MEEKER I The Meeker Board of Education took a look at teacher salary comparisons following a two-hour executive session to finalize evaluations of district Superintendent Mark Meyer and BOCES Executive Director Teresa Schott of Rangely on March 3.
In the board’s continuing preparation of the 2015-2016 budget, Meyer presented a comparison of Meeker School District teacher salaries with a few other districts. His conclusion was that Meeker’s salaries are competitive.
Meeker pays a middle salary of $54,200 while Moffat County School District (Craig) pays a middle salary of $56,829 and the middle Garfield Re-2 (Rifle) salary is $44,542. The Craig and Rifle schools have considerably larger student bodies and teaching staffs.
Meyer recommended giving step increases to the teaching staff next year and giving the few teachers that are at their step limits equivalent stipends.
The board also studied some possible options to reduce costs by adjusting existing school bus routes. These options were compiled by district transportation director Roy Wedding.
Before approving any changes, the board wants to check with the student families possibly affected. Options include shortening the Marvine/Mesa, Strawberry, Piceance and Flag Creek routes and/or combining some of these routes. Wedding reported that the district has reduced the number of bus routes from 11 to the current six.
On personnel issues, the board considered a request from high school math and chemistry teacher Bev Devore-Wedding, who is currently on a leave-of-absence pursuing her PhD in science education at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln, to extend her leave for another year. Meyer recommended not approving an extension since it is contrary to board policy. The board voted unanimously to deny the request.
Board member Todd Schultz was not present. The district has yet to hear from Devore-Wedding as to whether she plans to return to the district in August.
On property matters, the district received two sealed bids on the New Eden (old kindergarten) building: $32,500 from Regas Halandras and $41,513 from Si Woodruff.
New Eden Pregnancy Care Services, current occupant of the building, now has the opportunity to match the high bid.
Leif Joy of Joy Surveying continues to perfect boundaries on the old swimming pool property.
Roy Wedding is working on getting the county to help the district by removing the remaining debris from the Rock Creek teacherage following professional asbestos abatement, which cost the district $8,300.
Bob Amick, co-chair of the Meeker Arts and Cultural Council (MACC), and volunteer leader of the high school auditorium renovation project, reported that he took a group of drama students to the play “Once Upon a Mattress” at Colorado Mesa University.
He also briefly updated the board on the auditorium project.
Board President Bill deVergie asked Amick to plan a briefing for the board on the MACC long-term plan and vision for the auditorium. Meyer said he would put that on the agenda.
Mary Strang, president of the Meeker Education Foundation, reported that the foundation had a very successful inaugural fund-raising dinner on March 1, having cleared $6,000, which she later revised to more than $6,800.
The board meeting started at 5:40 p.m. with two hours of executive session. The closed-door deliberations included finalizing the evaluations of Superintendent Mark Meyer, who has resigned effective June 30, and Teresa Schott of Rangely, the executive director of the Rio Blanco Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES).
Meyer’s evaluation will be presented to him at a later board meeting while Schott’s review will be presented at the BOCES board meeting to be held at 7 p.m. tonight at the Meeker district board room.
The board’s next meeting will start at 5:40 p.m. on Tuesday with an executive session to review and vet the eight new superintendent applications the district has received.