Two top Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools leadership posts will have occupants already familiar with the education and finance aspects of district operations.

The Board of Education approved the renewal of Superintendent Tom Bratten's contract for another five years on May 8.

The Board also unanimously approved the appointment of Assistant Treasurer Kristy Stoicoiu as the district's new treasurer, effective June 1.

Bratten was hired in January 2015 to replace the retiring Dr. Russ Jones.

"As a Board, we've seen the great influence Mr. Bratten has had on the district," said Board President Gerry Bettio. "He's a leader, a problem-solver and an innovator. He understands the importance of investing in people. We want to maintain consistent leadership and continue to help move the Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools in a positive direction."

Under his current contract, which expires July 31, 2018, Bratten started with an annual base salary of $120,000. Any changes to the new contract will be negotiated at a later date, says the Board.

Jones salary was $125,000 at the time of his retirement.

According to a recent annual job performance evaluation, signed by Bratten and all five Board members on April 24, "Tom has used his superior interpersonal skills to bring harmony to the district. He continues to build strong relationships within his staff and works hard to represent the district in a positive manner. Tom is well respected and shows a deep caring for his staff and the students. This is evident in his frequent visits to the buildings and the honest and sincere interaction between himself and the district employees."

The evaluation goes on to praise Bratten for his ability as a "problem solver" and his recognition that the district had infrastructure issues, which led to voter approval of a permanent improvement levy this past November. It also commends his handling of negotiations with the teachers' union.

"The negotiation process has the potential to divide more than unify participants," says the evaluation. "Tom however, transformed what could be a divisive process into a mechanism for unity."

It also refers to Bratten as a "leader and a mentor" for implementing a leadership program for administrators and his emphasis on professional development for staff.

"In summary, Tom Bratten's people centered leadership style has improved both the morale and operation of the [school district]," the evaluation concludes.

Bratten served as superintendent of Salem City Schools from 2009 to 2014 and had more recently been working with individuals with disabilities through the Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

Prior to being superintendent at Salem, he was an assistant principal, high school principal and director of career and technical education for Canton Local Schools from 2000 to 2009. He has also served at other districts in a variety of positions, including English teacher, coach, assistant principal and athletic director.

Bratten has a bachelor's degree in secondary English education from Miami University, a master's degree in educational administration from Xavier University, his principal's license from the University of Akron; and his superintendent's license from Ashland University.

"I would like to thank the Board of Education for renewing my contract and having the faith in me to continue leading the Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools," said Bratten. "I could not ask to be part of a better district or community. I am grateful to work with such caring and dedicated teachers and staff who truly put our students first. I look forward to what we can accomplish together."

New treasurer has 'brought a lot of value'

District Human Resources Director Chris DiMauro said there were 18 candidates for the treasurer's position, with Stoicoiu one of six "finalists."

Bettio said, "The Board is excited to have Kristy as the treasurer for our district. She has brought a lot of value to the team over the past six years and we look forward to working with her in the future."

Stoicoiu will replace Treasurer Dave Osborne, who will retire at the end of May. She said her annual salary will be $90,000. DiMauro said Osborne's salary is $100,000.

Osborne was hired as interim treasurer in February 2015 and appointed treasurer the following November.

"We thank David for his hard work and dedication over the past two years," said Bratten. "As Kristy transitions into the treasurer role, we are confident that she will continue to help move our district forward and play a key role in our success."

According to Stoicoiu's resume, the district hired her in May 2011.

"I have witnessed the Stow-Munroe Falls City School District making great strides over the past few years," said Stoicoiu. "I look forward to playing a larger role on this team. My goal is to keep the positive momentum going and remain transparent to all staff and community members to ensure their confidence in our district."

She was assistant treasurer for the Green Local Schools from January 2008 to July 2010 and payroll clerk for the Jackson Local Schools from October 2005 to December 2007. She earned a bachelor of business administration in accounting from Kent State University in 2004 and an Ohio state treasurer license in 2005.

She lives in Brimfield with her husband Paul and their five children.

"I'm really excited," said Stoicoiu. "I've been in the district for six years and I'm looking forward to taking a role and building on the great things we're doing here."


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