West Jeff school board approves raises

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(Posted Nov. 9, 2021)

By Linda Dillman, Staff Writer

Jefferson Local Schools administrators are getting raises after years of deferring pay and base salary increases and the district’s removal from a state fiscal watch list.

At the school board’s Nov. 8 meeting, Treasurer Mark Ingles presented a five-year forecast that includes 2.75 percent increases for certified, classified and administrative personnel, along with base salary increases.

The forecast will be posted online and, according to Ingles, shows improvement in finances with an ending positive fund balance every year for five years.

“Things are looking up. We expect an increase in overall state funds,” he said.

However, Ingles cautioned that without renewal of the levy next year, the district “could be in a world of hurt” but is currently “on the right track.”

Board members approved an agreement with the local OAPSE union, following a similar 2.75 percent agreement previously approved with the teachers’ union.

“This keeps (everything) in line with the teachers’ contract and the OAPSE contract,” said board member Whitney Duemmel.

Board members also passed the same salary increases for the superintendent, treasurer, principals and directors, in addition to salary adjustments for many of the same positions.

“It’s a great thing for the board to give increases that are justified,” said board member David Harper.

Board member Dr. Meg Hiss stated the raises are something the board has not been able to do for a few years.

The list of salary adjustments includes a $5,000 base salary increase for the treasurer retroactive to Aug. 1.

“Mark has done a great job of turning the ship around,” said Duemmel, adding that the increase brings the treasurer’s salary more in line with similar districts.

In addition to other base salary increases: Dean of Students Shawn Buescher is receiving an additional $7,134; Curt Dennis, technology director, is getting $5,774; Elementary Curriculum Director Andrea Buescher will receive $4,812; and Operations Director Bob Hiss’s base salary goes up by $3,554.

All of the increases are retroactive to Aug. 1.

“I thank the board for all of the raises,” said Superintendent William Mullett. “It was a bit of an arduous process, and going forward, we will have a different plan.”

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