Despite meeting in executive session for nearly one hour to discuss principal contracts during the district’s monthly board meeting held on Wednesday, February 25, the school board returned to public session and immediately extended the principal contracts for Angela Turcol, Lori Emmons and Jill Rosentreter.
Rosentreter, who was hired as a secondary school assistant administrator in 2013, was reclassified as principal of Gillespie Middle School and was placed on a 3-year contract with a 7.5% pay increase for next year. A salary wasn’t assigned for years two and three.
Rosentreter was reclassified as principal of Gillespie Middle School and was placed on a 3-year contract
In other personnel actions, the board hired Don Dobrino as high school football coach and accepted the resignation of volunteer football coach Larry Caldieraro.
The board also appointed Tim Wargo as volunteer high school baseball coach to assist head coach Jeremy Smith. Wargo and Smith, along with other assistant coaches at the high school level, now coach Gillespie’s baseball teams for grades 6-12.
Board scuffles over proposed Elementary reading series
The school board listened a 13-minute presentation from first grade teachers Amy Price and Amy Gerdes who recommended a new elementary reading series for Kindergarten through 5th grade. The proposed McGraw-Hill series would coordinate with the elementary school’s McGraw-Hill math series and would cost the district $130,000, but was turned down 4-3 by the school board.
The presentation by the teachers highlighted features of the series saying it would strengthen the school’s “Daily 5” reading block and would better coordinate the reading curriculum while replacing the current curriculum which is constructed by the school’s teachers. “We really see it is a great deal and it offers a solution to a lot of our problems,” Price explained to the board.
Following their presentation, board member Weye Schmidt motioned to purchase the series, but then was disgruntled after hearing fifth grade teachers weren’t sure if they would use the series. “The fifth grade teachers are still meeting with the middle school teachers to see how it transitions into the middle school reading curriculum,” Turcol announced to the board.
Schmidt questioned why one grade level would not go with the series while board member Dave Griffel questioned why Price and Gerdes would propose a K-5 series without the new series being researched at the fifth grade level. “I assumed every grade was on the same page since it was proposed and we motioned for this,” Griffel added.
I’m hoping our teachers have done enough homework to propose a $130,000 series.
Griffel added to Schmidt’s statement saying he would like the teachers to find out if there is a middle school reading series to accompany the elementary series so students don’t have to switch to a different curriculum when transitioning to middle school. “I would like to see more cohesion,” Griffel closed.
After the scuffle, Schmidt refused Superintendent Joe Tieman’s request to table to series. “I’m not withdrawing my motion. I don’t know how you have progression without a series – it makes no sense to me. We need to do something about that. There is enough concern that it is not happening,” Schmidt said. “I’m hoping our teachers have done enough homework to propose a $130,000 series.”
The motion was denied with objection from Peyton Bernot, Don Dobrino, Mark Hayes and Dave Griffel. Griffel said everyone needs to do more homework before the district jumps into the $130k series.
Board approves Natural Gas and Electricity supply contract
The school board unanimously approved a natural gas and electric cost savings opportunity through Commercial Energy Consultants, a St. Louis-based firm led by president Mike Grimes. Grimes proposed a deregulation for natural gas giving District 7 a break on the price and a break on the delivery.
The lowest bid for natural gas was from Tilak of Houston with a bid almost 30% lower than what the district is paying currently and lowest bid for electric was in the low 5s, according to Grimes. The board locked in both prices for two years through Commercial Energy Consultants.
Board member Weye Schmidt clarified that Grimes is not paid through the district, but paid by the supplier the district selects. “I don’t get paid from school dollars, I’m paid commission by the supplier you select.” Grimes confirmed.
High school principal Lori Emmons announced that GHS juniors will take the ACT test next Tuesday in the high school gym. She also told the board that GHS is celebrating FFA week this week and the FFA alumni pancake and sausage breakfast is rescheduled for this Saturday, February 28 from 7-10 a.m. in the cafeteria.
Rosentreter thanked everyone who supported the middle school during their state championship run which resulted in a 1st place finish.
Rosentreter also wished the students attending the Olympiad competition the best of luck saying those students will compete on Feb. 27 and March 3. Lastly, Rosentreter thanked everyone who supported the middle school during their state championship run which resulted in a 1st place finish.
Angela Turcol, elementary principal, announced elementary students are taking practice tests and learning to manipulate the tools for the PARCC testing and four teachers attended a PARCC information ROE. Lastly, Turcol said the school’s annual family literacy night is scheduled for March 12. The event features a camping theme and is titled “Camp Read-a-Lot”.
The school unanimously approved the payment for the February bills.
Transportation Fund: $5,750.26
Education Fund: $54,947.23
Building Fund: $37,852.01
Grand Total: $98,549.50
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