Benge hired as Pence principal
The Fairfield Community School District Board of Directors hired Floyd “Chuck” Benge as the new Pence Elementary School principal during a special meeting Tuesday night at the Administration/Curriculum/Technology Center.
Benge is coming to Fairfield from Aldo Leopold Middle School in Burlington, where he was associate principal.
Benge will be starting his 23rd year in education and his second year in administration. His salary for the 2014-15 school year will be $80,000 for a 210-day contract. His contract begins Aug. 1.
The board accepted the resignation of Pence principal Chris Welch during a meeting June 24. Welch had served as principal for three years. He has accepted a job as elementary principal in the Pleasant Valley Community School District.
Fairfield school district superintendent Laurie Noll explained that a committee of administrators and board members developed a list of important qualities needed by an elementary school principal, then used a state website to review applications and make a list of possible candidates. The committee checked references and narrowed the group to two finalists, including Benge, who were interviewed. The stakeholders unanimously agreed to offer the position to Benge.
The board of directors also hired several new teachers for the 2014-15 school year at its meeting Tuesday night.
Courtney Taglauer was hired as the Fairfield High School agricultural program teacher and FFA advisor. Her teaching salary will be $38,851, and her advisor salary will be $3,803.
Taglauer has been the 4-H youth coordinator at the Jefferson County ISU Extension Office since August. She is a native of rural Fairfield and participated in FFA at FHS. She received her Iowa and American FFA degrees. She has a degree in agricultural education, with a minor in agronomy, from Iowa State University. She taught high school and was an FFA sponsor in western Iowa for four years before returning to Fairfield. She is working on a master’s degree in agricultural education through ISU.
Shawn Dorman was hired as a high school social studies teacher, pending a release from a contract with Burlington Notre Dame. His salary will be $34,946. He is a graduate of St. Ambrose University, where he majored in secondary history education. He has a coaching endorsement.
Phillip Kline was hired as a high school science teacher. His salary will be $34,946. He is a graduate of Van Buren High School and the University of Iowa in science education.
Karen Rhodes was hired as a high school English teacher. She also will be the advisor for the school’s newspaper, the Troy Banner. Her teaching salary will be $45,685, and her advising salary will be $2,581. She has her bachelor’s degree in English from College of Charleston in South Carolina and her master’s degree in English education from Appalachian State in North Carolina. She has taught English and English as a Second Language in North Carolina, Japan, Italy and Iowa.
Samantha Seeman was hired as a new fifth-grade teacher at Fairfield Middle School. Her salary will be $34,946. This will be her first year as a teacher.
Fairfield schools activities director Jeff Courtright updated the board members on the district’s sports programs and physical therapy coverage.
According to Noll, Courtright said the district is happy with coverage provided by both Jefferson County Health Center and Universal Therapy Group.
“It is important to make sure kids are safe and covered,” said Noll.
Representatives from both businesses had presented information to the school board in April about their ideas for working with the Fairfield school district’s athletic and sports programs.
Donal Hill, a physician affiliated with Jefferson County Health Center, has worked with the district for many years, but he said he is getting older and there are fewer physicians available to take over.
“I think it’s time to start evaluating working with a physical therapy group,” Hill told the board in April. “We can make the transition with a physical therapist working with me.”