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 CAB Board Approves Bus Driver Dismissal

December 3, 2008 - The Charles A. Beard School Board dealt with several personnel issues at its November monthly meeting, including the loss of two veteran employees, one by termination and the other to retirement.

Acting on a recommendation from Superintendent Gary Storie, board members voted 5-2 toward the end of their Nov. 18 meeting to terminate Pam Hollenbaugh, a CAB bus driver since 1987. Board members Mark Fort and Tim Wehr voted against the termination.

Neither Storie nor the board provided any explanation for the firing during the meeting, either before or after the board’s vote. Asked after the meeting adjourned about the circumstances that led to Hollenbaugh’s dismissal, Storie said CAB would reveal the factual basis for the action only in response to a formal record request, which The Banner submitted the next day.

The Monday after the meeting, Storie provided The Banner with two records related to the firing, one of which was a copy of a brief two-sentence letter, dated Nov. 19, that he sent to Hollenbaugh. In this letter, Storie told the former bus driver that the board had voted the night before to approve his recommendation to fire her for “failure to abide by board policies and insubordination.”

In the second document, a letter to Banner Publisher Eric Cox, Storie cited the same reasons given in the letter to Hollenbaugh as the factual basis for the firing. There was no indication by Storie in either his letter to Hollenbaugh or to Cox as to what board policies had not been followed or any details describing the nature of her alleged insubordination.

While the board’s vote to fire Hollenbaugh didn’t come until the Nov. 18 meeting, Storie’s letter to Cox states that the driver had been terminated three weeks earlier, on Oct. 28. He also told Cox that additional information “pertaining to this termination (is) being withheld,” citing a state statute that gives public agencies limited discretion to withhold some personnel information.

In other personnel matters, the board also voted at the Nov. 18 meeting to accept a notice of retirement, effective Dec. 31, from custodian and maintenance employee Lewis “Gene” Neff, a CAB employee for over 22 years. The board also approved two requests for extended medical leave, one from Jan. 6 to March 16, the other from March 27 to May 29, for two employees who were not identified.

The board received notice that two Knightstown Intermediate School coaches, assistant wrestling coach John Wagner and eighth grade girls basketball coach Karen Tuttle, have resigned. The board voted to replace Wagner and Tuttle with Matt Kennedy and Cary Ellis, respectively, and approved three other coaching assignments for KIS and Knightstown High School: Dave Bradford (KHS varsity softball); Jenna Moore (KHS varsity softball, assistant); and Kristin Crawford (KIS girls track).

The board also approved four extracurricular coaching assignments for the KIS Academic Bowl team: Jamie Trautmann (social studies); Amanda Rust (science); Carissa Brammer (English); and Nancy Newton (math). Jacob Jordan and Caleb Jordan were OK’d by the board as volunteers to help KHS teacher Derek Hornsby with the high school’s bowling team.

One month after approving a new contract with CAB’s teachers that provided pay increases of just over seven percent, the board voted to give raises to most of CAB’s administrators, department heads and other noncertified employees. While most of these employees received seven-percent raises comparable to those the teachers received, a handful of positions received smaller increases if they had not been employed at CAB since the 2006-2007 school year, the first of three years covered by the new teacher contract.

Due to some issues with involving possible changes in job responsibilities, however, the board took no action on recommended pay increases for Transportation Director Janet White and Maintenance Director Mike McKillip. The pay increases approved at the Nov. 18 meeting also did not affect CAB’s bus drivers, who were placed on a new pay schedule last summer, a move that resulted, at that time, in raises of varying amounts for some of the drivers.

Two CAB employees were singled out by Storie during the meeting for special recognition. The first was KHS varsity football coach Bob Prescott, who Storie said had been named a “Coach of the Week” by the Indianapolis Colts and Anthem Blue Cross-Blue Shield. Prescott received a framed certificate for the honor, and the KHS Athletic Department received a $1,000 donation from the NFL, and another $1,000 from Anthem, given in Prescott’s name.

Storie also advised the board that KIS Assistant Principal Chris Bundy had been named Assistant Principal of the Year” by the Indiana Association of School Principals for District Six (of 12). At the end of last week’s meeting, Bundy said KIS Principal Don Scheumann and KIS teachers also deserved credit for the honor he received, saying everybody at the school “plays a big part.”


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