Next Oakwood school leader’s contract includes moving expense, no residency rule

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

A three-year contract for the Oakwood school district’s next superintendent includes a $175,000 annual salary, but no residency requirement.

The deal signed Feb. 8 for current Worthington City Schools secondary education Director Neil Gupta runs from Aug. 1, 2023, to July 31, 2026, district records show.

The Oakwood board of education considered adding a residency rule, but opted against it, President John Wilson said Monday.

“The board discussed this at length,” Wilson said in an email. “COVID and other factors have led to an increase in retirements of superintendents all across the state.

“While we strongly encouraged our candidates to consider moving to Oakwood, we did not want any potential candidate to not apply because of the requirement,” he added. “We believed that any candidate who began the process and visited our city and met our community members would eventually make the choice to move here.”

Wilson said Gupta, 48, and his family “made it very clear” that they intend to move to Oakwood by August.

The incoming superintendent said Monday in an email that during the screening process “I became more affirmed in wanting to be part of the Oakwood community.”

Gupta’s deal includes a per diem payment for up to 10 days at $673 a daily for his transition prior to the contract’s start and a one-time lump sum payment of $5,000 for moving expenses.

The contract also calls for the Oakwood board of education to contribute $7,000 each year to fund a “tax-sheltered annuity and/or deferred compensation plan” to be purchased from a company acceptable to Gupta, according to the document.

The hiring was announced by Oakwood last week. Gupta and Bobbie Fiori, assistant superintendent at Beavercreek City Schools, were the two finalists for the job that is temporarily held by Oakwood Director of Educational Services and Human Resources Allyson Couch.

Couch was named interim superintendent before Kyle Ramey stepped down at the end of 2022, a decision announced several months ago.

Gupta has 25 years of experience in education. He earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Miami University and a doctorate in educational leadership from Ashland University.

Starting as a math teacher in 1998, he spent six years in that job before becoming an assistant principal in 2004. Gupta been an administrator for 19 years in Ashland, New Albany and Worthington, where he has worked since 2015.

About the Author