NEW KNOXVILLE – Potential plans for gym expansion and pay increases for administrative staff topped the agenda of Monday night’s New Knoxville Board of Education meeting.
Superintendent Kim Waterman said that her Fanning and Howey contacts have said it will cost over $3 million to enlarge the athletic facilities. This would include expanding the high school gym, as well as building into an empty space between the current gym and classrooms to allow for training rooms, dressing areas for visiting teams and referees. New bleachers, floors, and HVAC also were added to the anticipated cost.
Waterman and Athletic Director Kay Webb have been charged by the board with forming a fund-raising arm of the New Knoxville School’s Athletic Council that would first research the feasibility of the project, then find community partners to help seek financial support for this plan. Waterman said that there are no plans to seek a levy to support this project. She also said that this is not a project that will happen in a year, that they are still in “baby steps” in setting up plans and goals. However, Waterman said, “We feel that there is enough interest and passion in the community to support a project like this.”
In other action, the board approved raises for three top school administrators. Waterman’s new one-year contract for 2018-19 increased her salary by 2.5 percent to $106,294.55. Treasurer Amy Reineke two-year contract gave her a 5 percent increase for a total annual salary of $68,250. Grade 4 to 12 Principal Jenny Fledderjohann’s three-year-contact added an 8 percent increase, upping her annual salary to $78,132.60.
Waterman said the school district needs to stay competitive in compensation to keep staff in their school district.
Reineke agreed, saying that reviews of other surrounding school districts rates of pay, sizes of student bodies, and days under contract are are all considered when decisions are made.
“We are not the highest paying, but we try to deliver the best to our staff,” said Reineke.
In her report to the Board, Fledderjohann said 44 seniors graduated May 27, with 1983 alumni speaker Paul Kuhlman telling the group of his message of focus, patience, balance and belief. Valedictorians were Abby Maggi and Andrea Ott. Elaine Poppe was salutatorian.
Fledderjohann also handed out state exam results for the 2017-18 year. She said the state has not yet decided if they are going to allow for alternative options for the class of 2019 or stick to the 18 point system, ACT score, or Workforce Readiness score.
Under personnel actions, the board approved the employment of several people. Nancy Fiegel as fall and spring play adviser, Tayler Doty for student summer cleaning, Nick Wirwille for junior high cross country, Jennifer Parsons as a one-on-one aide, Pam Vordermark and Michelle Topp as co-concession advisers.
The Board’s July meeting will be Monday, July 23.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.