From the Republican-American Sunday
Region 7 board agrees to give 3-year deal for superintendent
The Region 7 school board has agreed to give its superintendent another three-year contract.
Board Chairman Molly Sexton-Read said the contract for Superintendent of Schools Judith A. Palmer will not contain specifics regarding salary and benefits; those are decided on an annual basis. Palmer will receive a 2 percent raise in the next fiscal year, which starts July 1.
Palmer was hired in 2010 and her first threeyear contract expires June 30. Her current salary is $145,656, plus an annuity of 5 percent of her salary.
Lee H. Kellogg School Principal Jenny Law expressed concern about the long time some young students ride the bus to and from school each day.
At a recent meeting of the Board of Education, she noted that some youngsters ride an hour and a half in the morning and again in the afternoon. She said she’s aware that the town is so spread out and that adding another bus would be very expensive, “but we have to look at that.”
Law, who took over the principalship in January upon the retirement of Maria Bulson, said she rode one of the two buses and plans to ride the other. She said maybe there needs to be some reconfiguring of routes. Region 1 Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain suggested she talk to Business Manager Samuel Herrick and perhaps John Dufour, the owner of All-Star Transportation, the bus company contracted by the region. First Selectman Patricia A. Mechare, a former board of education chairman, thought there might be state statutes in place limiting the time a student can spend on the bus depending on age and the distance being traveled. Chamberlain said the cost of adding a bus would probably run about $82,000. Mechare said in the past the school has contracted with parents to bring their students to school or to a nearby bus stop. Board member Laura Werntz said she had no idea some children were on the bus that long.
The proposed change of duties for Housatonic Valley Regional High School’s technical support staff and the addition of another employee in that department is one of the reasons for the increase in the proposed central office budget for next year.
Region 1 Business Manager Samuel Herrick said network administrator Gina Jasmine will work with the six elementary schools throughout the region on PowerSchool, the student information management system. Warren, the computer technician, will offer support to computer staffs in those schools, allowing for the reduction of their hiring outside services. The pair will still be spending time at the high school as well. He said Jasmine’s salary will go from $59,000 to $69,000 and Warren’s will be increased from $44,000 to $67,000, figures, he said, are in line or lower than the standard for such positions. Forty percent of those salaries will be reflected in the 16.76 percent increase in the central office budget. The new position, a desktop support technician, will have a seven-hour a day, 190-day schedule and be classified as noncertified personnel. The salary has been put in at $22,869. Other increases in the central office budget are in the area of in-service training, which is proposed at $50,000, up $22,800, or nearly 84 percent from this year’s $27,200, and for a student success plan coordinator at $13,259. That position wasn’t part of last year’s plan, but was installed this past fall. The superintendent and assistant superintendent are proposed to get 2 percent salary increases and the business manager, a 3.02 percent increase.
The assistant business manager’s proposed salary is going up 16.03 percent to $57,367, while the wage of the bookkeeper will be reduced by $3,948 to $46,405. One item that’s been questioned by some members of the public is the amount budgeted for tuition reimbursement for the superintendent’s course work. That number is $4,200.
Under the high school plan, technical education teacher David Seney is retiring at the end of the school year, said Herrick, and that position will not be replaced, for a savings of $76,000, while a two-tenths physical education/health position will be added and an indoor track coach job eliminated due to a lack of participation in the sport.The principal and assistant principal’s salaries are proposed to go up 2 percent. Board of Education legal fees are proposed to increase from $2,500 to $12,500. Health insurance is up 10 percent, Herrick said, but steps have been taken to keep costs down by instituting more cost-sharing practices.
The plan will go before a hearing April 3 and a referendum May 7.