A close 4-3 vote to approve an extra duty salary increase of $4,145 from this year to the 2013-2014 school year brought out some emotions during the Van-Far R-I School Board’s meeting held on Thursday, May 23.
Board members Jim Hopke, Dr. Greg Frost, and Kevin Motley each voted “No” on the proposed extra duty schedule after discussion was held on the proposal Superintendent Chris Felmlee made in the April meeting.
Van-Far Jr./Sr. High School Principal Cindy Pirch said a committee of teachers involved in athletic and academic extra duties, vocational teachers, and both principals took a look at the salary schedules of three similar size districts.
She said the goal was to make the schedule more equitable. In the fall, she said the committee would like to meet with the new superintendent to work on a method of keeping salaries increased as the teachers’ salary schedule changes.
The proposed schedule would later have class sponsors assigned but no pay would be given for the responsibilities.
“This is not the way to do this,” Dr. Frost said as he wanted a larger sample size than three and wanted a spreadsheet of all the schools for easy comparison.
He also said more time should have been spent on developing the schedule and expressed concerns for taking the schedule out of the hands of the new superintendent.
“This document conflicts with our own administrative team,” Dr. Frost added as he felt it should be presented to administrators before being presented to the board.
“I do think we owe a certain amount of respect to the staff who put time in putting this together,” said board member Pete Nasir.
Nasir then made the motion to accept the 2013-2014 extra duty salary schedule as presented.
Former board member Charles Scrogin was presented an engraved clock by Superintendent Felmlee for his service to the district.
Van-Far Elementary’s Students of the Month were Owen Fletcher (K), Jennifer Guo (1st), Kayden McMillen (2nd), Bryson Aguirre-Kelley (3rd), Robert Fletcher (4th), Alivia Graddy (5th), and Jayson Orr (6th).
High School teacher Joe Basinger recognized students Brittany Mason and Dylan Mouser for publishing the book “The Last Archadia.” The book can be purchased through Amazon.com. A story on the two and their book appeared in a 2012 issue of The Vandalia Leader.
Josh Hodde was recognized for a paper he wrote in his Character-Plus class called “How can students participating in extracurricular activities make a difference.” The paper was submitted into a MSHSAA competition, in which he took third for the district. Hodde read his paper to those in attendance.
VFTA President Taryn Dameron informed the board that the organization was able to award eight scholarships.
AEL Director Shannon Moore informed the board that her current year’s budget was $278,205.48 and it was uncertain what the budget will be next year. Her new budget has an increase of $2,900.
She said this past year, GED sites were at WERDCC, at Van-Far High School, and at NECAC in Bowling Green.
This past year, there were 386 students at WERDCC, 14 at Van-Far, and 27 at NECAC.
She said there is still uncertainty with the GED test as potential changes are scheduled for 2014. It will be computer based.
Moore noted the dedication of the AEL teachers.
A+ Coordinator Joy Davis presented the A+ Advisory Team Partnership Plan and the 2013-2014 Handbook.
She noted the only possible change could be made in relation to the district’s drug policy.
She said that 62% of the Class of 2013 were A+ students.
“(A+) is a part of what makes our school a more powerful school and makes our product a better product,” Davis said.
The board unanimously accepted the A+ Advisory Team Partnership Plan.
Read the rest of the story in our May 22 issue or purchase an electronic edition at http://www.vandalialeader.com/?page_id=33