Board approves teacher transfers, hirings
The school board met in closed session Tuesday night to review the two final candidates for school superintendent.
After an all day visit to Fairfield and a second-round interview process for candidates Laurie Noll and Anthony Ryan with selected parents, administrators, staff, teachers, community and business leaders, board members processed feedback, discussed options and made an offer to one of the candidates.
The board meets at 6 p.m. Thursday in a public meeting to approve a contract and announce the new superintendent.
Monday’s school board meeting included several personnel actions.
Six first-year teachers who received a Reduction in Force notice in April were approved for reinstatement Monday, though some with reduced hours.
Taylor Hjerleid, elementary physical education teacher and Kelsie Roland, Pence Elementary guidance counselor were reduced to 80 percent of full time. Nohema Graber, Fairfield High School Spanish teacher, was reduced to halftime.
Three teachers, Justin Messer, fourth grade teacher at Pence Elementary School, Lauren Judickas, fourth grade at Washington Elementary School and Jennifer Demanuel-Kinder, special education teacher at Fairfield Middle School, were each reinstated to full time.
The board approved a 2.75 percent total package increase for the administrative team for 2014-15. Board members Rich Metcalf and Jerry Nelson voted no.
This package percentage allows for a $2,568 increase for 11 district administrators; excluding the superintendent who has a separate contract/package.
The school board approved in April a two-year master contract for teachers with a total package increase for certified staff of 3.5 percent for school year 2014-15 and a 3.7 percent increase the second year, as agreed upon by district and the Fairfield Community Education Association. Monday, individual contracts per teacher were approved, with board member Jeremy Miller abstaining because his spouse is a member of the certified staff.
The board approved a 3 percent increase for district support staff for 2014-15, plus adjustments to secretarial classifications wage scale. This percentage allows for a 35-cent per hour increase. Metcalf and Nelson voted no and board member Phil Miller abstained because his spouse is included in this group.
The secretarial classification has grouped the superintendent and auxiliary services secretary positions as one classification; the remaining year-round secretaries will continue in the 12-month classification.
The separation of the two classifications of 12-month secretary positions reflects the workloads and job responsibilities of the staff. The superintendent and auxiliary services secretaries will receive an additional adjustment of $1 per hour. All other 12-month secretaries will receive an additional 50-cents per hour adjustment.
Resignations were accepted by the board, including:
• Derek Philips, with five years in the district, is a fifth grade teacher at Fairfield Middle School and seventh/eighth grade girls’ basketball coach. He is taking an associate principal job in Ottumwa. His position will not be filled.
• Lurye Sobaski, second grade teacher at Pence Elementary School. She has worked 10 years in the district. She is pursuing a position in curriculum leadership.
• Michelle Crandall, Family and Consumer Science teacher at middle school and high school for two years, has a pending job offer closer to home as FACS teacher at Fort Madison.
• Glenn Perkins, high school assistant basketball coach.
• Randy Fulsass, high school assistant wrestling coach.
Transfers within the district were approved by the board, including:
• Jessica Sanbothe from teaching kindergarten to second grade, both at Pence Elementary School.
• Erin Cracker, from fourth grade teacher at Libertyville Elementary School to language arts teacher at Fairfield Middle School.
New teachers have been hired and approved by the board at recommendations from administrators:
• Julie Rayburn to teach kindergarten at Libertyville Elementary School, replacing Brandi Strickler, who is taking a job in Albia. Rayburn has 11 years of experience, most recently teaching kindergarten in the Cardinal Community School District.
• Julie Sealine to teach fourth grade at Washington Elementary School. She will replace Billy Strickler, who is taking a job in Albia. Sealine has nine years of teaching experience, recently as a reading coach in Moravia. She also has worked for department of education as a Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling trainer.
• Rachel Robinson to teach fourth grade at Libertyville Elementary School. She is a graduate of Saint Ambrose University in Davenport, with an endorsement in special education and reading. She will replace Erin Cracker.
• Kristina Roth to teach third grade at Pence Elementary School. She is a graduate of Simpson College in Indianola.
• Ashley Cupp as a special education teacher at Pence Elementary School. She is a graduate of Grand View University in Des Moines, with an instructional strategist 1 endorsement.
• Shelbee Richards to teach kindergarten at Pence Elementary School. She has taught first grade in Mt. Pleasant for two years.
The school board approved four volunteer coaches for the 2013-14 season: Brad Repp and Rachel Robinson for softball and Terry Allison and Brandon Dimmitt for baseball.
Administrative recommendations to terminate employment of two support staff were presented to the board Monday: FMS custodian Debra Dickinson and FMS associate Darla Stacy. Each termination was approved on a 5-2 vote; board member Nelson and Metcalf voted no on each.
Board member Joe Carr noted Dickinson had been a good employee.
In other business, the board also approved a contract for school year 2014-15 to continue with the district’s behavior program provided by Young House Family Services.
Young House Family Services provides school day services for up to 10 students, grades 5-12. A block grant of $155,275 funds the program.
Fairfield school district provides transportation for its students, the facility at Lincoln Center, a classroom teacher, lunches, phones, access to copier, computers, textbooks and other needed school supplies for students and teachers.
Young House provides a supervisor and a youth care staff needed to maintain supervision and provide treatment within the school program.