The Urbana City Schools board approved new contracts for its two top administrators Tuesday, though not without a lot of discussion in executive session.
The board approved Superintendent Charles Thiel’s contract, 4-1, with board member Tim Lacy voting against; and unanimously approved Treasurer Mandy Hildebrand’s contract. Both are five-year contracts beginning Aug. 1, 2016.
Thiel’s salary will increase to $117,500 with the new contract from $111,779.41, a 5.11 percent increase. Hildebrand’s salary increases from $91,217.24 to $95,000, a 4.19 percent increase.
The contracts were approved following an hour-and-a-half executive session. The contracts have been up for approval for a couple of months, but were tabled by board members.
Board member Jack Beard said he postponed votes in the past because he felt the evaluation process of both employees was incorrect.
“The process is what has been a stickler for me. At no time was it because the treasurer was doing anything I considered wrong or could be improved on, and same thing for the superintendent,” he said. “I apologize to the treasurer and superintendent for making it last as long as it did.”
The board approved evaluations for both administrators in December, though Beard voted no on both administrators’ evaluations and Lacy voted no on Thiel’s. At that time, Beard disagreed with board comments not being placed on the evaluations.
Lacy said Tuesday he believed evaluations were not valid if not done in a timely manner and do not include information about strengths and weaknesses and goals for the individual.
“In any organization, there should be evaluations and the people should be held accountable,” he said. “If the evaluations are not done as far as a timely process or in a productive manner to correct problems, it creates other problems.”
None of the board members discussed issues or goals that either administrator should consider.
Board President Jan Engle said the board will get together with the administrators, probably this summer, to outline goals for each. They will not do the already-approved evaluations again. Evaluations are generally done annually.
In other action, the board:
•Approved donations of $379.32 from DonorsChoose.org to Urbana North Elementary for instructional materials; $525 from Urbana Women of the Moose and Phillips Family Trust to the Urbana City Schools Lunch Bus Program; $325 from Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Shockey, Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Detwiler, Mr. & Mrs. Robert Huelsman, Dr. & Mrs. John Flora, The Skelley Lumber Company, and the Peoples Savings Bank, for the Urbana High School Academic Banquet; $75 from the Urbana Rotary Club to Urbana South Elementary Show Choir; and $200 from an anonymous donor to Urbana Junior High.
•Approved the resignations of Assistant High School Girls Track Coach Frank Stid Jr., effective immediately; Head High School Boys Soccer Coach Dylan Walker, effective immediately; and Substitute Bus Driver Jason Larson, effective Feb. 2, 2016.
•Approved hiring Head Boys Golf Coach Jerome Armstrong at Step 1 for the 2016-17 school year.
•Approved the unpaid leave of absence for Phyllis Crevison Jan. 13-March 15, 2016.
•Accepted the retirement of Tammy Elliott, effective Sept. 1, 2015.
•Approved hiring Assistant High School Boys Track Coach Richard Stevens at Step 0 for the 2015-16 school year.
•Approved hiring Assistant Junior High Track Coach Kwinten Young at Step 1 for the 2015-16 school year.
•Approved the Urbana High School Quiz Team trip to the NAQT Small School National Championship Tournament in Roseman, Illinois, April 29-May 1, 2016.
•Approved appointing Jenna Trillet to the Urbana Community School Board of Directors, effective immediately.