WCCC board OKs salary raises

The Washington County Career Center Board of Education approved contractually-based salary raises for its superintendent, treasurer, directors and classified staff for the 2014-2015 school year and 2015-2016 school year, in addition to making several changes to the school’s student handbook at its regular meeting Thursday evening.

A salary raise of 2.5 percent for the upcoming school year and a 2 percent raise for the 2015-2016 school year was approved by the board for all classified employees and teachers along with a $500 bonus pay.

The raise holds with a regular contractual obligation that coincides with regular teacher evaluations, while the board approved the $500 raise to help teachers combat “the changes in the medical insurance plans that will result in increased deductibles and more out of pocket expense for most staff.”

The bonus for teachers and classified employees will be for one year only.

In addition, Superintendent Dennis Blatt, Treasurer Joseph Crone, Secondary Director Mike Elliott, Assistant Secondary Director Anthony Huffman and Adult Education Director Dave Combs all received 2.5 percent pay raises for the upcoming school year and a 2 percent raise for the following year.

Blatt’s current $96,425 salary will become $98,836 in 2014; Crone’s $73,800 salary will become $75,645; Elliott’s $91,308 will become $93,591; Huffman’s $75,780 will become $77,678; and Combs’ $91,308 will become $93,591.

“This is a pretty common pay raise that comes as a part of administration contracts,” said board member Charlie Schilling. “Administrator contracts are not held quite the same as teachers as far as timing, but overall we have to keep them equitable across the board, and keep them competitive.”

Handbook changes

In addition to annual raises, the board also passed several student handbook changes proposed by Huffman, who noted concerns with attendance and tardiness.

“We want students here and on time every day, but we’ve recognized that it’s counterproductive to have a student come in late and take them out of class for an entire day as a penalty,” Huffman said. “We’re proposing Friday afternoon detention that is a potential penalty for tardiness and attendance.”

The board approved the use of a Friday afternoon detention to offset tardiness problems, which would be used for students who have accumulated nine or more tardy notices.

Huffman noted that the school will be lenient when it comes to after-school activities, but hopes the changes will help keep students in the classroom.

“They’re coming here to go to the workforce, and as a school we’re responsible to make sure these kids know how important it is to be prompt,” Schilling said.

Huffman also reported an issue with students bringing knives to school.

“Kids grow up on farms, and sometimes it’s an honest mistake and sometimes they know they have them, but we don’t want them in school,” he said. “We have to change the (handbook) language to address that.”