GENEVA — Members of unions representing Geneva Area City Schools employees and residents spoke out at a school board meeting on Wednesday night.

Mary Allison, president of the locawl chapter of Ohio Association of Public School Employees, said the union voted overwhelmingly in favor of having no confidence in Superintendent Terri Hrina-Treharn.

“We have tried to give all aspects a chance with Dr. Treharn, but instead of improving our working environment, it is deteriorating,” Allison said.

She said issues that were previously worked out between employees and supervisors now lead to union members being placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.

“This is not fair to our employees who have to cover everybody who is on paid administrative leave,” Allison said.

Staff are not compensated for having to do additional duties to cover for those on leave.

She asked that the board take the union’s vote seriously.

Katherine Simmons, with the teacher’s union, said last year the union also took a vote of no confidence in Hrina-Treharn’s leadership.

“We’d like to make it abundantly clear that our stance has not changed, and if anything, we are more resolute in our position,” she said.

Area resident Jack Dubsky said he and members of a group called Geneva for Change recently went door-to-door, collecting signatures on a petition expressing no confidence in Hrina-Treharn.

“We, in one month’s time, have garnered 500 signatures for a vote of no confidence in Dr. Terri Treharn,” Dubsky said.

Dubsky said he is fighting for this district.

“We are going to keep getting signatures,” he said. “We’re going to keep talking to people. We’re not going away.”

On Thursday, Board President Jamie Ortiz said, in her opinion, it is unfortunate that the district is at this place.

“I never could have imagined that we would be where we’re at,” she said.

Ortiz said she was speaking for herself, and was not able to make comments on behalf of the entire board.

She said she believes Hrina-Treharn has the best interests of the district at heart.

“She likes to follow all rules,” Ortiz said. “She believes in the rules. I think we can see, in some instances, when we follow the rules, things are better for everybody.

“I believe she holds everybody to the same standard,” she said. “And I understand that other people disagree with me, but from what I’ve seen, it’s across the board.”

There are some things, including personnel issues, the board is legally not allowed to discuss, Ortiz said.

“There’s a lot of things that we would like to have an open discussion on, we’re just legally not allowed, we are prohibited,” she said. “That in and of itself is quite frustrating, because there’s just certain things that can’t be talked about in a public meeting.”

Hrina-Treharn did not respond to a request for comment.

In other business:

• Mark Salopek, from the GPD Group, spoke at the meeting about work on the plans for a new board office for the district.

The company has done a significant amount of work in northeast Ohio, Salopek said.

“We were actually the architectural and engineering firm for Conneaut, almost 20 years ago,” he said.

Joe Swantek, from Hammond Construction, said the company has extensive experience with K-12 construction.

“That’s focused in northeastern Ohio,” he said.

Swantek said Hammond and GPD Group have collaborated on construction of over one million square feet of buildings.

Swantek described the various steps the company will take to ensure the safety of the site, including providing everyone who working on the site a numbered sticker to identify them easily, and have extensive signage around work areas.

Russell Gayheart, from GPD, described the process of designing the new set of offices. The new building, which will be attached to the high school, will include offices for the superintendent, treasurer and their staffs, as well as a work room and training area.

“The idea is it blends right off of that media center, and ties in to the existing high school,” he said.

The funds being used for the new board office were earmarked when the district built new schools years ago, Ortiz said.

“That’s been several boards ago, and there’s just been, unfortunately, so many different things that have taken higher priority than getting this board office done,” she said.

• The board approved Geneva Middle School Principal Mark Mollohan’s resignation. Mollohan will be taking over as the Pymatuning Valley High School principal at the start of the next school year.

In his administrator’s report, Mollohan said school-wide scores on an assessment test dramatically increased from when it was first administered in the fall to a recent test. He praised teachers for their work educating students.

Ortiz said she believes the increase in test scores shows some things in the district are moving in the right direction.

“That is definitely a positive thing,” she said.

After his administrator’s report, Mollohan received a standing ovation from the audience.

Other district administrators praised Mollohan for his work in the district and congratulated him on the new position.

Ortiz said on Thursday she is happy for Mollohan, advancing to the next level in his career.

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