September 23, 2014

SSCS board approves support staff contract

Superintendent position to be posted publicly

By James Kuch
News Editor | news@arenacindependent.com
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STANDISH — Pay has been frozen for Standish-Sterling Community School District support staff for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

The district’s board of education voted at a special meeting Tuesday, June 28 to approve a one-year contract for support staff, saving the district approximately $60,000.

Acting Superintendent Michael Dewey said support staff includes custodians, mechanics, paraprofessionals, cooks and bus drivers in the district.

“They will have a pay freeze for one year and will have to pay a larger portion for their health care coverage,” he said.

Jeanine Wright, administrative assistant for the district, said the support staff approved the contract on Monday, June 27.

Dewey said the support staff made a positive decision for the district.

“The board and I really appreciate the support staff’s decision to agree to these terms,” he said. “It is greatly appreciated.”

Dewey said the board will be looking into a number of proposed budget cuts that were tabled during a special meeting on Thursday, June 23.

The tabled proposals include the reduction of the athletic/community education director position to part-time, an estimated savings of $58,000, and a transportation fee of $25 per sport for student athletes, which would bring in an estimated $13,950.

The board asked Dewey on June 23 to meet with Athletic/Community Education Director Ben Welmers to discuss reducing his position, job duties and salary.

“I have not met with Mr. Welmers at this time,” Dewey said.

Welmers said other factors need to play out before final decisions are made.

“We still have the buyout (proposal) for the staff out there,” he said. “There are other positions that are in similar situations.”

Dewey said the board will take the buyout proposal into account.

“I will not be coming back to the board with additional suggested cuts at this time,” he said. “The buyout will have a factor in the board’s final decision.”

SSCS Superintendent Search

During the special meeting the board gave Dewey gave permission to post the SSCS superintendent position publicly, allowing candidates to apply until July 18.

Dewey said that brochures regarding the superintendent position are available at www.standish-sterling.org.

“Interviews will begin around the first week of August, and we expect a new superintendent to take over around Sept. 6,” he said. “That would be in time for the first week of school.”

Dewey said a “handful” of internal candidates have expressed interest in the position.

“They have asked to remain confidential for now,” he said. “When we start the interview process we will have the names of all of the candidates available.”

Dewey said the board will take applications and select approximately five to seven candidates.

“It’s common practice to choose around five candidates then choose a final two from that pool,” he said.

Dewey said once the list of candidates is down to two, the board can call them back or perform an on-site visit.

“It all depends what the board decides to do,” he said.

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