School Board approves two year contract with teachers association

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With other school corporations in the state battling with teachers over salaries and benefits, the Switzerland County School Board and the Central Teachers Association reached contract harmony on Monday with the approval of a two-year contract.

Approved earlier in the day by the teachers association, the school board also approved the contract at its meeting on Monday night. The contract covers the certified teacher’s salary schedule; the extra curricular salary schedule; and benefits.

Most importantly, the contract runs through the end of the 2009-2010 school year.

The approved contract gives certified teachers a 2-percent raise this year; and a 2 1/2-percent raise for the 2009-2010 school year. Those same percentages apply to the extra curricular salary schedule as well.

Certified staff will also receive 5-percent each year on their medical insurance benefit.

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In other business discussed by the school board:

– Vicki Koons, who has served the school corporation for 20 years as an instructional assistant, was honored by the board on the occasion of her retirement.

Middle school principal Nancy Stearns told the board that Vicki Koons’ retirement will be a big loss to the middle school.

“Mrs. Koons always came to work with a smile, and she was always willing to do whatever we asked of her,” Nancy Stearns said. “We are going to miss her.”

“She’s a special lady,” Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Jones said. “She such an example to the children. She always had high standards, and I think that helps our children develop high standards. She has been a very valuable employee.”

Vicki Koons was honored with a plaque, which was presented by school board president Andy Truitt.

– The school board delayed a decision on entering into a maintenance agreement concerning the air conditioning roof units at Switzerland County High School. Board member Bill Roberts asked Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Jones to investigate whether a local company might be able to do the work as a comparable or lower price.

The board agreed that these are industrial units, so maintenance may be more complicated than on smaller units, but still opted to check on local vendors before awarding the contract.

– Board member Vern Waltz was appointed as the board’s representative on the Construction Committee.

– In personnel matters: James Martin was approved as a volunteer assistant boys basketball coach; the board accepted Tammy Martin’s resignation as varsity volleyball coach; Shawn Holliday was named the ski/outdoor recreation coach; and Melissa Reynolds was hired as an instructional assistant at Switzerland County Middle School.

– The board tabled a request to the endowment corporation from Myron Browning to purchase a bucket loader, and will consider the matter at its next meeting.

– Switzerland County FFA members Jamie Phipps and Carrie Truax made the presentation to the school board that they gave at the National FFA Convention. The presentation helped earn the local FFA chapter the number one ranking in the nation in the area of chapter development.

– Professional leave requests and use of facilities requests were approved.

– The next meeting of the Switzerland County School Endowment Corporation will be on Tuesday, November 25th, at 6:30 p.m.

– The next regular meeting of the Switzerland County School Board will be on Thursday, December 18th.