Education and how this process has played out.
“We approached Dr. Dixon’s departure with good faith that Columbus would honor the need for her to complete the school year. With disregard, they chose otherwise. We wish her the best of luck.”
Last week, Cleveland Heights-University Heights spokesman Scott Wortman said that representatives from both boards had engaged in discussions with each other over Dixon’s start date and the obligations she had under her current contract with that district.
Dixon said in a statement: “My original intention was to stay through the end of the school year in (the suburban Cleveland district), but I understand the urgency in wanting me there sooner in Columbus.”
Ohio law generally protects districts from contracted educators switching jobs in mid-year, although it is unclear whether the Cleveland HeightsUniversity Heights school board was prepared to begin a legal battle over the question.
Jim Posch, president of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education, told The Dispatch in September that it wouldn’t hold Dixon hostage to her contract, but that Dixon would stay there until this summer because that’s what she had promised the board, and she would keep her word.
In addition to her salary, Dixon can
receive up to four separate annual performance bonuses equal to up to 4 percent of her base salary, or just under $10,000 per bonus, if the district meets certain student-performance benchmarks on the state report card. The bonus areas are: K-3 literacy, middle school language arts, high school graduation rate and student preparedfor-success. If she met all of them at the highest “A” report card level, it would add almost $39,000 to her annual pay. She would receive 25 percent less, down to zero, for each grade lower than an “A.”
Dixon will receive a $300,000 term life insurance policy paid by the district, an auto allowance of $750 per month, a “technology allowance” of $150 per month, health, medical and dental insurance and family sick leave, three personal days, 12 paid holidays and 30 vacation days granted at the start of each year. She can accrue up to 90 days of unused vacation at a time.
The district will pay both its share and Dixon’s share to the State Teachers Retirement System, which saves her just over $31,000 a year. It will also pay half of her Medicare contribution, worth about $1,750 a year at her inititial base pay.
Dixon will receive a one-time payment of $10,000 to move from her suburban Cleveland district to Columbus.
The contract can be terminated by mutual
agreement of both sides with 30 days notice, or by the board for cause — subject to state law limits — or if she becomes medically or mentally unable to perform her duties.
Before starting full time, Dixon will begin working one day during the work week and up to a total of 10 weekend days at a cost to the district not to exceed $3,500 for her part-time work.
She will receive up to 10 paid days per year to participate in professional development, with the district paying for all travel and other expenses.
The delay in signing Dixon, who was selected by the board Sept. 20, has taken on urgency because the district is staring at a state takeover in a year-and-a-half if it can’t wrest itself out of an overall “F” grade on the state report card.
Dixon is in her fifth year as superintendent of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District. She previously was the deputy superintendent for the Saginaw Public School District in Michigan. Prior to that, Dixon spent nine years in Columbus City Schools from 200110, serving six years combined as the principal at Brookhaven High School and at Columbus Alternative High School.
She began her career in public education first as a social studies teacher and then an assistant principal in Akron Public Schools.