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Published: Saturday, 6/30/2001

Perrysburg school chief lands new job

BY RACHEL ZINN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

She was to make the announcement at a special school board meeting at the Commodore Building on Indiana Avenue.

Dr. Zimmers, who was named Perrysburg's superintendent in August, 1995, plans to begin the new job on Aug. 3, but said she will be involved with the Perrysburg district to ensure a smooth transition into the school year.

There was no word last night on who the board would name to succeed Dr. Zimmers, who came to Perrysburg from the Vandalia-Butler School District near Dayton.

The move to Dublin will raise Dr. Zimmers' annual salary from $101,820 to about $133,000, and she said Dublin's complete salary package is worth about $40,000 more than her current compensation package.

“The financial package they offered me was just a little too hard to turn down,” Dr. Zimmers said.

Perrysburg is losing its superintendent at a busy time for the district.

It faces an estimated $2.1 million deficit in 2003.

Board member Dr. Walt Edinger said he anticipates a need for a levy on the November ballot.

Contract negotiations with teachers are approaching and probably will occur in late August or early September, board member John Kevern said.

The district also is busy opening a new high school and conducting a search for a new treasurer, after Jim Larson-Shidler resigned early this month.

“We're like a ship without a rudder and a gyroscope. We're very buoyant, so we're not going to sink. But we need to get some direction,” Mr. Kevern said.

After Dr. Zimmers retired as Perrysburg superintendent in March, the school board voted to hire her for the position from April 1 to Sept. 30.

The board abandoned the search for a new superintendent and offered Dr. Zimmers a new contract in May.

Dr. Edinger said he was surprised that Dr. Zimmers decided to leave.

“We wouldn't have offered her the contract if we thought she would go, but we were doing the best we could for the district at the time.”

Dr. Zimmers, who has been an educator for 34 years, said she decided to accept the job at Dublin because of the salary increase and because she accomplished her goals at Perrysburg, noting that Perrysburg's state academic rating has improved.

She said financial pressures on the Perrysburg district had “absolutely nothing” to do with her decision.

“I feel like I pulled things together here, and I feel comfortable leaving,” she said.

Mr. Kevern said Dr. Zimmers did an excellent job keeping school expenditures low and improving academic achievement by attracting good teachers and staff.

“She has been an extraordinary superintendent,” he said.

Dublin has not finalized Dr. Zimmers' contract, but hopes to have it ready for approval by the school board at a meeting Monday night, said Mark Holderman, president of the board.

“What is impressive is the energy that she brings. She seems to genuinely want to be out with the staff, public, parents, and students,” he said.

The Dublin school district has more than 12,000 students and is growing rapidly, Dr. Zimmers said. It recently began construction on its 11th elementary school and its third high school.

“With such rapid growth, re-districting is one of the critical issues,” Dr. Zimmers said.



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