In other action during the Community Unit School District 7 board meeting Monday evening, the Board of Education accepted letters of retirement from veteran teachers Kelly Vesper and Kimberly Link.
On a motion by Bill Carter, seconded by Weye Schmidt, the board accepted “with regrets” a letter of retirement from fourth grade teacher Kelly Vesper, effective at the end of the 2021 school year. Noting that Vesper has a 30-year career as a CUSD 7 teacher, Board President Mark Hayes, said, “That’s a very big milestone. We wish her well as she ventures off to retirement. She’s been a very valuable teacher for our district.”
The board also accepted a letter of retirement from Kimberly Link, effective at the end of the 2020 school year. Link, a Title I teacher at BenGil Elementary School, has taught in the district for 25 years.
“Mrs. Link has been a valuable member of our educational staff,” Hayes said. “She’s been here 25 years and she will be missed. We wish her well.”
In other personnel action, the board voted unanimously to hire Eric Bogle, Jerseyville, as a first-year, non-tenured instructor to teach middle school and high school computer/business beginning with the 2018-19 school year, pending verification of state certification. Bogle earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Northern Florida, and completed a Masters of Education at Middle Tennessee State University. He currently is employed as a teacher in Jacksonville.
The board voted unanimously to extend contracts and set salaries for all three current building principals for the coming school year. The board also approved goals for the Superintendent for the coming school year.
On a motion by Alepra, seconded by Don Dobrino, the board voted to post summer school vacancies for a mathematics teacher, English teacher, consumer education teacher and driver education teacher. In a separate action, the board posted vacancies for two food service workers for the summer school program.
Board members also voted unanimously to employ Gina Frensko as Gillespie High School cheerleading coach for the coming school year, Vanessa Kolesar as assistant high school volleyball coach, and Jono Verticchio as high school soccer coach, all pending certification and background checks.
The board voted unanimously to re-employ all tenured teachers in the elementary, middle and high schools. Both Schmidt and Dennis Tiburzi voted “presented” due to their having family members among the tenured staff.
In a separate action, the board rehired and granted tenure to Kenna West, elementary school speech pathologist; Amy Gerdes, kindergarten teacher; Jacob Bilbruck, fifth grade teacher; and Kalli Erwin, middle school/high school counselor. Stuart Ringer was re-employed as a fourth-year non-tenured teacher of computer/business for the high school and middle school. Katie Prange was re-employed as a second-year, non-tenured high school English and accounting teacher. Lee Harrison was re-employed as a non-tenured high school art teacher.
With one dissenting vote, the board accepted a memorandum of understanding between the Board of Education and Macoupin County Federation of Teachers 518, the union representing CUSD 7 teachers, which will equate the salaries of middle school softball coaches with the salaries of middle school baseball coaches. Tieman said the proposal was submitted to the board by the union. The measure was adopted 5-1 on a motion by Peyton Bernot, seconded by Carter, with Dobrino casting the only dissenting vote.