LIMA — Lima schools looks to save some money and keep an experienced person in the position of director for its unique arts and magnet programs.
The school board is expected to rehire Sally Windle sometime next month. She retired last month, and the board held the required retire-rehire hearing Thursday. A handful of people came to support Windle.
Linda McClure, ArtSpace/Lima board member, urged the board to support and keep Windle in her position, crediting her with bringing community organizations together.
“She needs to stay where she is, not only for the schools but for the community as a whole,” she said.
The board also received a letter of support from Martha MacDonell, board member with the Ohio Council for the Arts. MacDonell wrote that Windle has continued the excellent work of the arts and magnet programs, calling her a major asset to the district.
Changes to the State Teachers Retirement System, including to the cost-of-living adjustment, is pushing some into retirement before they are ready, Superintendent Jill Ackerman said. Employees who did not retire by July 1 of this year would lose their cost-of-living adjustment for five years.
It is a benefit for Windle to retire now, and it saves the district money.
“Plus this way I can still retire and the work already in progress can continue, and then we can look down the road at potentially grooming another person for this position,” Windle said.
Retired employees are typically hired back at a reduced rate. The exact savings for Lima schools was not available Thursday.
Windle was one of two people to apply for the position. Ackerman said Windle was the only one from the district, and she was the most qualified. Ackerman said the job is unique and much more than supervising magnet and arts staff. She credited Windle with having strong relationships and connections in the community and at the state level, both critical to the position.
Windle, a Lima Senior High School graduate, has spent her entire 33-year career with Lima schools. She’s been an art teacher in multiple school buildings but spent most of her career at Lima Senior High School. She took over as arts and magnet director in 2007.
While she doesn’t know when she will retire for good, Windle said it will be a while.
“There is still work to be done, and I would like to continue doing the work,” she said. “This way allows a lot of different agendas to be met, and it will save the district money.”