NILES SCHOOLS With 8th teacher retiring, group to get cash incentive

The retiring teachers will receive their first payment by Oct. 31.
NILES -- Schoolteacher Nancy Iezzi will be able to celebrate her 63rd birthday knowing she helped give a little present to some fellow co-workers.
Iezzi, a 31-year employee of the city school district, became the eighth teacher to submit her intent to retire at the end of the school year. By submitting her notice to the board of education before March 15, Iezzi and other retiring teachers are entitled to a $15,000 cash incentive bonus.
Board members unanimously accepted the retirement Thursday of Iezzi, who teaches fourth grade at Jackson Elementary School.
"I would like my resignation to become effective June 30, 2004, which also happens to be my 63rd birthday," Iezzi wrote in her letter to the board.
Last fall, the board and the teaching staff signed a one-year memorandum to extend the terms of their current master contract with some modifications.
What was changed
One change included developing the retirement incentive plan, which will grant a $5,000 payment on or before Oct. 31 to eligible teachers who retire, provided a minimum of eight announced their plans to do so by March 15.
The remaining $10,000 payment will be made to the retiring teachers by Oct. 31, 2006.
To qualify, employees must have worked in the Niles City Schools District for a minimum of 10 years and agree to retire into the State Teachers Retirement System.
The program was designed to help the district save money and to allow teachers to avoid layoffs, since the schools are in state-imposed fiscal watch status.
In other action, the board named Mark Pallante to the position of interim principal at Niles McKinley High School, effective March 1-19.
Pallante is the assistant principal at the school, and will assume the duties upon the retirement of Michael A. Lastic, who leaves the principal job March 1.
The board has posted the position internally to accept applications and conduct interviews. The board could either vote to hire someone, or extend Pallante's appointment.
Pallante will receive no additional money for the job.