School boards from the Field and Waterloo districts will meet in April to discuss the possibility of sharing the superintendent services of Waterloo's Andrew Hill.
The idea of shared services as a money-saving option was raised by Field Board of Education member Allyson Westover after the Field board accepted the resignation of Superintendent Beth Coleman.
The district has been unsuccessful in getting its most recent levies approved by voters. It pulled a 5.0-mill additional levy off the May 7 primary ballot.
Field board president Terry Kettering said he contacted a friend on the Waterloo board, which gave permission for Hill to talk with Field.
"Dr. Hill came and talked with us. We're just in preliminary talks. We don't know if it is going to go anywhere," Kettering said.
Hill said there has been no conversation about what such an arrangement would look like -- that's what two joint sessions of the board are for in early April.
In the meantime, Kettering said Field will probably go ahead and start the search for a new superintendent.
The public is invited to attend the two joint sessions -- the first at 7 p.m. April 1 in the Waterloo High School media center, the second at 7 p.m. April 4 in the Field High School cafeteria. There will be time set aside for public comment.
"The meetings are an opportunity for the boards to have a dialogue and to get community input," Hill said. The meetings will be "a preliminary conversation to see when and if there could be an agreement."
If talks end up in an agreement it would be the first such in Portage County, but one that has been done elsewhere in Ohio. Hill said Waterloo has been interested in sharing services in other areas for some time. When it had vacancies in its food service and transportation areas, the district discussed sharing with other districts, but those efforts fell through, he said.
One reason to do it is to conserve money as long as possible, and put it back in the classrooms for students.
"The community gave us a gift when it passed our levy," Hill said. "We're trying to do everything we can to be good stewards of that money."
Contact this reporter at 330-298-1125 or firstname.lastname@example.org