Board member questions starting salary

By Melanie Speicher -

SIDNEY — The starting salary of a maintenance worker for Sidney City Schools was the topic of discussion during Thursday night’s Board of Education meeting.

Board member Jason Schaffner questioned why Bryan Snyder was starting out as a custodian at step 20, $18.47 per hour plus a 50-cent night bonus while William Henry was starting out at step 0 at $15.10 per hour plus a 50-cent night bonus. Neither man had been employed by the school district before.

“Why is he starting out at step 20,” asked Schaffner. “This step includes certified electricians, certified HVAC and certified plumbers. Why is he being paid $3.37 more per hour than William Henry?”

Superintendent John Scheu said in the past, the superintendent has the option to take the person’s years of experience in the workforce to determine what step they should begin their employment with the district.

The teacher’s contract, he said, has a clause in it which states a teacher starts on the same step that they were on with their previous district. The classified contract — which includes custodians and bus drivers — doesn’t have a clause that addresses previous employment. According to Ohio Revised Code and Sidney’s Board of Education policy, the superintendent can places like experience on the appropriate step of the salary schedule, said Scheu.

“He has 26 years of like experience,” said Scheu. “The custodian/maintenance worker at the high school is required to do more than the day shift is required to do.”

Scheu said Snyder, who started on the job Jan. 3, has already fixed a broken table.

“Before, the custodian would have turned in a work order to change a light bulb to maintenance,” said Scheu. “We want our custodians to be a simple maintenance worker.”

Board member Bob Smith said he had heard Snyder was a friend of Jason McLain, director of food services. McLain responded that he has lots of friends and he wasn’t involved with the hiring or setting the salary for Snyder.

“The principals do the evaluations,” said McLain.

Scheu said all new employees are hired under a 90-day provisional period.

“With his (Snyder’s) background, he’s the right person for the job,” said Scheu.

The motion to hire Snyder was approved 4-1 with Schaffner voting no.

Henry was hired by the board by a 5-0 vote.

The board approved the 2018-19 school calendar and the 2019-20 tentative calendar as presented. The 2018-19 calendar includes two early release days and four days for personal development for the teachers. Brooke Gessler, director of curriculum, said the full days will allow the teachers to be more productive than with the early dismissals the district has done the past several years.

State law, said Scheu, determines how many hours a student must attend class during the year. Elementary school students must be in class for 910 hours; middle school and alternative school students, 1,001 hours; and high school students, 1,001 hours.

Sidney City School students in the 2017-18 school year will be in class for 1,054 if they are in the elementary school; 1,098.50 hours if they attend the middle school or alternative school; and 1,157 hours if they attend the high school. The hours proposed for the 2018-19 school year are 1,037 hours for elementary school; 1,090.50 for middle school and alternative school; and 1,137.92 hours for high school.

The first day of school for the 2018-19 school year will be Aug. 16, 2018, with kindergarten students having a staggered start on Aug. 16, 17 and 20. The last day of school will be May 24, 2019.

In other business, the board:

• Received a certificate from Scheu in honor of School Board Recognition Month.

• Was updated about a proposed change in the workforce in the city by Scheu.

• Approved an agreement with John Puckett as a substitute security officer for the 2017-18 school year at a rate of $16.50 per hour.

• Hired Marissa Thompson as a home instruction tutor at $26.11 per hour.

• Hired Jenna Puckett as an aide at $12.59 per hour.

• Hired Jenna Puckett, substitute aide, $11.34 per hour; April Bogart, substitute cook, $9.77 per hour; Kevin Henderson, substitute custodian, $13.59 per hour; and Bria Foy, substitute cook, $9.77 per hour, substitute custodian, $13.59 per hour, and substitute aide, $11.34 per hour.

• Added AP Spanish to the Sidney High School course offerings beginning the 2018-19 school year.

• Approved Blake Tyler Bell, Isaiah Michael Bowser, Josie Lauren Broaddrick, Hannah Kae Curl, Nathan Clifford Haney, Marshall David Wilson, Benjamin Lee Henderson, Morgan Hoaglin, Levi Scott Hurst, Jared Wilbur Lindsey and Demont De’Rachion Rucker for early graduation with the Class of 2018.

• Heard a report from board member Chip Hix, who serves on the Upper Valley Career Center Board of Education.

The board’s next meeting will be Monday, Feb. 5, at 6 p.m. at the board of education office.

By Melanie Speicher

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.