liberty, OH

Indian Lake extends Underwood’s interim superintendent time (Audio included)

Rob UnderwoodWhen the Indian Lake Board of Education suspended Superintendent Pat O’Donnell on June 19th, high school principal Rob Underwood was approved to replace O’Donnell on an interim basis.

In a special meeting held Friday night, the board unanimously gave Underwood a one-year contract that begins on August 12th and ends July 31, 2018. He will be paid $107,000.

Underwood will take a one-year leave of absence from his principal duties. Underwood is beginning his seventh year in the district. He also was an assistant principal.

Curriculum director Kyle Wagner will fill Underwood’s role at the high school. He was also granted a one-year leave of absence. He will be paid $85,000 as the principal.

Underwood talks about the transition.

Though on leave of absence, Wagner will continue to perform the duties of the curriculum director. In addition to his principal pay, Wagner will receive an additional $5,000 stipend for his curriculum duties.

Wagner is willing to do whatever he can to help the district.

Candidates from outside the district were interviewed for the interim job. Board President Gabe Wickline indicated after the meeting that the board felt it was important for the staff and students to maintain a sense of continuity. Underwood and Wagner provide that continuity.

Gabe Wickline explains the board's decision.

Both Underwood and the board feel that the district is in great shape. One of Underwood’s early goals is to convey that message and to keep the other unfortunate events separate.

The board also approved granting Underwood a three-year contract beginning August 1, 2018 to resume his duties as high school principal if another person fills the superintendent role. Underwood can resign from his principal duties if he continues to be superintendent.

The board approved entering into a contract with Dan Kaffenbarger of the Madison/Champaign County ESC for consulting services to assist Underwood.

The employment hearing for current superintendent Pat O’Donnell, which was originally scheduled for August 4th, has been moved to Monday, August 21st. The hearing will be held off school grounds, may last more than one day and at the request of O’Donnell, be held in private.

Attorney Robert M. Harrelson has been appointed by the state of Ohio to be the referee in the O’Donnell hearing on the 21st.

The board will still have their regular August meeting on the 21st at 6:30 pm.

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