Russia BOE approves administrators’ salaries


RUSSIA — Administrator salaries were approved by Russia Local Schools during its July meeting. In addition, the board approved a motion to place a levy on the Nov. 8 ballot to construct an addition at the school.

Following an executive session, the board approved the salaries for the superintendent, principal and treasurer. Superintendent Steve Rose will be paid $112,025 for the 2022-23 contract year.

The board approved a motion to extend Principal Janel Slonkosky’s contract for two additional years through July 31, 2025, and to set the principal’s salary at $82,620 for the 2022-23 contract year. A motion passed to set the Treasurer Mary Jean Borcher’s salary at $87,500 for the 2022-23 contract year.

A motion passed to approve a resolution to proceed with a $6 million bond issue at the election to be held on Nov. 8, 2022.

In a letter to community members, Rose explained the purpose of the Nov. 8 levy. The proposed levy is for 6 mills. The levy would be used to construct an addition at the school which includes a career tech classroom and shop, special needs preschool, new varsity gym, multi-purpose gym, a stage, community wellness center/weight room and additional parking sports and a better designed pick-up and drop-off area for students.

The district currently has a 6 mill levy on the tax rolls and it will be paid off in January 2029. The levy was approved in 2000.

If the Nov. 8 new levy is approved, Rose shared, the current levy would be reduced by 3 mills.

The net increase in taxes — with the passage of the new levy and the reduction of the current levy — beginning in January 2023 would be 3 mills. The increase would last for six years until the existing levy is paid off in 2029.

“The district has budgeted $9 million for this project, which includes all anticipated expenses and a contingency fund to cover unanticipated costs and inflation,” wrote Rose. “The community has exceeded all expectations and has donated over $3 million in support of this project. Without the support of our generous community, this project would not be possible. The passing of the levy in November will provide Russia Local School the remaining $6 million. The school’s general budget is healthy, and we are confident that we can handle the additional operating costs of this facility within our current operating funds.”

The board reviewed the financial summary report, the updated spending plan, and the three-year spending plan comparison. The board also reviewed the year-end status for FY 22.

A motion passed to approve a budget of $1,000 to be used for staff service awards, snack and refreshments for staff meetings, and other insignificant employee amenities for the purpose of increasing staff morale for the 2021-22 school year.

Slonkosky reviewed the state testing scores from the past school year. She also addressed the board regarding changes being implemented for 2022-23 school year. An assessment and accountability team has been formed which is comprised of several junior high and high school teachers to develop new policies and procedures for students.

In other business, the board:

• Was updated on the status of the upcoming building project.

• Reviewed the levy process and timeline.

• Employed Zachary Bell as junior high and high school boys cross country coach at an annual salary of $3,157 for the 2022-23 school year.

• Employed Nicholas Caldwell as assistant boys cross country coach at a rate of $1,857 for the 2022-23 school year.

• Employed Amber Cordonnier and Mike Hart as site coordinators on a per game basis for the 2022-23 school year.

• Approved student fees as submitted for the 2022-23 school year.

• Approved the lunch fees for the 2022-23 school year as follows: Grades 1-6 $2.25; Grades 7-12 $2.50; Adult lunches $2.75.

• Authorized Russia Local School to participate in the following federal and state programs during the 2022-23 school year: Title I, Title IIA, Title IID, Title IVA, Title V, Part B-IDEA, E-Rate, free and reduced lunch program, EMIS Subsidy program, REAP, ESSER and ONENet Funding.

• Approved the bus routes as submitted for the 2022-23 school year.

• Approved the superintendent to make modifications to the bus route on an as-needed basis for the 2022-23 school year.

• Employed Paul Bremigan, Rodney Counts, Terry Daugherty, Tom Gariety, Carrie Heuing, Gery Heuing, Angie Lachat, Dustin Meyer, Mike Meyer, Dan Millhouse, Steve Rose, Vern Seger and Ken York as bus drivers after completion of all pre-employment requirements.

• Approved the Athletic Activity Fee of $20 per season per athlete for the 2022-23 school year.

• Approved athletic ticket prices for the 2022-23 school year.

• Approved a Fiscal Year 2023 Program Services Agreement between the Midwest Regional Educational Service Center and Russia Local School.

• Accepted a $1,000 donation from Russia Music Boosters to be used for scholarship purposes.

• Accepted a donation of $300 from Penny Elmore to be used for the FCCLA program.