School board, teachers agree on contract freezing salaries, benefits

Sean C. Morgan

The District 55 School Board ratified a contract with the Sweet Home Education Association, which represents teachers and other licensed employees, that will give no increases to salary and benefits in the 2011-12 school year.

The agreement includes a zero-percent adjustment to the salary schedule and no change to the district’s contribution to insurance premiums. The district pays $880 of a licensed employee’s insurance premiums.

Eligible licensed employees will receive a step increase on June 30, 2012, the last day of the fiscal year.

The board voted 7-1 to approve the contract, with Chanz Keeney voting no and Michael Adams declaring a potential conflict of interest and abstaining because his wife is a teacher in the School District.

Keeney objected to the step increase at the end of the year, especially with the potential for an additional step immediately following in the 2012-13 fiscal year.

“I still don’t feel we need to be doing that,” he said. “I don’t feel good about it.”

Also present and voting to approve the contract were Billie Weber, Dale Keene, Chairman Jason Redick, Mike Reynolds, David VanDerlip, Jenny Daniels and Kevin Burger.

In other business, the board:

n Agreed by consensus to allow the Boys and Girls Club to remove the oak tree at Hawthorne School on the Roy Johnston Park ball fields to make room for renovations and to allow another group to begin exploring options for turf for football and soccer fields.

n Accepted the resignation of Ron Andrews from his position as maintenance superintendent. He retired last year and was working on contract.

n Accepted the donation of a 1970 Chevrolet Nova from the family of Ralph Valentine to the high school auto shop.

n Accepted the donation to the high school science department of a Meade 2120 LX6 10-inch Schmidt-Cassegrains reflecting telescope and a framed signed photograph of the discoverer of Pluto, Clyde Tombaugh, from the Harold B. Dowling estate.

n Accepted the retirement of Connie May, Title I coordinator, effective Oct. 1 and approved a post-retirement agreement for the remainder of the school year.

n Hired Marci Sullens at .1 full-time equivalent as a temporary Title I teacher at Hawthorne School.

n Hired Chris Dahlenburg as .2 FTE Title I teacher at Oak Heights.

n Increased Foster Principal Glenna DeSouza’s time from .85 FTE to full time. Her time had been decreased at her request and remained at .85 FTE for budgetary reasons.

Supt. Don Schrader told the board that the school needs a full-time principal and that it needed it even when she was part-time.