It’s more than his job. It’s his life.
Brett Robson, a 1982 graduate of Western Reserve High School, just completed his fourth year as the district’s treasurer.
He’s seen more in his short tenure than most people see in an entire career.
In his time on the job, Robson has worked for six superintendents and the district — pending the results of its case with Doug Solet — is preparing to hire a seventh.
A substitute bus driver and part-time cafeteria worker filed a sexual harassment complaint against Solet on Dec. 13. Solet is fighting for his job and wants a public hearing scheduled for early June with the school board.
The board is on hold naming a replacement, but it isn’t sitting idle.
“We have been working with Ashland University and they are doing a couple of area searches,” Robson said. “They have assured us there is some good depth there. I would like to think we are pretty similar to New London with our facilities.”
New London recently hired Carol Girton from Monroeville to replace Jim Eibel.
“We haven’t contracted with anybody yet,” Robson said. “We have just talked to them. In talking to the people at New London, they were excited about the number of good applicants they got.
“The key is to get the right person as superintendent. There is some encouragement. It’s just got to be the right one.”
Mark Gagyi was superintendent when Robson was hired. His new bosses after Gagyi’s retirement were (in order) Jerry Wolfe for six weeks, Max Shoff to finish out that year, Don Barnes for one year, Solet for less than a year and Gagyi again.
Also, this school is looking for its fourth high school principal since Robson took the job.
The key, according to Robson, is stability.
The district needs “somebody who enjoys the small-town, rural atmosphere,” he said. “I think we have a heck of a lot to offer somebody. The buildings are in great shape, the students are performing well and the staff is great. It’s a good place for somebody.
“You talk to somebody like Mark Gagyi, who was here for five years then retired ... what it meant to him and the passion he had. It reaffirms your faith in how good this place is and how good it can be. That’s when we got in with the state building project. He led us through that.”
Robson’s entire life has been centered around the school district. His mom and dad both taught there. His dad, Tom, was a longtime basketball coach. His wife, Denise, is a 1981 graduate of Western, while his three children — Clay, an eighth-grader, Mitch, a sixth-grader, and Andrea, a second-grader — attend the school.
“We’re here, it seems, like from sun-up to sun-down with ballgames or musical events,” Robson said.
As you can see, Robson doesn’t just punch a clock each day. He’s confident the school can find the right person to take charge. And if practice makes perfect, odds are in the school’s favor.
One thing is for sure, he said. The district is a whole lot better off than it was when Gagyi took over the first time.
“I think the pride is a bit deeper today,” he said. “The camaraderie among the students, regardless of what their activities are . . . they are more cohesive as a group.”