Wednesday, June 13th, 2012
By William Kincaid
Administrators, classified staff gets pay increase
  FORT RECOVERY - District administrators, supervisors and classified staff all will receive a salary increase the next two school years.
Board of education members on Tuesday night approved a 1 percent raise beginning Aug. 1 and a 1.88 percent raise the second year. The expiring two-year contract included no raise the first year and 1.2 percent the second year.
The salary increases are the same as those approved for teachers last month.
The new salaries of administrators and supervisors have not yet been calculated. Current salaries are, treasurer Lori Koch, $67,705; superintendent Shelly Vaughn, $93,775; high school principal Jeff Hobbs, $82,029; middle school principal Matt Triplett, $78,611; elementary principal Tracy Hein Evers, $68,491.25; and technology coordinator John Jutte, $56,552.26.
Board members also approved hiring middle school teachers Kathleen Heitkamp and Diane McClung for the 2012-2013 school year. The two teachers had retired at the end of this school year. The retire-rehire benefit in Ohio allows teachers to collect both a paycheck and retirement benefits.
During a required public hearing held last month to discuss the matter, only one person from the public spoke and questioned why board members were considering rehiring two retirees instead of giving younger teachers a chance at a job. The district had 75 to 100 applications for those middle school positions.
Heitkamp and McClung each had collected salaries and benefits at $90,216. Now rehired with one-year contracts for next school year, their wages and benefits package will drop to $73,864.
Vaughn issued a statement to the newspaper this morning defending the rehiring of the two teachers. The Daily Standard published an article June 2 looking at schools in the area where educators retire and are rehired.
"In response to the article ... I would like to publicly point out the fact that these two fine educators were not interested in being greedy 'double dippers' or a burden to taxpayers in any way, " Vaughn wrote. "In fact, they both were doing what they thought would be the best for our school district."
The district benefits from having highly qualified and experienced teachers in the classroom for one more year at a much lower cost to the district, she wrote.
"These teachers realize that this is a one-year opportunity," Vaughn wrote. "This means that next school year when their jobs are posted and the school district hires new teachers (with less experience) to replace them, the district will realize a cost savings again."
The retire/rehire process helps the district maintain a culture of excellence, Vaughn said.
"We are able to prevent a turnover rate that is too high and could result in achievement gaps," she wrote. "It is vital to have veteran staff that know the history of our district, our families and our community."
In other news, board members,
• approved Edward Snyder, a former principal, as a part-time teacher.
• approved Allan Kremer as a high school football assistant coach.
• learned from high school principal Jeff Hobbs that the renovation of the high school is ahead of schedule. The contractor has removed ceiling tiles and conducted other work in preparation of new duct work.
• learned 91 percent of sophomores this year scored better or proficient on the Ohio Graduation Tests administered in March.
• approved a girls basketball camp in Fort Wayne, Ind., from June 23 to June 24 and a high school yearbook staff workshop to Kenyon College in Gambier from July 29 to Aug. 1.
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