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BOE agrees to one-year contract extensions for principals





The Hays USD 489 Board of Education entered into three executive sessions totaling just more than an hour and a half before taking up a one-year extension of principals' and certified directors contracts Monday night.

Most of the building principals and several district teachers were in the audience.

Many left at the start of the first executive session. Hays High School Principal Marty Straub and elementary school principals Elaine Rohleder, Allen Park, Nancy Harman and Tom Meagher stayed.

The executive sessions included the board, Superintendent Dean Katt, Assistant Superintendent for Special Services Mark Hauptman, board attorney Bill Jeter and business manager Tracy Kaiser. Hauptman and Kaiser returned to the board room a few minutes before the last executive session ended.

After the third closed door session to discuss personnel, Superintendent Dean Katt recommended principals and directors "stay in the position that they are currently in and have 12-month contracts for (Hays) High School assistants, (Hays) Middle School assistant, (and) middle school principal."

"I feel we are getting ourselves back into the same situation we have with the raises ... making a decision based on information we don't have yet," board member Lance Bickle said.

Board member James Leiker said he knows there are budget issues.

"Every building is the top down, and I think we gotta let people know at the top, and in that building, too, who's in charge," he said.

The board voted 5-1 to approve all contracts as recommended.

BOE President Greg Schwartz cast the dissenting vote. Board member Danielle Lang was absent.

Schwartz said he understood administrators want security, but it's difficult to provide it when the board doesn't know what the budget will be and what the state Legislature is going to do.

"I would like to act, (but) without knowing, I just don't think I can do justice to the people who elected us doing that," Schwartz said.

Principals' pay for 2014-15 will be set at a later date but won't be less than the prior year unless the board reduces all certified salaries -- including those negotiated by Hays-NEA.

In that case, the principals' salary will be reduced by the same percentage reduction.

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The board of education accepted resignations from Deborah Kuhn, Hays High School special-ed para; Courtney Keleher, Hays High dance coach; Nathaniel McComas, Rockwell Administration Center floating custodian; Brianna Salsbury, Washington Elementary School family/teacher assistant; Austin Leiker, Hays High custodian; and Bridget Voorhees, Hays High para.

The board approved maternity leave for Lindsey Leiker, Wilson Elementary School computer lab tech; and Allison Kitchen, Hays Middle School teacher.

The BOE approved employment for Julie Tschanz, Hays High GPS para; Bo Black, Hays High physical education teacher; Marshall Musil, Hays High assistant track coach; Angela Cook, Hays High preschool para; and Marguerite Mindrup, Thomas More Prep-Marian special-ed para.