Archive for Thursday, June 16, 2005

Principals’ contracts aren’t extended

June 16, 2005

A vote not to extend all principals' contracts was one of the many decisions the Baldwin School Board made after an executive session during Monday's meeting.

After executive session, the school board voted 4-2 to not extend the principals' contracts to two years. Board Members Chip Hornberger and Lonnie Broers voted against it.

School Board Member Ande Parks said the contracts weren't extended because of budget issues.

"The board has struggled with its limited budget-reducing options in recent years," Parks said. "We wanted to be sure we had leeway if we needed it. It's not based on their performance, but it's attached to the positions."

The effect of the decision means the principals' contracts will expire at the end of the 2005-2006 school year. All eight of the principals jobs will be up for renewal next year.

Marion Springs Elementary School Principal Gus Wegner said he wasn't mad about the decision, but disappointed.

"I was surprised because we had all felt pretty strongly about it after talking to Jim (Supt. James White)," Wegner said. "We thought the two-year contracts were the board's way of saying job well done. We're all in this together. I'm not angry, I'm just disappointed."

Vinland Elementary School Principal Bill Scott felt the two-year contracts were a reward for administrators.

"If the schools are meeting the standard of excellence and the Adequate Yearly Progress, then the teachers and administrators need to be rewarded, not penalized," Scott said.

Baldwin Elementary School Intermediate Center Principal Tom Mundinger said he understands why the board did not extend the contracts.

"I understand why they did what they did," Mundinger said. "It allows them more flexibility if they want to restructure or make adjustments."

Mundinger also said he took the board's decision a little different.

"I didn't take it as not extending the contracts," Mundinger said. "I took it as their continuing the current contracts."

Also after executive session, the board accepted the resignations of two Baldwin High School coaches. BHS girls basketball coach Eric Toot and BHS assistant wrestling coach Jarrod Steffens resigned.

The board also approved the hiring of six teachers, two BHS assistant coaches and a BESIC secretary.

Another topic at the meeting was the new soccer team and fields at BHS. Cindy Trarbach had information and a question for the board.

Trarbach said the uniforms, goals, practice and game balls and other equipment have been ordered for the team. But, she wanted to know if the rumors about a track going around the field, which is located north of the high school and junior high school, were true.

"I am worried about a track going in around that field, because we have invested a lot of money in that," Trarbach said. "We've been asking for clarity when we got the fields. It represents cash that we could have used for something else."

White said it was his understanding that the track, if built, would go into the space and the soccer field would be inside the track. Currently, there are no plans in the works for a track, although it has been suggested over the years.

Trarbach said she was worried about how the construction of the track might damage the field. She said she also would have liked to have known this a while ago, when she asked for a letter from White.

After the meeting, Board Member Scott Lauridsen said he had concerns that this might happen when they let the parent group take over the land.

"I think we are apparently not communicating well enough," Lauridsen said. "They've got a vision of what they want out there and it may conflict with what the district wants to do out there."

At the meeting, the board also approved the social studies books for Baldwin Junior High School with a 6-0 vote. It also approved the technology plan with a 6-0 vote.

The next school board meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. on July 11 at the District Office.

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