By Pam Robinson
The Mount Vernon School Board extended the employment contract, scheduled to expire June 30, 2013, for Superintendent Tom Kopatich at the Monday, May 21, meeting. The new employment contract between Kopatich and the Board will run from July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2016. It was stated that the salary would be reflected in the wage and benefit package for management and non-unit personnel.
The board cited their approval of Kopatich’s sound budgetary management of the school district during difficult times and his rapport with administrators, teachers, staff and community. Board member Beth McFadin Higgins perhaps spoke most eloquently, stating, “Certainly, we’ve seen the landscape of education continuously change. As soon as we think we have something predicted, that’s changed. And Dr. Kopatich has really been a good lighthouse in that sense. He’s really given us direction, and we appreciate it.”
Kopatich thanked the board and emphasized, “It’s an honor to be working for the school district, the school board and the community of Mount Vernon.”
After the meeting, Kopatich confirmed that his salary is $93,780 after the 5.5 percent pay decrease. He works year-round with 15 days of vacation that may be used any time. If the superintendent wants to go away for spring break or Christmas break, for example, he must use vacation time. Kopatich receives basically the same benefit package as other personnel.
In addition, the board confirmed the employment of several teachers and key personnel in the school district. Those new hires include Ashley Burke as high school English and language arts teacher; Nathan Ellis as junior high social studies teacher; Christine Franklin as junior high English and language arts teacher; Sarah Hall as junior high math teacher; Margaret Heckman as 50 percent art teacher for Marrs; Laura Kissel as junior high art teacher; Cory Mullins as junior and senior high school band director; and Kate Scates as home/school advisor for both Marrs and the junior high.
Kopatich stated that the district was close to having everyone hired—noting the need to select another junior high social studies teacher, a preschool teacher and a counselor at both the junior high and high school—except the teacher assistants. The employment postings for teacher assistants were placed on the website last week.
Two resignations were accepted: one from John Kozloski as a counselor and extracurricular monitor (1/2 stipend) and one from Stephaine Sharber as academic coach, newspaper and yearbook sponsor and assistant girls’ track coach, all at the junior high. The resignations were effective at the end of the 2011-12 school year.
In other business:
•The board accepted the low bid from Felts Lock and Alarm in the amount of $339,065.50 for the access control systems at Mount Vernon Junior High School, Marrs Elementary School and Hedges Central. In addition, the board accepted alternate #1 bid from Felts in the amount of $33,093.75 for the vehicular gate at the junior high.
•The board set 2012-13 textbook rental prices as follows:
K $ 67.30
9-12 depends upon course selection
Loren Evans, school district director of finance, noted that even with the introduction of iPads and e-books for the sixth grade, textbook rental goes up for those students by only 61 cents. He added that across the district, the average increase in textbook rental is 43 cents.
•The board has authorized YMCA of Southwestern Indiana to provide the child care program for the 2012-13 school year at no cost to the school district.
•The board recognized two exemplary student achievements. The Mount Vernon High School Academic Team English Squad finished second out of 285 other teams at the recent state level competition at Purdue University. In addition, the Mount Vernon Junior High School 7th and 8th Grade Band received and excellent rating and a trophy at the recent Third Annual Beech Bend Music Festival.
The Mount Vernon School Board will meet again Monday, June 4, 2012, 5:45 p.m. in the junior high media center.
By Pam Robinson
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