Elmwood, union ink 3-year contract

JERRY CITY – Elmwood School District and its public employees collective bargaining unit have agreed on a
contract for the next three years.
The Elmwood Board of Education approved a tentative three-year agreement on Monday with members of the
Ohio Association of Public School Employees. Under that agreement about 30 staff members – comprised of
drivers, cooks, administrative assistants and custodians – will received a 2-percent salary increase
during the first year of the agreement and a 1-percent increase for each of the two subsequent years.
Per the contract, employees’ spouses must also accept primary insurance coverage through their
respective employers if they are eligible.
Jerry Ramsey, president of Elmwood’s OAPSE unit, said the union’s vote was not unanimous but it was
close. Negotiations took about a month and a half.
"Considering the economic times, I guess we didn’t do too bad," he said.
Superintendent Steve Pritts said the agreement provides lower salary rates than in previous years.
"I think everybody recognizes the economy is definitely a factor within the negotiations and
expectations," he said.
The board also abolished the assistant elementary principal position, held by Marvin Crawford, for
purposes of consolidation and reorganization of administrative functions. Crawford’s contract will be
suspended effective at the end of the 2008-2009 contract year.
Board member Melanie Davis said the decision was entirely unrelated to Crawford’s performance, and that
the board had no intention of hiring for the position any time soon.
Pritts said after the meeting that Crawford’s performance for the district had been "great."

"We’re just trying to look down the road to make sure we save money for the district," he said.

The board decided to postpone a salary increase effective August 2009 for administrative staff until
personnel issues were settled. Pritts said any potential salary increases would fall well short of
funding saved through elimination of the assistant principal position.
The board also heard from track coach Monica Arnold, who echoed comments from Bloomdale resident Bonnie
Emmitt, that the school was in desperate need of a new track. The team, which recently saw success at
state competition, has been practicing on stone.
"It’s not so much that we want it anymore, we’re beyond that," Arnold said.
Diane Zyski, of Wayne, also implored the board not to join the Midland Athletic League. She said the
league would not adequately challenge Elmwood players and MAL games would require students to drive
considerably longer distances. She also asked the superintendent to make sure coaches were allowed to
participate in any decision to change athletic leagues. Davis told Pritts she supported that sentiment.

"Basically, I feel that let’s keep the bar raised for the kids," Zyski said.
High School Principal Tom Bentley told the board that Elmwood led the county in the writing portion of
the Ohio Graduation Test. The school came in third in science, math and social studies and was ranked in
fifth in reading. Middle School Principal Jesse Steiner said his students met 11 of 14 indicators for
the Ohio Achievement Test.
Also at the meeting, the board:
¥ awarded insurance coverage through July 2010 to the Ohio School Plan for $17,079.
¥ accepted the resignation of third-grade teacher Renee Thompson, effective immediately.
¥ approved the hiring of Anthony Knisely, 2008-2009 substitute; Marvin Hoover, as-needed mechanic’s
helper and one-year limited grounds-keeper for 2009-2010; Ginger Curtis and Cindy Stockwell, elementary
extended school year tutors for special needs students.
¥ accepted donations of a book to the elementary library from Ohio Farm Bureau; $500 to the high school
flag corps from Kohl’s; $1,646 – with 50 percent toward purchase of a pitching machine – to the athletic
department from the athletic boosters; and a multi-media projector valued at $5,000 to Elmwood School
from Bloomdale fire and police.
¥ approved certified positions on one-year limited contracts during the 2009-2010 school year for
Kristine Lotycz, high school business teacher and volleyball coach; Kile Eichenauer, high school math;
Andria Stammen, high school science; and Joshua McGrain, seventh grade math.