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Paynesville Press - January 21, 2004

School board reorganizes for 2004

By Michael Jacobson

The Paynesville Area School Board took the following actions at their meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 13.

*The board reorganized for 2004, including the addition of two new members: Lowell Haagenson and Bonnie Strobbe, who were elected to the board in November and now take office. Strobbe attended her first meeting, but Haagenson was unable to attend.

The board elected new officers. Allen Schmidt was elected board chair on a split vote, getting three votes to defeat Deb Glenz and Mark Dingmann for the chair seat. Glenz was re-elected vice chair, and Gretchen O'Fallon was re-elected clerk. Tami Stanger was elected treasurer. Schmidt replaces retired chair Pat Flanders, and Stanger replaces retired treasurer Maurice Dosdall.

*The board also approved committee assignments for 2004:
Minnesota State High School League - Bonnie Strobbe
School for Equity in Education - Deb Glenz
Continuing Education - Tami Stanger
Education District - Allen Schmidt; Alternate - Stanger
Community Education - Gretchen O'Fallon
Curriculum Advisory - Stanger
Facility and Equipment - Mark Dingmann, O'Fallon, and Schmidt
Employee Recognition - Glenz and O'Fallon
Transportation - Lowell Haagenson and Schmidt
Teacher Negotiations - Dingmann, Schmidt, and Stanger
Support Staff Negotiations - Glenz Dingmann, and Haagenson
Administration Negotiations - Glenz, O'Fallon, and Strobbe
Legislative Liaison - Glenz
Meet and Confer - Stanger and O'Fallon
Staff Development - Glenz
Finance - Haagenson and Stanger
Budget - Dingmann, Glenz, and Stanger
Technology - Haagenson
Food Service - Glenz and O'Fallon
Stearns County Family Services Collaborative - Strobbe; Alternate - Schmidt

*The board voted to keep their meeting times the same for 2004. The board meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month in the media center at the elementary school at 8 p.m.

*The board also kept their stipends the same for 2004. Board members receive $40 per meeting but are paid for only one regular board meeting per month, when the board actually has two meetings, in addition to committee meetings. For a day of board business (more than five hours), members receive $80. For a half day of board business (five hours of less), they receive $40.

*The board set stipend amounts for the chair, clerk, and treasurer. The stipend for the chair was kept at $125 per year, and the stipend for the treasurer was kept at $25 per year.

The stipend for the clerk was lowered from $125 per year to $25 per year because the board approved having the district secretary take the minutes at the board meetings, a task previously done by the clerk. The secretary will adjust her daytime hours in order to attend the board meetings, and the board approved a $100 yearly stipend for the secretary to cover the extra mileage to attend the board meetings at night.

*The board also agreed to have their meetings videotaped and rebroadcast on the local cable channel. The city approached the school district about rebroadcasting the meetings, which will be done at no cost to the school district. Because a live video feed has not been installed, the school board meetings will be taped and then broadcast at a later time.

*The board approved new two-year contracts with the custodial union and the food service union. Each group settled for a two percent increase in their salary scale in 2003-04 and 2.25 percent in 2004-05. They also will receive increases in their health insurance contributions from the district: up to $4,500 per year in 2003-04 (up from $3,700) and up to $4,700 per year in 2004-05). In all, the custodians - many of whom also have step increases due to their length of service - will see a total increase of $22,200 over two years, an increase of just over 10 percent. The food service workers will see a total increase of $11,200, an increase of about 7.5 percent over two years.

*The board approved maternity leaves for elementary teacher Karlin Jacoby, effective approximately Friday, Jan. 30, and for instructional assistant Romelle Hentges, effective approximately on Tuesday, Feb. 3.

*The board approved a part-time assignment for special education teacher Amy Samuel to provide an extended special needs program for a district student.

*The board approved an adjustment for special education driver Tami Zwiefel, from two hours per day to four hours per day.

*The board approved additional ECFE assignments for the second semester: 31 hours for Deb Gillman as a parent educator and 21 hours for Tami Neu as an instructional assistant. The extra staff was needed due to higher demand for the programs. The district advertised for a parent educator, but could not find one, so Gillman, the principal who oversees ECFE, agreed to fulfill the role as parent educator.

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