County school board extends Huss’ contract

County school board extends Huss’ contract

By: Chris Menees Messenger Staff Reporter

By CHRIS MENEES Messenger Staff Reporter The Obion County School Board has given Obion County Director of Schools David Huss some job security with its approval of a new four-year contract with him. The new four-year employ-ment contract between the board of education and Huss was approved by a vote of 5-0 during the board’s monthly meeting Monday night in the library at Ridgemont Elementary School. Huss’ current contract was scheduled to run through June 30, 2009, but the new four-year contract will negate the existing contract and begin July 1. It will run through June 30, 2012, unless extended as provided within the terms of the agreement. Obion County School Board chairman Roger Williams said the existing agreement was a 240-day contract with 20 days off, while the new agreement is a 260-day contract with 20 days of annual leave. The annual leave days will be cumulative and unused annual leave days, up to a maximum accumulation of 30 days, will accumulate beyond the end of any given fiscal year. Annual leave days accrued in excess of the applicable maximum will be transferred to sick leave on June 30 each fiscal year, according to the contract. Williams said the prior con-tract contained an annual pro-vision for a 5 percent raise for Huss, while the new contract has several options available after a successful evaluation of the director. The options outlined in the contract include receiving an adjustment to salary based on the certified rate granted to other county officials as specified by state law; receiving an adjustment to salary based on half of the certified rate calculated under the first option, plus a six-month extension of the director’s contract, at the board’s discretion; receiving an adjustment to salary based on one-quarter of the certified rate calculated under the first option, plus a 12-month extension of the director’s contract, by mutual agreement of both parties; or any other adjustment to salary and/or contract extension deemed appropriate, by mutual agreement of both parties. Huss told the board he men-tioned the options, explaining that he was looking for job security in his contract. Williams said the options give the board some flexibility, whereas prior contracts obligated them. Board chairman pro tem Greg Ferguson said he appreciates Huss’ mentioning the options and his desire to have job security. Beginning July 1, the new contract sets Huss’ annual salary at $104,740, payable in 12 equal monthly installments. During the term of the contract, the board will annually review the director’s salary pursuant to the annual performance evaluation, but there will be no decrease in salary except by mutual agreement of both parties. Any adjustment in salary made during the contract period would be in the form of an amendment and would become part of the contract. The board will also reimburse Huss the amount of his required contribution (5 percent) to the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System; will provide and pay the premium for family health insurance, family dental insurance, family vision insurance and term life insurance coverage under the same plan provided by the school system; and provide the director an automobile allowance of $400 per month for in-county travel, plus mileage and per diem for out-of-county official trips at the same rate as the State of Tennessee pays. The new contract was approved by board members Williams, Ferguson, Allen Edmaiston, Glynn Giffin and Diane Sanderson. School board vice chairman Jimmy Smith and board member Rodney Taylor were absent. In other action during Monday night’s near two-hour long meeting, which was preceded by a retirement reception for retiring personnel and was opened with prayer led by Ferguson, the school board: • Learned from Huss that the Obion County Commission granted approval earlier Monday to borrowing up to $3 million for vocational facilities. He said the school board must decide if it wants to continue with the same architect and construction manager being utilized for a 12-classroom addition project and decide what direction to take with the vocational education programs to be implemented at Obion County Central and South Fulton high schools. Williams said the board went through a lengthy process to choose the current architect and construction manager and he doesn’t know why the board wouldn’t continue with them. Huss said he will speak with both to check pricing. Board members agreed they need to begin studying the vocational education programs to see what is needed and what can be revamped. Huss said students have already expressed interest in newer classes such as landscaping and turf management. The project to move the vocational education programs to the Obion County Central and South Fulton high school campuses will save both time and money by not having to transport students from their school to the existing vocational school in Union City, according to Huss. • Approved the second and final readings of amendments to board policy regarding physical assault leave and accounting for athletics. • Approved the second and final reading of a proposed policy regarding bereavement leave for support personnel. • Approved a consent agenda that included a monthly personnel report, monthly financial reports and substitute teacher report. The personnel report lists the retirements of Obion County Central High School food service employee Fay Jamerson and South Fulton Elementary maintenance employee Harold Martin; the resignations of Ridgemont Elementary assistant principal Laura Brimm, Black Oak special education assistant Cheryl Cary, Hillcrest Elementary teacher/coach Justin Cheek, Lake Road Elementary food service employee Clara Gregory, OCCHS ag teacher Josh Hendricks, OCCHS teachers Angie Lamb, Polly Putman and Cindy Thompson and South Fulton Middle/High School custodian Kristy Webb; a leave of absence for Black Oak custodian Loyd Ray; the hirings of OCCHS ag teacher Lynsey Butler (to replace Hendricks), Hillcrest pre-K teacher Emmylou Denman (to replace Angela Davis), OCCHS teacher/coach Jay Emmons (to replace John Gurschick), Ridgemont P.E. teacher Charles Foley (to replace Marshall Campbell), Lake Road teacher Julie Huggins (to replace Angie Searcy), South Fulton Elementary teacher Alicia Jackson (to replace Robbie Johnson), OCCHS art teacher Glen Marshall (to replace Mrs. Putman), OCCHS teacher/coach Nathan Morgan (to replace Mark Rich), OCCHS teacher Marion Pitts (to replace John Hart), South Fulton Elementary assistant principal Patresa Rogers (to replace interim), OCCHS teacher Andrew Zimmerman (to replace Ms. Lamb), South Fulton Middle/High School custodian Laurie Johnston (to replace Ms. Webb) and Hillcrest custodian Tracie Davis (to replace Ms. Powers); the additions of substitute bus driver Paul Adams and substitute food service employee Rhonda Pigg; the decision not to re-hire Steve Cox; and the termination of Shawn Sams. The substitute teachers who gained approval include Kelsey Hutchison, Ellen Crum and Kristen Chandler. • Heard brief updates on the successes of the Adult Education Program from Sharon Connell and the Coordinated School Health Program from Heather Kendall. • Approved an application for approval of a special ACT Test preparation course at OCCHS. The class will be offered to juniors and seniors for elective credit. • Tabled action on expansion of Algebra I offered in the eighth grade. The course has been offered as a pilot program at Lake Road Elementary and there have since been requests from Ridgemont and Hillcrest elementary schools to expand the course offering to those schools. The matter will be researched further and the board will receive additional information next month. • Approved the school system’s No Child Left Behind consolidated plan, a budget item approved annually by the board. • Approved the assignment of board of education staff members to the Student Disciplinary Hearing Authority for the 2008-09 school year. They include chairman Dale Hollowell, Mary Lynn Dodson, Nancy Hamilton, Lesa Scillion, James Faulkner, OCCHS principal Linda Short and Ridgemont principal Randy Pitts. • Approved a paper bid for the 2008-09 school year, with Caldwell’s Office Supplies submitting the low bid of $31,323.92. • Approved a playground equipment bid, with the low bid submitted by Kidz Zone Playsystems. It is a combined bid of $54,636.94 for three playgrounds, which include a K-4 playground at Hillcrest and pre-K playgrounds at Hillcrest and Ridgemont. • Approved a lawn care equipment bid from Allied Equipment for a front-deck mower for use at Ridgemont. The net bid was $8,250. • Approved asphalt sealing and striping bids for South Fulton High School and Ridgemont. Murphy’s Sealcoat was the low bidder for the South Fulton project and Craddock’s Asphalt Sealing was the low bidder for the Ridgemont project. • Approved a computer bid in conjunction with the South Fulton Middle/High School technology project. MPC was the low bidder for 21 tablet computers, with an option to purchase additional computers, at a cost of $1,199 each. • Granted approval to begin direct deposit for employees’ salaries. A recent survey of employees showed about half indicated they would utilize direct deposit if it was available. Huss said current employees will have the option of having their checks direct deposited or receiving a paper check, while all newly-hired employees will be direct-deposited. In a related matter, the board approved using First State Bank as its direct deposit financial institution since the bank offered no cost/fee to process the transactions. • Gave approval for Huss to participate in the state’s Executive Development Program during the 2008-09 school year, if the program is offered. • Tabled any action at this time on a parental notification system, which was discussed at length at last month’s board meeting. Ms. Sanderson said she is a little reluctant to add the expense of the optional service when other financial matters such as pay raises have not yet been settled, drawing agreement from Williams. • Approved the school system’s Food Service Department’s participation in the Reelfoot Area Consortium, a bidding cooperative solely for the purpose of requesting and awarding bids for food and non-food supplies. • Approved the breakfast, lunch and adult meal prices for the schools for the 2008-09 fiscal year. The new prices reflect an increase of about 20 percent over the old rates, which were from 2001, and are either at or below the prices at other schools in the area. • Approved central cafeteria food and non-food item bids, which includes some cafeteria tables. All of the food came through the consortium. • Approved the federal Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 plan and budget for the next fiscal year. • Received a copy of the system budgets for the 2008-09 fiscal year, including the General Purpose School Fund and the Central Cafeteria Fund. Huss said the budgets are still being updated and are not final, but copies are being provided to board members for their study and analysis prior to the next meeting. • Scheduled a special called board meeting for June 27 at 7 a.m. at the board office for the purpose of considering any items necessary to conclude the 2007-08 fiscal year and to begin the 2008-09 fiscal year. • Approved an agreement between the school system and AT&T for phone service rates, with a 36-month contract recommended. • Approved the board’s annual agenda for the 2008-09 fiscal year. • Granted approval to overnight student trips for the OCCHS band color guard, South Fulton High School FFA and OCCHS FFA. Editor’s note: A photo of the retiring school system employees will be included on the Education Page in Wednesday’s edition of The Messenger. Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by e-mail at cmenees@ucmessenger.com. Published in The Messenger 6.17.08

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