Auction set for Saywell House; longtime administrator to retire

by Judy Stringer

April 10 school board meeting

The 130-year-old Saywell House goes on the auction block May 29, according to Hudson City Schools Operations Director Tom Barone.

Putting the district-owned building up for public auction, he explained, is the first step toward its eventual sale. The district wants the house – which sits adjacent to Hudson Middle School’s North Oviatt Street driveway – gone to make way for a planned widening of that driveway.

Board President Steve DiMauro said the district has had “multiple conversations” with city officials and community organizations, including Hudson Heritage Association and Western Reserve Academy, about “different scenarios” to salvage the home.

“It is our hope … to find a home for the property, and I know some people have expressed some interest,” he said, adding that any relocation of the building must be cost-neutral to the district.

Board member Tom Tobin said if the May auction is not fruitful, there will be “more time” for interested parties to negotiate directly with the district.

“But, at some point in time if we just don’t get what we need, if we don’t find that person or that company or that organization willing to move this building, we will eventually be forced to demolish it,” Tobin said. “We don’t want to do that, but we have a fiduciary responsibility to not just carry property for sentimental purposes, especially if it’s in conflict with our operations, such as widening that entryway to the middle school.”

In other meeting news, the board approved two personnel resolutions involving administrative positions. First, it confirmed the hire of Jennifer Hall as the new principal of McDowell Early Learning, Hudson’s preschool and kindergarten building, starting Aug. 1.

Hall is a graduate of Hudson City Schools, according to a district press release, and currently serves as the principal of West Elementary School in the New Philadelphia City Schools District. Prior to that time, she was an elementary teacher in the Ridgewood Local School District in West Lafayette, Ohio.

Hall will replace Beth Trivelli, who retires at the end of this school year.

At the board meeting, Human Resources Director Lisa Hunt said Hall was among 30 applicants for the job opening and underwent three rounds of interviews.

“She’s already started working with [Trivelli] unofficially, just to check out the building and learn the ropes,” Hunt said.

Osmun to retire

Hunt and the board, meanwhile, are preparing to bid farewell to longtime administrator Doreen Osmun, after accepting a resolution announcing her July 31 retirement. Osmun has been with the district for 21 years, beginning as an elementary principal and advancing to curriculum director and later assistant superintendent and curriculum director. 

Superintendent Dana Addis said Osmun was “as good as [anyone] I’ve ever worked with in terms of drive and energy and pushing people and talent and caring about our kids, caring about the school district.”

Board member Alisa Wright added that Osmun exemplifies the administration’s commitment to students and families.

“I feel like you’ve led the way actually in that example, always going above and beyond,” Wright said. “So while we will hopefully be able to fill the position, we may not be able to replace the person that you have been to the district.”

A few board members said they would reserve their comments about Osmun for an upcoming district-wide retirement celebration or her final July meeting.

The board also approved July 5 retirements for Ron Wright, a 19-year teacher and coach at Hudson High School, and custodian Paul Rodriguez, who has been with Hudson schools for 23 years. ∞