West Jeff school district preps for the coming school year

(Posted July 10, 2024)

By Linda Dillman, Staff Writer

A familiar face is returning to the hallways at West Jefferson High School.

On July 9, the Jefferson Local Schools board of education approved the re-employment of retired teacher Jeannette Haskins on a one-year contract as high school English teacher. The agreement becomes effective Aug. 15.

“That was a pretty short retirement,” said board President Whitney Duemmel.

Board members also approved one-year contracts with: Rachel Lesh, fourth-grade teacher; Abigail Bendure, first-grade teacher; and Lesa Matheny, second-grade teacher.
Norwood Elementary Principal Andrea Buescher told the board, “Right now, we have everybody hired.”

Prior to approval of a special education service contract with Reach Educational Services for placement services for a Jefferson Local student, board member Addie Newman asked about the approximately $80,000 expenditure.

“It makes me question whether or not it is something we could incorporate in-house,” said Newman.

Duemmel said the district would spend more by providing services in-house, but also asked for a more detailed explanation of the need from the district’s special education department.

In other action, board members approved a negotiated three-year agreement with OAPSE 684 starting July 1 and running through 2027. The contract covers the services of classified staff, including bus drivers, secretaries, computer technicians, and aides.

A 4 percent base salary adjustment increase for the central office classified staff also was approved and made retroactive to July 1.

An agreement with the Madison County-London City Health District was approved for school nurse services for the 2024-25 school year, not to exceed $68,000.

“It’s pretty much the same contract we’ve had,” commented Duemmel.

The board also accepted a $1,000 donation to the Norwood Elementary art department from the Stout family in memory of Kimberly Stout.

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