Elmwood inks new contract


JERRY CITY – The Elmwood Local Schools Board of Education has approved a new three-year contract with its
teachers’ union.
The contract was approved at the April 8 meeting.
Members of the Elmwood Education Association ratified it March 13.
The contract runs from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2022 and gives teachers 2.50 percent, 2.25 percent and
2.25 percent raises.
Those amounts were marginally better than what has been seen in recent years, said Superintendent Tony
Union President Heidi Meyer said 95 percent of those members in attendance voted in favor of the
contract. There are 94 members in the union.
The salary increases will cost the district an additional $1.5 million for the length of the contract,
according to LuAnn Vanek, district treasurer.
“It’s the best negotiation I have ever sat on. We got the job done, we were there to work, and I
appreciate you guys making that happen,” Meyer told the board.
It took two days of negotiations to reach an agreement.
“Negotiations this time were very cordial,” said Borton. “We were able to say there are ways to solve (an
issue) without using the contract.”
One example was a concern that head coaches have not been hired until May or June, right before practice
started for many.
“We don’t need language on that,” Borton said.
The change has been made to hire fall and winter coaches in April, and spring coaches in June, he said.

“We feel it is amicable to both sides,” Meyer said.
There were no changes to health insurance.
Also at the meeting, the board approved the refinancing of bonds used to improve the athletic facilities.
Vanek plans to call the bonds and refinance from an interest rate of 4.442 percent when they were
purchased in 2011 to 2.587 percent. That move will save $86,000 annually for the life of the bonds,
which will be paid off in 2031. The balance is $1.125 million. The project cost $1.63 million.
In other business, the board hired Maribeth Tyson as cheerleading coach.
Tyson was hired after a 45-minute executive session to discuss concerns raised by parents at the meeting.

Parents expressed discontent for the lack of a “seamless transition” between Liz Lauck, who has resigned,
and Tyson.
Renee Bateson, whose daughter is a senior on the squad, is concerned about the lack of communication
between the former coach and the incoming coach.
“Our transition is not successful,” she said, saying no guidance was given by the former coach who left
Tyson previously was assistant coach under Lauck and has been filling in under Lauck’s absence.
Bateson touted the success of the cheer program.
“It has taken 21 years of dedication from coaches to build it, and with the wrong decision as a coach, it
can be dismantled,” she said.
Michelle Dilsaver pointed out a seamless transition can go both ways. It requires both participants to
make it work.
“I as a parent don’t feel that’s how it went.”
She asked if anybody has offered to help with uniforms or cheer traditions, which is one of the
“How is somebody supposed to do the traditions that everyone wants if nobody is giving her a little
leeway,” Dilsaver said.
She was not happy with how cheerleaders and their parents were talking to the coach, stating that would
happen to no other coach.
“I don’t think it’s the whole cheer squad that hates Beth,” she said. “If we don’t get Beth, we don’t get
Beth. But our kids need to be told to respect their coach.”
“Nobody wins when an adult allows that to happen,” said board member Debbie Reynolds, whose husband is a
coach in the district.
High school Principal Tom Bentley said six candidates applied for the job and five were interviewed.
Assistant coaches get strong consideration when an opening arises, Borton said.
Lacey Davis said other candidates were more qualified, and questioned Bentley’s knowledge of cheerleading
and whether someone helped him make a decision.
“As a cheerleading mom … I don’t think the best choice was made.”
After the vote, Reynolds explained why the board voted 4-0 to hire Tyson.
“We hire our principals to make these decisions and to take due diligence,” she said. “We respect the
decision he has made.”
Board member Brian King was not at the meeting.
None of the cheerleaders present spoke about the issue.
Also at the meeting, the board:
• Approved a donation of $6,000 from the Lady Royals Dugout Club to the high school softball team for its
spring trip.
• Approved the resignations of Lauck as high school cheerleading coach, effective March 10; Teresa
Knisely as community center director effective May 1; and Emilee Reed as eighth-grade teacher effective
July 1. Borton said Knisely’s position will not be filled but will be absorbed in-house.
• Approved as head coaches Penny Harden for volleyball, Greg Bishop for football, Jason Barringer for
cross country, Eric Poffenbaugh for boys golf, Kyle McKibben for girls golf, Ty Traxler for boys
basketball, Nick Davis for wrestling and Doug Reynolds for girls basketball.

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