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Xenia school administrator to be paid in settlement deal after being on leave

Xenia Community Schools has posted a job opening for the district’s second-highest administrative position previously held by Christy Fielding, who resigned without explanation from the district earlier this month.

Fielding, the district’s former assistant superintendent and director of business and technology, resigned as part of an agreement with the Xenia school board, whose members voted to accept her resignation at their meeting Feb. 12.

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As part of the separation agreement, the district will pay Fielding a lump sum in two equal installments, the first on Wednesday and the second on March 31, according to district records.

The payout is for the remainder of Fielding’s $140,183 salary and the remaining contributions to her state retirement fund owed to her under the contract, according to district records. In addition, the lump sum includes half of the unused vacation time that Fielding had accrued, and the district agreed not to contest Fielding’s potential claims for unemployment compensation, according to district records.

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Fielding was put on administrative leave Jan. 30, according to a Feb. 2 notification letter from Superintendent Gabriel Lofton that is in Fielding’s personnel file.

Lofton has not commented as to why Fielding was put on administrative leave, and her personnel file does not contain any records of disciplinary actions. Messages left by phone and email to Lofton seeking comment have not been returned.

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Fielding received glowing performance evaluations since she was hired in 2011 as the director of business and technology. Former Xenia Community Schools Superintendent Denny Morrison promoted her to assistant superintendent in 2015, and she served briefly last year as the district’s top administrator after Morrison retired and prior to Lofton being hired.

In January, the school board awarded Lofton a four-year contract at an annual salary of $155,000, plus $600 monthly payments to cover expenses such as cell phone and automobile, as well as reimbursement up to $8,500 to cover expenses incurred by relocating to the district, according to district records.

Gabriel Lofton (HANDOUT)

As part of the separation agreement, Fielding agreed to not pursue any legal action against the school board. In addition, the agreement stipulates that Fielding is forbidden from talking about the details of what led to her decision to leave except in private conversations with her spouse, legal counsel and tax advisers.

This news organization has asked the district for the exact amount to be paid to Fielding as part of the separation agreement.

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