Streetsboro -- Steve Hatch, principal at Streetsboro Middle School, plans to retire this spring with the anticipation of being rehired this fall in a move he said would "save the School Board some money."
Hatch is following in the footsteps of many principals and superintendents in Ohio because of changes to the State Teachers Retirement System enacted by the state legislature.
Members of STRS who retire before July 1, 2013 will not receive a cost of living adjustment during the 2014 fiscal year, according to Streetsboro schools Treasurer Catherine Rouse, and members who retire effective July 1, 2013 will not receive a cost of living adjustment on July 1, 2014.
After missing one cost of living adjustment, retirees will resume receiving 2 percent cost of living adjustments, she said, while members who retire after July 1, 2013 will receive 2 percent cost of living adjustments, but they will not begin until the fifth anniversary of retirement.
"That's why you see so many superintendents retiring," Hatch said.
Hatch's salary for the 2012-13 school year is $95,417, according to Rouse, who said Hatch also receives an additional $36,136 in benefits, including STRS, Medicare, workers' compensation and a health life flexible spending account.
Typically, retiring principals and superintendents are rehired without the schools picking up healthcare benefits, thus saving money for the schools, according to school officials.
Hatch has already reapplied to serve as Streetsboro Middle School principal. A public hearing on the retire/rehire plan took place at the Feb. 14 Board of Education meeting. All that remains is for the Board to vote to rehire him.
"Steve has been doing a good job leading that building," School Board member Kevin Grimm said. "We'll be glad to have him back for at least another year."
Rouse said a new salary for Hatch has not yet been determined by the Board of Education.
If all goes as planned by Hatch, he would retire May 31 -- the last day for students is May 24 and the last day for teachers is May 28 -- then he would be rehired by the Board of Education by Aug. 1, prior to the start of the next school year.
Hatch, 57, has been an educator for 35 years and is completing his fifth year as Streetsboro Middle School principal. Prior to that, he spent eight years as assistant principal at Streetsboro High School and 11 years as a middle school assistant principal in Bay Village. He started his career as a special education teacher in Parma, later working as a special education supervisor for the Cuyahoga County Education Service Center.
"I'm excited to have the chance to return [to Streetsboro schools]," Hatch said. "Mr. [Mike] Daulbaugh [currently the schools' curriculum director] is going to be an outstanding superintendent. It's exciting to be a part of Streetsboro schools. We've made so much progress, and it's exciting watching the students succeed."
Hatch said the possibility of the middle school building being closed "shouldn't affect anything" regarding his plan to continue as the school's principal.
Hatch said if he is rehired, he will take his job one year at a time.
"My health and energy levels are good," he said. "I enjoy what I'm doing. It's a great time to be a part of Streetsboro schools."