Assistant superintendent job eliminated; rollover contracts for administrators gone

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The Switzerland County School Board continued its cost-saving measures at a special meeting on Monday night, when the board eliminated the position of assistant superintendent from the administrators list.

The title of assistant superintendent is currently held by Darin Gullion, and although he still holds the position, the school board and superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Jones, assigned him to the principal’s post at Jefferson-Craig Elementary School at the beginning of this school year.

At the time that Darin Gullion was moved to Jefferson-Craig, Superintendent Jones stressed that it had nothing to do with job performance, but rather through a desire by the school board to trim costs. When Dr. Jones was elevated to the superintendent’s position, that left an opening in the principal’s office at Jeff-Craig.

Darin Gullion had served as the assistant superintendent under previous superintendent Tracy Caddell; and when Tracy Caddell resigned in January to accept the superintendent’s post in the Eastern Howard School Corporation, Darin Gullion was named interim superintendent by the school board.

Still reeling from the embezzlement of more than $1 million by former corporation treasurer Ann Geyman and trying to adjust to changes in state funding; the school board decided that the system could best be served by Darin Gullion in the principal’s position.

At Monday night’s school board meeting, the board chose to “non-renew” the assistant superintendent’s position.

The non-renewal takes effect on July 1st, 2010; when Darin Gullion’s contract as assistant superintendent expires. At that time the position will revert to a principal’s contract.

“This is a move to cut costs,” Dr. Jones said at Monday’s meeting. “It doesn’t reflect on anyone’s job performance.”

In other measures dealing with school administrators, the school board eliminated all rollover provisions in administrative contracts.

“This gives uniformity to all administrative contracts,” Dr. Jones said during discussion. “Again, this is not about job performance of individuals – it’s about all contracts being uniform.”

The recommendation was approved unanimously.

Also approved unanimously was the administrative salary schedule that all school administrators work under.

The board took no action with respect to non-certified employee pay increases; but Dr. Jones said that the school board will take action at its December 15th meeting. The school board held an executive session to discuss non-certified pay rates following the public session on Monday.

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In other business discussed by the school board on Monday:

– After discussing needs with some local companies, the school board awarded a contract for maintenance of the heating and air conditioning system at the high school to Dillard Electric.

“We did get with four or five people and got some quotes,” board president Andy Truitt said. “We feel that this will meet our needs the best by going with Dillard.”

– The school board accepted two $1,000 grants from the Vevay-Switzerland County Foundation to Switzerland County Middle School.

– The operating agreement between the school corporation and the Southeastern Indiana Career Center was approved.

– The board considered several requests to the Endowment Corporation:

A request by Myron Browning to purchase a bucket/front loader for the school’s maintenance tractor was denied.

A request by Adam Dennis for track warm ups and carry bags and also a tent for the track and cross country teams was tabled.

A request by the sixth grade teachers for an incentive trip for the class to Camp Livingston was approved.

A request by Switzerland County Elementary School for 10 additional Smart Boards was approved.

– In personnel decisions, the resignation of Janet Splain as the Pep Club sponsor was accepted; and the recommendation of Denise Loaring as the head of the guidance department in the extra curricular assignment schedule was approved.

– The school board approved a request by the Business Professionals of American club at the high school to take a field trip to Nashville, Indiana, to do research.

– The next public meeting of the school corporation will be on Monday, December 15th, in the administrative offices on Seminary Street.

The board also announced that its first meeting of 2009 will be held on Monday, January 12th. This will be the board’s official organizational meeting. Also: board members Wayne Daugherty, Tonya Moore, Jim Phipps, and Bill Roberts will be sworn in for four year terms.