WL-S board approves teacher contract, school calendar


WEST LIBERTY – The West Liberty-Salem Local Schools board approved a new four-year contract with its teachers union Tuesday.

The board unanimously approved the contract, which offers 2 percent salary increases in the first and second year, a 1.5 percent salary increase in the third year, and a 0.5 percent raise in the final year. The contract runs from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2021.

The contract allows teachers at the district during two years of step freezes to recover one step, Superintendent Kraig Hissong said.

The contract stipulates if the district has a $3 million carryover estimate in the third and fourth years of the contract, those salary increases would be 2 percent in the third year and 1 percent in the second year, he said.

Teachers had salary freezes for several years, Hissong said, so the goal was to catch them up. Teachers received raises in fiscal years 2014-15, 2016-17 and 2017-18, Treasurer Steve Godwin said.

The new contract notes an altered number of work days, based on the new school calendar. The district changed its school calendar the past couple of years due to the building project, starting later in the year and getting out sooner to give construction crews longer summers to do the work. To do that, the school days needed to be longer. The longer school days and shorter school year are reflected in the change, Hissong said.

The school board approved next school year’s calendar, which begins after Labor Day and ends before Memorial Day. Though the building project is ending this summer, district administrators, teachers, students and parents all said they liked the altered calendar and wanted to keep it. The calendar includes five calamity days, to be used and made up as determined by the superintendent and school board.

The board approved terminating the district’s contract with Adriel School and the Midwest Regional Educational Service Center (ESC) for residential student programs. The ESC had been staffing the Adriel School on the district’s behalf for students using the facility. Adriel closed Feb. 17, so there was no longer a need for the contract. The contract terminates on March 31, 2017.

In other action, the board:

•Approved non-renewal of all 2016-17 winter supplemental coaching positions.

•Approved volunteers for the Musical and Show Choir, sixth grade Camp Willson trip, seventh grade Chicago trip, and eighth grade Washington, D.C. trip.

•Approved hiring Head Girls Volleyball Coach Annie Kauffman, Assistant Volleyball Coach Kayla Peterson, Assistant Boys Golf Coach Ryan Meister, 7th grade Middle School Football Coach Riley Sims, Assistant Middle School Football Coach Kyle Wilkins, and Middle School Assistant Football Coach Austin Dillon, all at Step 1; Head Girls Cross Country Coach Ann Vogel and Head Boys Cross Country Coach Mike Louden, all at Step 3; for the 2017-18 school year.

•Approved hiring Assistant Girls Soccer Coach Tom Eickoff and Assistant Varsity Football Coach Jeremiah Vigansky, both at Step 3; for the 2017-18 sports season.

•Approved hiring Assistant Varsity Football Coaches Andy McGill and Jon McGill, Head Varsity Football Coach Dan McGill, Head 8th grade Football Coach Rex Stapleton, Fall Weight Room Supervisor Stephanie Spencer, Head Golf Coach Darrin Leichty, Head Varsity Boys Soccer Coach Tim Wolfe and Head Varsity Girls Soccer Coach Andy Cotrell, all at Step 3; and Assistant Varsity Girls Soccer Coach Kim Hollar at Step 2; all for the 2017-18 sports season.

•Approved hiring Fran’s Mowing LLC to be contracted for mowing of fields and school property for the 2017 season (March 15, 2017, to Nov. 30, 2017), at $14,000. Work includes mowing the path in the land lab, bush hogging and sweeping of athletic fields as necessary.

•Accepted donations of $60 from Stacy Kimball and $300 from Chris Moell, for baseball; $10 from Jennifer Blair, $10 from Molly Perdue, $25 from Louise Dunham, $36 from Emily Cinnamon, and $81 from Cash for softball; $110 from Kristy Emch-Roby for the Rotary WL-S project; and $40 from Lana K. Farquharson for the musical.

By Casey S. Elliott

[email protected]

Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.

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