Milan schools to offer full day kindergarten

Cathy May, Contributing Writer

At the July 2 Milan School Board meeting Superintendent Andrew Jackson reported the state would pay a minimum of $665 per student for full day kindergarten, so he felt it would be in the best interest of the students if Milan offered full day. He stated there would be a charge to parents of approximately $600, which would be billable in the fall and spring. He also noted that about 45 students would qualify for payment under the Title I program. These are the students who need the most academic assistance.
Jackson requested permission from the school board to send out letters to parents concerning this issue to see if there would be enough interested paying parents. He also asked permission to advertise for another kindergarten teacher, in case the numbers warrant it.

In addition, since there are about 96 students in the first grade class, and in order to reduce class size numbers, Supt. Jackson requested permission to advertise for another first grade teacher. He was given permission by the board to send out letters to parents regarding kindergarten and advertise for both kindergarten and first grade teachers.

In order to post vacancies, interview and have recommendations for the board in a timely fashion, the superintendent recommended the July meeting be held on the 23rd.

Just before the regular meeting began a special presentation was made by the superintendent to Emily Voss. She was given an engraved plaque in honor of her late husband, Hank Voss, who was a contract bus driver for the corporation for several years. The plaque was engraved with the following:

WHEREAS, Henry “Hank” Voss dedicated 35 years of his life safely driving a school bus for Milan Community School Corporation, and WHEREAS, bus number 12 has become synonymous with Hank, and WHEREAS, Hank entered into eternal rest on August 30, 2006, while still an active bus driver NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Trustees of the Milan Community School Corporation hereby permanently retires bus number 12. ADOPTED BY THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE MILAN COMMUNITY SCHOOL CORPORATION ON THIS THE SECOND DAY OF JULY, 2007.

Emily Voss thanked Superintendent Jackson and commented that Hank took his bus driving very seriously and she appreciated this gesture. Superintendent Jackson stated this was a result of a petition by the other bus drivers to honor Hank and that a duplicate plaque would hang in the central office.
In other business:

• Reorganization was held with David Voss elected president; Edward Amberger vice president; and Timothy Tuttle, secretary.

• J. Martin Layden will be awarded the position of middle school principal. Layden has 12 years teaching experience and has served as athletic director for the past several years. Jackson noted that Layden would be a great fit for the middle school and was a good team player. The resignation of Connie Nobbe as middle school principal was approved. She will be accepting a position as Assistant Superintendent at Decatur County Schools.

• Superintendent Jackson noted that in the past the position of Director of Technology had been an administrative position. He noted that current director, Brian Sturgeon, had recently received his teaching license and had completed his master’s degree. Sturgeon will be placed on the administrative salary schedule with two years experience effective July 1, 2007.

The following certified positions were approved: Suzette Amelung for the middle school special education intense intervention class; (past teacher, Judy White was reassigned to a fifth grade teaching position); Wendi Garrett for high school one-sixth English/Yearbook teaching position; Julia Grills as an elementary fourth grade teacher; and Brenda Schwering as the full time elementary counselor.
The following non-certified positions were approved: Jeffrey Holt as the middle school study hall/study skills monitor; Fran Bixler as a special education instructional aide; Tim Bentle as summer custodial help; Leigh Ann Hall as summer custodial help; and Tara Ward as the full time sub for the high school and middle school.

Elizabeth Vierling was approved as a middle school academic coach. Extracurricular contracts will be extended until the end of the 2008-09 seasons for football coach, Ryan Langferman and basketball coach, Randy Combs.

Superintendent Jackson was given permission to advertise for a Director of Operations. This position would be non-certified and responsibilities would include transportation, custodian and cafeteria. Salary would be based upon experience.

Superintendent Jackson presented the board with a non-certified salary schedule effective July 1,2007. He noted he tried to devise a schedule for fair and consistent pay raises for all non-certified personnel. He commented that everyone received at least a 2% increase, and that although not all personnel fit on the schedule, they would within the next couple of years. This schedule will also allow administrators salary knowledge when interviewing new personnel. The schedule does not include bus drivers or cafeteria personnel. Cafeteria personnel will receive a 2% across the board raise.

Superintendent Jackson reported the pool project was ahead of schedule and would be ready by the first day of school.

A donation of $110.00 worth of work was done on a corporation school bus by Lewis Body Shop. Superintendent Jackson thanked Mr. Lewis for his generous donation and for his time and labor.
Superintendent Jackson reported that he had received the 2007 budget order from the state and it looked very promising. He stated that “we received very few cuts in funding,” and he was hopeful that county money would be forthcoming in the near future.

Four of five school board members were present: David Voss, Edward Amberger, Timothy Tuttle and Gregory Lewis. Attorney Larry Eaton was present to advise the board. The next regular meeting of the Milan School Board will be on Monday, July 23 at 7:00 p.m.