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Administrative jobs change

Staff writer

With the resignation of high school principal Tim Robertson, and Peabody-Burns Board of Education’s decision not to re-fill the position, some shuffling of duties was due between other administrators.

After 17 minutes in executive session, it was decided that Ray Savage would take over as assistant principal for all grade levels and be director of all activities and athletics in the district. Savage’s pay will remain the same.

Elementary principal Ken Parry would become the middle and high school principal as well as English as a second language administrator, technology administrator, crises team director, and Leadership Certification Program director. Parry’s salary will increase to $68,500.

Ron Traxson will be the elementary school principal, transportation director, and food service administrator, in conjunction with his current duties as superintendent. Traxson was given a $500 per month transportation stipend in lieu of a district vehicle.

To also help with the change, Kathy Preheim will take on a roll similar to head teacher and help with curriculum and testing for all grades.

Emergency plan

After a lengthy discussion Monday evening by members of the board, it was approved for the district to adopt the South-Central Kansas Multi-Hazard Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan.

County emergency manager Randy Frank gave a presentation about the plan, which included three things the district must change in order to meet the plan this year.

One of the items on the plan was for the district to purchase a back-up generator for both the high school and elementary school buildings for a price of nearly $80,000, Frank said.

Neither board members, Traxson, or Frank knew where the recommendation came from.

“It would be nice to have, but we can’t afford it,” board member Travis Foth said. “I don’t remember ever talking about generators so I don’t know where that would have came from.”

Frank said since the planning phase of the plan was well before he took over the position, he had no way of knowing how or who recommended the generators.

The list of improvements can be changed yearly according to Frank, with no repercussions if the district could not complete the demands due to funding.

“Why do we need to vote on it then?” board member Anthony Zappone said. “It we’re not going to be held to these things then why do we have to vote? I don’t feel comfortable on voting on something I haven’t read and don’t know the repercussions of.”

The plan, which is more than 900 pages long, outlines disaster procedures for each town, school, county, and college in the region. Adopting the plan means the district is able to apply to federal grants for disasters or disaster preparedness such as generators or storm shelters.

“Maybe you can’t buy the generators now, but you could research grant options available to you by accepting this plan that might not have been available to you to purchase generators,” Frank said.

Despite being told there was no immediate deadline to accept the plan and Zappone’s request for more time to read through the plan, the board voted 6-1 with Zappone voting against in favor of accepting the plan.

“It’s amazing how we can vote on something and have no idea what we’re voting for,” Zappone said.

No more cross-country

During a discussion of supplemental positions, the board decided not to fill the position of cross-country coach after the resignation of Kim Topham.

The decision to cut the program came from the lack of interest after only one student said they would be interested in competing next year.

In other business:

  • The summer weightlifting contract was given to Brian Simmonds.
  • The board accepted resignations from custodian Courtney Dealy and Brian Simmonds as boys basketball head coach. Former assistant coach Caleb Good will replace Simmonds.
  • The board met in executive session with Parry for 25 minutes to discuss his employment contract.
  • Adult breakfast prices were raised 5 cents to $1.95, and lunch 10 cents to $3.40 to comply with federal prices. The board also approved the 2014-15 food service program.
  • The board accepted a resignation from Darren Schroeder from the Recreation Commission. Simmonds was appointed to fill the remainder of the term through 2017.
  • Elementary, middle, and high school enrollment fees were accepted by the board with no change from the previous year. Pre-school enrollment increased $5 to $50 per student.
  • The list of certified personnel was approved. The board met in executive session for 12 minutes. Upon returning to open session, it was voted to accept classified job offerings.
  • Five new teachers were hired. They are Gretchen Berns, Vocational Agriculture, Laura Christy, 5-12 music; Katherine Feyees, 7-12 math; Jennifer Hurst, 6th math and social studies, Spanish, and MTSS; and Chris Young, 7-12 social studies.

Last modified June 12, 2014

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