Lakota administrators get raises
Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Staff Writer
Friday, 13 September 2013 08:54
Four top staff members of Lakota Local School District received retroactive 4 percent raises at Monday's school board meeting.
All three school principals and the district's treasurer each received the raises retroactive to Aug. 1.
The high school principal, Sherry Sprow, received a raise of $3,011 taking her from $75,283 to $78,294. The salary for middle school principal, Charles Tackett, was boosted $2,800, taking him from $70,000 to $72,800.
Josh Matz, the elementary principal, had his salary increased nearly $2,600, from $64,827 to $67,420.
Treasurer Jennifer Hedrick's pay was raised from $71,710 to $74,578, a boost of $2,868.
Though board member Fred Keith was absent, the remaining members of the board approved the raises unanimously.
The last increase involved a 1 percent raise effective Aug. 1 of last year. Sprow and Matz also had a 1 percent increase effective Aug. 1, 2008.
Aside from the raises, much of the board meeting involved stressing positive aspects of the district as revealed in recent reports. The board heard positive reports regarding all of the district's football teams, from fourth grade "Biddy" football up through the varsity team.
Superintendent Jon Detwiler noted how all the youth involved seemed to be having positive experiences and being committed to the program.
"Of course, winning will help build that commitment," Detwiler said.
He noted the mentoring program in place where high school players are helping to connect with younger kids in the hallway as well as developing one-on-one relationships with the eighth-grade players who are likely to move up to the high school team next season.
He also suggested providing tours of the district's new "End Zone" building and other facilities as a way to get more students involved.
Some of those in attendance spoke of their views that all of the coaches are providing both positive and uplifting approaches with the football players at all levels.
Matz spoke briefly about the new state-mandated third grade achievement requirements.
"We're ready for it," he said.
He also noted they have more than 100 kindergarten students this year, possibly the largest single class in the district's history.
Tackett spoke of a new program he is implementing to help keep attitudes and programs moving forward called "Lakota LEADS," which stands for leadership, effort, academic excellence, discipline and spirit. He also announced the formation of a "student of the month" award to recognize those who excel in these areas.
Detwiler shared a presentation he made to the staff previously highlighting how deficit enrollment has significantly turned around and how the recent school report cards were favorable for the district.
His presentation noted the net loss of students from 2007-08 compared to the current year, when the loss was reduced to only a net of 12 students leaving the district as compared to more than 100 just five years earlier. With the state funding, Detwiler showed how they were once losing $600,000 in the year, compared to only $60,000 this year.
He also spoke of the comparison of the district's grades on the 2012-13 Ohio Report Card. He focused on three areas - the performance index, and the annual measurable objectives, where they received a B grade in both and the overall value added grade of an A for progress.
He said he focused on only those three grades as they "are the most broad areas."
He noted there were other areas on the report card that would need some work, but did not elaborate. The district also earned a B on the indicators met that accompanied the performance index in the achievement area; C grades on both areas of graduation rates; and D grades on the other aspects of progress including the gifted program and for students with disabilities.
"We are not just competing with other area districts, we are beating them," Detwiler said.
He also wants to make sure the students throughout the district are aware of these positive things.
"We want the kids to know how well we are doing."
School board President Chris Chalfin remarked, "I have seen the progress we have made in the last couple of years. I am hearing nothing but positive comments."
He added that apparently the word is getting out accounting for the increase in enrollment and diminishing loss of students.