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04-13-04 St. Henry school board reports cuts

By Janie Southard

ST. HENRY — Board of education members and school administrators have released information on some positions that were reduced or eliminated in the more than $200,000 in budget cuts put in place two months ago.
   “There are no changes (in dollar value of the cuts) from February. It’s just that we’re now putting names with those cuts,” Superintendent Rod Moorman said at Monday night’s board meeting.
   The position of curriculum director will be eliminated at the end of this school year for a savings of $80,000, which includes benefits. Sharon Sherry, present curriculum director, will be eligible for unemployment benefits but no severance package will be paid by the school.
   A preschool teacher position will be reduced next year by one half-hour per day per week due to the elimination of the class for 3-year-olds. Savings will be approximately $4,000, based on past enrollment experience.
   The athletic director position also will be reduced in pay next year by almost $4,000.
   The athletic director has been paid on an administrative schedule, but will be paid as a teacher next year. His salary will be $52,155, not including benefits, down from $56,149, also not including benefits.
   Moorman said Athletic Director Tim Boeckman will continue with his present responsibilities at the reduced salary and had volunteered to take the pay cut.
   Following the meeting, Moorman said additional names and specific positions will be announced at the May meeting with the majority of positions to be cut or reduced falling in the classified (custodial, cafeteria, teaching aides, etc.) category.
   “We want to avoid reducing our teaching staff, if possible,” Moorman said.
   Also at the meeting, the board approved supplemental contracts for: football coaches, Frank Griesdorn, $3,264, Jeffrey Starkey, $4,931, Gary Weigel, $1,995; volleyball coaches, Lori Schwieterman, $4,187, Melinda Siefring, $2,422, Maureen Kaiser, $1,499; cross country coach Michael Eyink, $2,622; golf coach Charles Maier, $2,422; basketball coaches, Joseph Niekamp, $5,031, Charles Maier, $4,931, Lori Schwieterman, $2,472, and Jerry Mestemaker, $1,788.
   Treasurer Glenn Miller announced lunch prices for next year will remain the same as this year due to a projected cafeteria fund surplus. “Participation has been higher and we’ve also had more federal commodities,” Miller explained.
   The revised five-year financial forecast reflecting the passage of the recent 9.52-mill levy shows the district in good shape until 2008 when the projection is for a $573,026 deficit.
   “That’s just a snapshot and a worst case scenario. We have no idea what may happen with state funding by then,” Miller said.
   The superintendent announced he will meet with Terry Liette, executive director of Fanning/Howey Associates, Celina, to discuss the “dimples in several hundred tiles” in the school hallways.
   “We’ve been noticing little dimples in the tiles. So we took one off and had it tested to see what was causing the problem. We found it was being caused by an alkaline moisture underneath the tile. I guess that could mean the concrete underneath wasn’t dry when the tile was laid,” Moorman said.
   Fanning/Howey Associates were architects for the school construction project completed in 2002.
   Board members also learned Grandparents’ Day is scheduled for April 23 at 10 a.m. in the elementary gym.


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