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 CAB Board Awards $10k Raise

June 17, 2009 - The Charles A. Beard School Board dealt with a number of personnel matters at its June 9 meeting, including approval of a 26.3-percent pay increase for the corporation's treasurer.

Acting on a recommendation from Superintendent Gary Storie, the board voted 6-1 to increase the yearly salary of Treasurer Michelle Swift from $38,000 to $48,000, retroactive to June 1. Storie said the pay increase was justified due to additional responsibilities Swift took on after David Bundy, CAB's former business manager, resigned to take a job with Pfenninger Insurance Agency in New Castle.

Noting that Bundy's total compensation package had been over $100,000, Board Vice President Steve Dalton said CAB is still saving over $60,000 a year, even after giving Swift this raise and hiring a new office worker. Board member Mark Fort cast the lone dissenting vote.

The board unanimously voted to extend the contracts of CAB's four principals and two assistant principals, who have base salaries ranging from $61,811 to $76,207, and averaging $68,169. With benefits, however, including a perk that four now take advantage of that requires them to pay only 25 cents a year for their health insurance, the total compensation packages range from $74,885 to $117,257, with an average cost to CAB of $95,682 per position.

Susan Logan, daughter of former CAB Superintendent Hal Jestetr, was rehired by the board as CAB's social worker. Logan, whose social worker position at CAB was eliminated at the end of the 2006-2007 school year as part of reduction-in-force efforts, will have a base salary of $34,535.

The board voted to have CAB pay two-sevenths -- about $22,000 -- of the salary for Mike York, head of the Eder Vocational radio program located at the Indiana Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's Home. The remainder of York's salary will be paid by the New Castle vocational cooperative. According to agenda notes Storie sent board members, CAB may be able to get reimbursed by the state for about half of what it will pay York, who will also teach two classes at KHS next year.

In other personnel matters, summer school teaching contracts were approved for Rachael Sheperd, Greg Branson and, if needed, Dan Clevenger. The particular teaching assignments of each teacher and the amount of pay they will earn was not disclosed during the meeting or in materials provided as part of board members' packets.

The board also accepted a retirement notice from custodian Patty Tribby, who had worked for CAB for 22 years. Storie advised the board that there are currently no plans to replace Tribby, and that other custodians will be moved around to make up for the loss of personnel.

Resignations were also received at last week's meeting for two extracurricular positions. KC Salter is stepping down as an assistant cross country coach at KHS and as head cross country coach at KIS, and Erin Morgan is resigning as sponsor of the KHS drama club.

In other business, the board voted to give Storie permission to apply for a grant through the Indiana Department of Education to help fund full-day kindergarten at CAB. If awarded, the grant could provide CAB with at least $67,798 in funding, based on a projected enrollment of 86 students. for full-day kindergarten. Storie said CAB would need to add 1.5 teaching positions at Knightstown Elementary, which could cost $58,719 based on the salary of a starting teacher.

The board also accepted a bid from Star Financial Bank on $675,000 in tax anticipation warrants, funds being borrowed to make up for cash shortfalls caused by delayed receipt of property tax revenues. CAB is expected to repay these funds as soon as its spring property tax disbursement is received.

The board approved fees for students taking advantage of Nova Net computer assisted instruction through KHS. Students will pay $150 to participate, which is half the cost, but non-CAB students, who will be allowed to take part if all 24 slots are not filled, will pay the full cost.

During public comments at last week's meeting, Knightstown residents Karen and Mike Trent addressed the board about the issue of student bullying, something they said their daughter faced at Knightstown High School before transferring to another school corporation. Karen Trent read a prepared statement to the board regarding student safety and asked what CAB is doing to address bullying, and the Trents' daughter also addressed the board, saying she had asked for help and didn't receive it.

Storie said CAB has a safety plan in place that includes measures for addressing bullying. He said neither he nor the board were turning a deaf ear to the Trents' concerns. Karen Trent said she and her husband were not asking the board to take any action with respect to their daughter, saying, instead, that they simply brought it up as an example of a much larger problem that affects other kids.

Dawn Wineman, who has a daughter attending Knightstown Elementary, asked for an update on plans to air condition the district's elementary schools. Storie said he had advised the board not to spend any of an estimated $400,000 in accumulated Capital Projects funds on AC at this time because the money may be needed to make up for shortfalls in other funds.

Dalton said he would like to see CAB look into borrowing money to take care of the AC. Storie said he would bring information back to the board on possibly doing a general obligation bond issue to raise money for this. Wineman asked that the board keep the public updated.

Jason Groce asked whether CAB was looking to install AC only at Knightstown Elementary. Storie said that, no, CAB is looking for AC solutions for all three elementaries.

The board also approved changes in the staff-student handbooks for KIS and KHS. Copies of the revised handbooks may be viewed at CAB's central office, 345 N. Adams St., or at KHS or Knightstown Intermediate School, during regular business hours.

The board will next meet on Tuesday, July 7, at 6 p.m. This meeting, which will be held in the KHS media center, will serve as the board's annual organizational meeting, at which members will select board officers for the 2009-2010 school year. A strategic planning session will immediately follow.


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