Teacher contract, MHS bowling among board approvals

School Board
Pete Temple
Express Associate Editor

     A recurring theme at the regular school board meeting of May 22 was that May is an increasingly busy time of year for school employees, and that was reflected in the multitude of decisions made by the Monticello School Board recently.

     Among them was the approval, at a special board meeting May 18, of a contract agreement with the Monticello Education Association (MEA) on a 2 percent salary increase.

     Accompanying that, and approved at the Monday regular meeting, was the new District Teacher Handbook, which was discussed at the May 10 work session with few changes in the district’s insurance, plus the addition of a stipend for teachers who have earned National Board Certifications.

     As for activities, the board made another approval Monday – the addition of bowling as a Monticello High School sports. A survey showed 49 students in grades 8-11 expressed interest in bowling if the district were to add it.

Contract changes

     Much of the nearly four-hour meeting – more than 90 minutes’ worth – was spent discussing contract changes that had been proposed by Jaeger.

     Board members were uncomfortable with the changes to two of the contracts. In the case of Curt Tauke, the salary proposed for eliminating his teaching contract and making him a half-time director of technology and half-time technology coach involved much discussion before the board agreed to a motion. That called for a salary of $69,749 – the same as he is making this year – with additional days included.

     Another was the contract of Morgan Murray, whose title under the contract would change to technology associate. The board approved Jaeger’s proposed salary of $16.35 per hour, but for a 173-day contract, instead of the 195 Jaeger proposed.

     Other contracts were approved without changes from the superintendent’s proposals. Those included a three-year contract extension for Jaeger, with a 2 percent salary increase; and two-year extensions for the three building principals and curriculum director Gretchen Kriegel, also with a 2 percent increase.

     Others receiving contract changes included Judy Hayen an increase to 7.5 hours a day for five days a week; Mike Meshak, a 9/8 contract that will help the district for one year; and Jessie Dirks, going from communication coach to associate.

In other action, the board:

     • approved the 2018 band/choir trip to New York.

     • accepted the audit report of Nolte, Cornman & Johnson, P.C. of Newton.

     • approved the high school SODA fundraiser.

     • approved the Panther Academy field trips.

     • approved the list of high school athletics fundraisers and field trips.

     • approved sports camp and clinic coaching wages. Coaches will receive 10 percent of registration fees, up to a cap of $300, for operating a camp that includes grades preK-8. Up to two assistants coaches can receive $5 apiece, up to a cap of $150 apiece.

     • approved a middle school at-risk coordinator position. It is not a new position, but a position that will be reconfigured, and paid for through at-risk funding.

     • approved three first readings of board policies, the second reading of eight board policies, and the deletion of two policies that are covered by two others. 


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