MANSFIELD — Supt. Stan Jefferson still loves coming to work — even after 31 years with the Mansfield City School District. 

The Mansfield City School board unanimously approved a five-year contract with Jefferson at Tuesday night’s board meeting. 

“I love the district. This is a great community, with great families, great students and a great staff,” he said.

“It makes it real easy, when you have that type of situation, to want to continue to work. I just think that what we have here is something that is very precious.”

Board members took time before the vote to thank Jefferson for his work over the last few years.

“Mr. Jefferson’s making a commitment to us until July 2028 because he wants to be here,” said board member Chris Elswick. “He’s done a tremendous job so far.” 

Elswick praised Jefferson’s 1:1 initiative, which provided a Chromebook for every student in the school district in 2019. He also pointed out that Jefferson’s contract rules out a raise during the five-year period. 

“He’s agreed to be here, he’s agreed to work for less money than he should have,” he said. 

Board vice president Gary Feagin also praised Jefferson’s dedication to the district.

“I think it says a lot when he says he wants to be here,” he said. “He says ‘Give me some more time because I haven’t done what I want to do.’ ”

Board member Renda Cline said she appreciated Jefferson’s consistency. 

“You are definitely a unifier and you are a true collaborator. You bring people together and you help them see the greatness that they have,” she said. “We can count on you to do the things you say you do.”

Jefferson, who oversees a district with more than 570 employees, thanked the board before adding that no one achieves alone.

“As we all know, it takes a team approach to get anything accomplished,” he said. “You see team members in here, from all of our directors and all of our support staff that we have here, our treasurer, our building administrators, our teachers, most importantly our students and our school community, which is our families and our agencies.”

“We have been very blessed, I feel, as a district to go off our motto from MLK Day – we are one community.” 

Jefferson began his career in education as a social studies teacher and coach in the district. He went on to become the assistant principal and later the principal of Mansfield Senior High School, wracking up 28 years with the district. He also worked as the varsity track coach and head football coach.

He was then hired by Jim Tressel to work with the Ohio State University football program. He was employed for 13 years there, under both Tressel and Urban Meyer, before retiring in 2017. 

Jefferson returned to the district in 2019 when he was hired as superintendent.

When asked about his goals for the future, Jefferson mentioned improving attendance and literacy. 

Following the release of the district’s five-year strategic plan in February, Jefferson highlighted financial stability and new, 21st-century learning facilities as other long-term goals.

“We can’t wait 10 years,” he said. “I don’t even know if we can wait five years.”

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