Dist. 17 administrators receive raises
Board says drivers hired on merit, not seniority
CHANNAHON — Principals and the dean in Channahon District 17 will be receiving 3 percent raises this year, as approved by the school board Monday evening.
Angela Stallion’s salary will rise from $82,081 to $84,543; Chadd Uphoff’s from $93,587 to $96,395; Susan Kavich’s from $85,983 to $88,562; Kathleen Bisch’sfrom $55,000 to $56,650, and Dean Bradley Homerding’s from $56,107 to $57,790.
Board member Derek Breen voted against the raises, saying it wasn’t the percentage increase that he was against, but that it was across the board.
Breen and board member Pat Clower also voted against the three-year contract for Director of Finance/Transportation Mike Schroeder, which passed with board majority. Breen made no comment on his reason, but Clower explained she was against any multi-year contract at all at this time, no matter who it was for.
Schroeder, whose current salary is $130,730 will receive a 3 percent increase this coming year, making his salary $134,652. For the two years following, he will receive not less than a 2 percent raise and not more than 4 percent, depending on the Consumer Price Index, CPI.
The school board this week also held an extended discussion of how substitute bus drivers are given assignments and promotions to permanent positions. Subs and permanent drivers have attended recent board meetings to discuss what they say are discrepancies in the way they have received assignments.
Substitute drivers say they want clear, written policies, but according to board president Michael Geldean, the district does not have “policies” for substitutes in any of the district’s five various areas, such as bus drivers, custodians, and teachers. There are only policies for qualifications to be placed on the list of substitutes, said board member Joan Ferguson.
Substitute bus drivers also do not earn seniority, the board explained. Calls for work are placed on a rotation schedule, which is a new procedure, and offers for permanent driving positions are based on merit, rather than on seniority.
“That’s not what they were told when they were hired,” board member Derek Breen said in objection. “They could accrue seniority if the board allowed it. . . I just want to know where everything went wrong and why what they were told when they were hired got thrown out the window.”
“We looked at the issue and decided seniority wasn’t the best way to hire new permanent drivers,” Geldean said.
Julie Bankes said she thought it was not a good idea to only look at seniority when considering offering subs full-time positions. Board member Pat Clower agreed.
“I hope the best employee gets the job,” Clower said, “not necessarily the one with the most seniority.”
“If they (sub drivers) don’t perform,” Breen said, “you let them go, so the ones with the most seniority should get the job.”
In the end, the board as a whole agreed it was acceptable not to have written policies for substitute positions and that Finance/Transportation Director Mike Schroeder would schedule a meeting with any regular and substitute bus drivers who wished to attend, along with two board members (Joan Ferguson and Julie Bankes) this summer.
The school board also could begin discussions on whether to close up one of the district’s four schools.
Superintendent Dr. Karin Evans brought up the possibility. Enrollment numbers have been decreasing for a few years and are expected to continue to decline for the immediate future. Kindergarten enrollment is at 98 now, Evans said, which is the lowest in years.
Several possibilities were considered, such as keeping all four schools open, closing Pioneer Path and housing Early Learners through fourth grade in N.B. Galloway School, or housing Early Learners through third grade at Galloway and adding one more grade to Three Rivers School.
A new cafeteria or gymnasium could be added to Galloway, which would be paid for by the shuttering of Pioneer Path. The board asked staff to research the possibilities and report back at the August meeting.
The board also approved the tentative fiscal 2013 budget with expenditures including possible air conditioner repairs at Pioneer Path, door repair work at Galloway, interior painting at Three Rivers, possible second floor water heater repair at the junior high, interior painting at the junior high, seal coating of parking lots at three of the schools, and painting the Galloway bus barn.
The tentative budget includes a 0.77 percent increase over last year’s budget, total revenues of $19.5 million and expenditures of $16.9 million.
The school board also approved fundraisers for the upcoming school year. The PTO will have Market Day, Script Cards, Great American catalog sales, and the coupon book Booster Shot. The Music Boosters will have a 5K Run and Pasta Night. The Athletic Boosters will hold its annual golf outing.
Also approved was the school board’s meeting schedule for the next year. Meetings will continue to be held on the fourth Mondays at 7 p.m. at the district office board room in Pioneer Path School, with the exception of the following dates, which will be the third Mondays: Aug. 20, Dec. 17, March 18, and May 20.
The district will also be paying $6,545 for Entre Computer Solutions to construct a taller tower on the roof of Pioneer Path School to allow better reception for the school’s VOIP phone system. According to Finance Director Michael Schroeder, the tall trees adjacent to the building currently interfere with the signal.
The district will also contract asphalt repair, seal coating, and striping for some parking lots this summer. Wolf’s Sealcoating Inc. of Joliet will repair surfaces at N.B. Galloway School for $13,870. Quality Asphalt Services of Minooka will work on two schools – Pioneer Path, for $1,325, and Channahon Junior High, for $8,781. All were lowest bids.
Haldeman Painting, of Channahon will paint the N.B. Galloway bus barn and some of the school’s trim for $14,810.
The school board Monday also approved some personnel considerations. Hired for extra duty were Lucinda Talbot and Tammy Zadel as co-cheerleading coaches and Tim Hanson as head cross country coach.
Ted Martin will transfer from sixth-grade teacher at Three Rivers School to Channahon Junior High School. Mike Carpenter resigned as technology director, Nancy Geldean as bus aide, and Michelle Misch as assistant track coach. Jennifer Johnson was also approved for family medical leave on or about Oct. 31 to around Feb. 15.
There will be no July District 17 school board meeting. The next meeting, always open to the public, will be held on Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. in the board meeting room at Pioneer Path School.