The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

May 28, 2014

Pay hike OK'd for Van Buren administrators

KEOSAUQUA — Administrators in the Van Buren Community School District will receive an average of a 2.33 percent increase next year.

The school board approved raises for administrators while giving the secondary principal and elementary principal an opportunity to take the single health insurance policy in cash.

Wages of Chuck Banks increased from $81,100 to $83,601 and Bret Moews from $73,800 to $76,116. This doesn’t include the potential for the cash benefit. The principals won’t be required to take the single policy if they are in a comparable group insurance policy.

According to Superintendent Pam Ewell, salaries for area high school principals are $90,000 for Cardinal, $92,000 for Central Lee, $80,000 for Davis County, $99,000 for Chariton, $72,000 for Moravia, $142,000 for Ottumwa and $103,000 for Fairfield.

Wages for area elementary principals are $75,000 for Central Lee and $85,000 for Chariton. Wages for technology coordinator Nick Richardson will be $51,286.49, maintenance director Mike Housholder will be $41,511.68 and for Gayle Hervey, school lunch, $19,734.01.

In other businees, the board:

• Heard from Mark Garrett, representing the Milton Lions, who requested permission to use the baseball field for a 16-and-older tournament in August. Permission was granted.

• Approved having two preschool programs, one at Douds Elementary and the other at the Van Buren County Hospital Community Service building. A total of 29 students are expected to be involved next school year.

• Approved applying for a summer food program, funded by the state. If approved, it will be for children 18 years and younger and based out of Keosauqua. It will provide lunches for children throughout the summer.

• Approved updating Douds Elementary wireless system by installing more access points in all the rooms. The board received two quotes: $13,758.80 from Erb’s, Cedar Rapids, and $14,932.48 from J & S Electronic Business Systems, Inc.

• Recognized its retiring staff: Janet Phelps, Juanita Strait and Judy Thomas.

• Voted to send the wellness policy being considered back to the wellness committee for review. Board member Rick Plowman said some of the rules in the policy might make it tough for the school superintendent to enforce, such as limiting food and beverage marketing to those products that that meet the Healthy Kids Act Nutritional Content Standards and USDA Smart Snacks Standards, using physical activity as punishment and restricting the sale of foods that don’t meet the nutritional standards. Plowman said the policies may not necessarily reflect current practices in some areas. For example, football players might have to run extra laps for an infraction. The Pepsi sign on the football scoreboard violates the policy. Plowman said he was concerned about having a policy which makes it difficult for the superintendent to fairly enforce. Originally, Plowman made a motion to approve the changes, but agreed to the board request in sending the policy back to the wellness committee.

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