By Beth Mlady

He hadn’t envisioned a return to the North Ridgeville City Schools when he retired in July after 37 years of service, but David Livingston, former assistant superintendent of business services, has been appointed to assist with managing Lear North Elementary School.

Lear North’s principal, Bill Greene, took over Livingston’s former duties in August and is the district’s current director of business services. Greene continues to maintain his position as principal at Lear North, however, and administrators wanted to provide him with some help.

At its Sept. 20 regular meeting, the Board of Education approved Livingston as interim assistant principal at Lear North for a total of 83 days on a part-time basis. He begins in his new role Oct. 3 and will be paid $342.79 per diem, or $28,451.57, over the course of the contract.

“What we’re doing with the restructuring and cost savings in the district is, we will try to make it through the school year with Bill as the principal,” Superintendent Larry Brown said in a Sept. 21 interview. “He will be doing two jobs.”

Board members and Brown considered other possibilities before rehiring Livingston, he said.

“There were, like, 10 different options we looked at,” he explained. “The administrative team looked at many different options, and this is one of the cost-saving factors that we looked at anytime we have replacement of staff. There will be about a $70,000 savings from just replacing that position. It’s much less than hiring for a full-time replacement.”

With an emergency operating levy looming on the Nov. 8 ballot, Board President Maria Sycz was asked in an interview why the district didn’t split the Lear North principal’s responsibilities with another principal already on staff, to not supplement the Lear North position at all.

“We talked about that, but this allows us the time to research and truly figure out what’s in the best interest of the kids,” she said. “This (rehire) wasn’t on the radar because we didn’t know who was filling David’s job (in business services). It’s a temporary solution, which lets us figure out what we’re really going to do.

“Liberty and Wilcox (elementary schools) each have student loads of about 600 students, so those principals have enough kids to deal with by themselves.”

Livingston expressed his delight Sept. 21 at being asked to help the district.

“I never in a million years had an idea that I would be coming back,” he said. “I was totally surprised when I received a call from Larry Brown.”

He said the part-time job “just sounds like a great opportunity.”

“I really believe it’s just impossible for one person to do my old job and also run an entire building,” Livingston said. “It’s a great staff and a nice building. And I like that age group of kids.

“Larry made it very clear that it’s a one-year interim situation. This will give Bill (Greene) the assurance to know the building is being taken care of.”

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