School District Chief Gets Deal To Leave

CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio (AP) - The superintendent of Cuyahoga Falls schools has resigned but will receive more than $140,000 under a separation agreement.

David Scarberry, who in 2000 became the district's third chief in three years, was rated "well below expectations" or "below expectations" in all 29 categories of a school board evaluation released Thursday.

School Board President Laurie Liebelt said that the northeast Ohio district -- the third largest in Summit County -- plans to hire an interim superintendent next week.

The district is well prepared for the new school year, Liebelt said.

Administrators in the 5,500-student district have "gone beyond the call of duty in making sure things are continuing to function at a very high level," she said.

The board accepted Scarberry's resignation and approved the separation agreement in a special meeting Thursday. The agreement calls for Scarberry to get $141,275. He will receive $117,478.64 of that in monthly installments over a year and an additional $23,796.60 in unused sick leave on July 15, 2003.

Liebelt said after the meeting that the board's concerns involved Scarberry's leadership. She and other school officials declined to give specifics.

Scarberry was not at the meeting. He said in a prepared statement released after Thursday's meeting that a "breakdown in the relationship" with the board resulted from the board's refusal to "respect the line" between the superintendent's role and that of the board.

"I could not and would not cede administrative responsibility to the board," he said.

The district is trying to persuade voters to approve in November a 4.75-mill, five-year additional levy that would generate $3.4 million in additional property taxes each year to meet rising costs, including previously negotiated raises, district officials have said. A similar levy was rejected in May.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)