By Janie Southard
Eight St. Marys Memorial High School administrative staff members will see a 5.5 percent salary increase for the 2005-06 school year.
At this week's special board of education meeting, members approved a total of $1.109,232 in administrative salaries for the coming year, effective Aug. 1. The new salaries are still 3.8 percent less than the $1,151,655 of two years ago, according to Superintendent Ken Baker.
Total administrative salaries for the 2004-05 school year tallied $1,098,213 and included an administrative salary freeze.
"It appears a large increase, but actually it amounts to 2.75 percent over two years when you consider that the administration staff voluntarily took the salary freeze last year," Baker commented following the meeting, adding the 2.75 percent is still less than the teachers' increase of 5 percent last year.
Treasurer Peg Grimm explained two reasons that allow the board to keep salary costs under the 2003-04 high. "We had several administrative personnel changes the past two years and all replacements came in at a lower rate. The second reason is that, in 2004-05, the administrative staff elected to take a pay freeze," Grimm said.
On the agenda for the July 13 morning meeting is the teachers' contract, which Baker expects to be ratified.
This contract between board and teachers will be the first ever in the St. Marys district's history. Until now, teachers have worked under a memorandum of understanding rather than a negotiated contract. For the past three years, the memorandum has provided for 5 percent raises for teachers each year.
"The negotiation process has been very open and cordial. I cannot comment on the contract language until it's ratified, but I will say the administrative increase of 2.75 percent over the two-year period is in line with the proposed settlement," Baker said.
The St. Marys Education Association (the teachers' organization) is headed up by Joann Liming, president, and Jack McBride, vice president and chief negotiator.
Baker, who begins his second year with the St. Marys district, will collect $101,883 next year, up $5,311 over last year. Others who will receive the 5.5 percent increase include:
Business Manager Kurt Kuffner, $77,645 from $73,597; High School Principal Mike Makley, $90,116 from $85,418; Technology Supervisor Kyle Menchhofer, $59,175 from $56,090; Network Administrator Nathan Overley, $37,882 from $35,907; Transportation Super- visor Dan Grothause, $47,057 from $44,604; McBroom Principal Newt Triplett, $82,799 from $78,482; and Maintenance Supervisor Bill Sawmiller, $50,352 from $47,727.
The remaining nine members of the administrative staff, all new to their positions, will be paid as follows:
Director of Curriculum & Instruction William Steinbrunner, $76,000; Treasurer Tom Sommer, $62,000; Athletic Director Jason Andrew, $70,000; High School Assistant Principal David Lewis, $63,000; Cafeteria Supervisor Donna Kentner, $32,940; Director of Special Education Doretta Nale, $60,000; West Elementary Principal Lisa Elson, $74,115; and Assistant Elementary Principal Matt Keller, $52,000.
East Elementary Principal Sue Sherman received a 6.4 percent increase to $72,268 which represents an increase in her responsibilities.
In other action-appointed Sommer as assistant treasurer effective Aug. 1 with up to 10 days transition work pending appropriate licensure at which time he will assume treasurer duties. Robin Laman was appointed interim treasurer, effective Aug. 1.
McBroom science teacher Cort Hamilton was named Memorial's head basketball coach. No stranger to basketball coaching, he was assistant varsity men's coach at Hilliard Davidson High School, assistant men's basketball coach at California University of Pennsylvania and head basketball coach for Planet Basketball College All-Stars.
As a player from 1997 through 2001, he played in three Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championships, two NCAA tournaments; was a four-year scholarship athlete; and was First Team All Ohio at Marion Elgin High School with 1300-plus career points.