Archive for Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Board OKs new position

May 7, 2008

The Tonganoxie School District is looking to increase its central office staff.

The No. 2 position in the office has been vacant since the district bought out the contract of former director of operations, Jamie Brun, in September.

But at Monday's special school board meeting, the board unanimously discontinued the position and created a similar one - assistant superintendent.

The job description is similar to the director of operations, but now includes essential skills in curriculum and school improvement as well as overseeing vocational programs and reports.

Board president Leana Leslie said the central office audit, which Kansas Association of School Board officials recently Board officials recently conducted for the district, served somewhat as a guide for the decision.

"I think that it helped us give some direction to stick with what we had on director of operations or go with assistant superintendent," Leslie said.

The assistant superintendent position will replace the director of operations position, which Jamie Brun held briefly. Brun was hired to the newly created position July 11, 2007, but reached a settlement agreement with the school in September for roughly $57,000. The settlement came roughly a month after Brun called 911 during an argument with Superintendent Richard Erickson, which Brun said did not become physical, but he did not feel comfortable with the situation and made the call.

Salary for the assistant superintendent position has not been set, although Brun's salary as director of operations was about $65,000.

In addition, the board approved hiring KASB to conduct the search for the assistant superintendent position. Leslie said costs would be minimal because the Tonganoxie district is a KASB member and receives favorable rates for its membership.

"They're so plugged in," Leslie said, referring to networks and contacts for administrators. "We'd hurt ourselves if we did it ourselves."

School board meetings to start earlier

Regular school board meetings will start at 6 p.m. through July, the board approved Monday.

Member Kay Smith brought up the motion. She said she hoped the earlier time would allow meetings to end earlier and prevent late-night meetings.

"I would entertain starting at 6 and hopefully be done 10-ish or whatever time," Smith said.

"Nine-ish," said Leana Leslie, which brought laughs from fellow board members.

The board unanimously approved the resolution amendment. Regular meeting times are determined for each school year, so if the board elects to continue the new time after July, they must approve it for the next school year.

Board approves hires, resignations

Steve Murdie, Jennifer Murzcek and Jennifer Bottom were hired as Tonganoxie High School teachers.

The board also accepted resignations of Lindsey Graf, elementary school counselor, and Gayla Greer, THS foreign language teacher.

In addition, the board approved work agreements for classified employees, amended with corrections.

Executive session held

For a total of two hours and 15 minutes, the board met in executive session. For the first 30 minutes, the board met with Erickson, THS principal Jamie Carlisle and assistant principal Brent Smith to discuss student privacy matters.

Another 30-minute session was held to discuss personnel. Carlisle and Smith were in the meeting for the first 20 minutes and then left. Maintenance director Larry Easter entered for the final 10 minutes and for an additional 30-minute session.

After that session, the board requested two more sessions, one for 25 minutes and another for 20 minutes.

When the board returned to regular session, the board announced resignation and hirings, as well as the working agreement with classified employees. Board policy also was approved.

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