Over 200 classified
staff members at Duneland Schools -- or those who do not hold licenses by
the state -- will receive an increase in pay for the first time in over five
The school board
approved unanimously a “one-time stipend” to salaries for classified staff
which include custodians, mechanics, cafeteria workers and bus drivers.
appropriation is about $218,000, said Superintendent of Schools David Pruis
who made the recommendation to the board. Pruis said the amount stems from
savings Duneland has achieved over the year from its General Fund,
Transportation Fund, Capital Projects Fund, Food Service Fund and its
Pruis said that
school administrators have made sure that the step up in pay for these
employees is “affordable and sustainable” to the school corporation. Some
classified staff have not received any extra compensation other than the
required increases for their insurance since the state made changes to the
school funding formula in about 2010, Pruis said.
The reason behind
the boost in salaries is that positions have been “realigned,” with staff
taking on more responsibility. “Many of our staff has assumed new roles.
There are more demands and expectations,” Pruis said.
who have accepted more responsibility will receive their stipend at the
start of this next school year, Pruis said.
No member of the
board made comments when the vote was under discussion.
Also approved in
personnel matters, the board unanimously agreed on a motion made by
Vice-President Kristin Kroeger to extend Pruis’ superintendent contract with
his term starting in July 2015 and ending in July 2018. A public hearing had
been opened and closed at the previous board meeting on July 13.
They also approved
extension for other administrator contracts that originally had been
approved in 2013. The contracts will extend to 2017.
Ralph Ayres commented that no change in compensation have been made to the
Lunch prices on the
The board voted to
accept the required increases in school lunch prices as mandated by the
Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
costs will rise 10 cents this upcoming school year with Grades K-6 being
$2.45 and 7-12 being $2.65. Adults will be charged $3.50.
In other business,
the board accepted a donation of $15,000 from the Westchester Public Library
Board of Trustees that will be used for needed renovations at the historic
Brown Mansion where the Westchester Twp. History Museum is housed.
Corporation has owned the building for a long time and allows the Library to
operate the museum there through a positive collaboration, Ayres said.
of Support Services Greg Lindy said he is working with the architect on
taking note of what structural improvements need to done, such as replacing
the wood trim inside.
donation will cover roughly half of the costs, he said.
Ayres thanked the
Library and encouraged the public to visit the museum’s new exhibit
celebrating the 125th anniversary of the first Chesterton High School
added another teacher to its list of retirees for the year, bringing the
total number of years experience to over 300 that will be leaving Duneland.
2nd Grade teacher Carolyn Harden retired effective Aug. 1. Harden taught 44
years at Duneland, primarily first and second grade, and also spent seven
additional years teaching in Mississippi, assistant superintendent Monte
introduced three new teachers to the board. Liberty Elementary principal
Christy Jarka presented Holly Koedyker who will be a High Ability teacher
A former athletic
director, Kimberly Stento is returning to Duneland after taking time off to
help raise her family. She will be the Health and Physical Education teacher
New to CHS,
Jonathon Cannell has been hired as an English teacher.
“I could tell this
is a community with such excellent schools,” said Cannell.
In the personnel
report, appointments include Carrie Sorrells as a registrar for CHS, Emily
Wilt as media secretary for WIS, Brandi Henning as secretary for Brummitt
Elementary, Kelly DeValle as a food service kitchen helper, Karen Rutkowski
as an ELL Aide at Liberty Elementary, Lisa Lowe as a Title 1 aide for
Liberty Elementary, Andrea Pappas as a RtI aide at Liberty Elementary, and
Helena Royko as a morning recess aide at WIS.
New bus drivers
include Colleen Wilson, Ashley Kolivas, Gail Reich, Sandra Phelps and bus
aide Sherrie Dobrowski.
include WIS media secretary Carrie Sorrells, CMS Health and Physical
Education teacher Ken Florek, Brummitt Elementary technology aide Brandi
Henning, Brummitt Elementary instructional aide Jane Korpak, WIS
lunch/recess aide Suzanne Henry, bus driver Dawn Stewart, food service
cashiers Susan Starr and Jennifer Meyer, desktop technician Kynan Wallace,
IMC secretary Esther Slack, CHS lunch aide Vicki Smith, and food service
kitchen helpers Lynn Enright, Donna Moreno and Julie Behrendt.
Retiring are food
service cashier Diane Redlarczyk and bus driver Maureen Eckert.
appointments include Kellie Cahillane as CHS Girls Cross Country assistant
coach, Kelly Bonich as CHS Gymnastics assistant coach, Christy Dzierba