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 CAB OKs Settlement . . . Again

June 25, 2008 - For the second time in less than a month, the Charles A. Beard School Board has voted unanimously to approve a settlement with a teacher who had filed a formal grievance over not getting a coaching job.

Under terms of the settlement, Knightstown Intermediate School Teacher Vee Ann Schmidt will be paid an amount equal to the stipend for the Knightstown High School girls tennis coaching position for the 2007-2008 school year. While the specific amount Schmidt will receive is not included in the written settlement agreement, the stipend, according to the most recent teachers contract, should be $2,660.

Schmidt, an eighth grade social studies teacher at KIS, filed her grievance after the KHS coaching job was given to a non-teacher. Although Schmidt had been recommended for the coaching spot by the school's principal at the time and Athletic Director David Bradford, the position was given to Cynthia Hammer, a lay coach who led the team last year.

The school board first approved a settlement with Schmidt at its May 20 meeting, a move that allowed the board to avoid a public hearing that night on the teacher's grievance. The board did not disclose or discuss the settlement before voting and had no written agreement stating its terms.

Immediately after the meeting, CAB interim Superintendent Ray Pavy told The Banner the just-approved settlement required CAB to pay Schmidt the stipend for the position. Schmidt and a representative from the Indiana State Teachers Association, however, claimed the settlement was also to have included the boys tennis team coach job in the fall, and told Pavy there would be no settlement without the boys position.

Schmidt's ISTA representative encouraged The Banner to call her to discuss Schmidt's grievance. However, several attempts to contact her were unsuccessful and she did not return messages left for her.

When this issue came up again at last week's meeting, Pavy directed board members' attention to a copies of the settlement for "the Level 3 grievance" that were in their board packets. Schmidt's name was not mentioned once, by either Pavy or board members, nor were the circumstances surrounding her grievance or the terms of the settlement discussed or disclosed during the meeting for the benefit of those in attendance.


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