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Fisher hired for another year, salary upped PDF Print E-mail

By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican

School Supt. Matt Fisher was offered a year extension on his current contract with Chase County Schools, and received a 4.49% salary increase for 2010-11.
All nine board members were at the Dec. 8 meeting, despite a snowstorm that cancelled CCS classes that day. Student board member Chevy Smith also attended.
After a two hour and 15 minute closed session at the end of the meeting, the board approved a 4.49% raise for Supt. Fisher, which will increase his current salary of $98,000 to $102,400 for 2010-11.
Insurance rates with Blue Cross Blue Shield have not been determined yet for the 2010-11 school year, but full insurance coverage is part of his benefit package.
The offer of a year’s extension to his current contract, if accepted, will continue Fisher’s employment here through the 2011-12 year.    
Salary for the school superintendent is generally set on a year-to-year basis though a contract may be offered for more than one year.
School Board President Sheila Stromberger said most of the closed session dealt with completion of Supt. Fisher’s annual evaluation, in addition to the discussion of the salary.
This year, the decision on Supt. Fisher’s contract extension and salary came two months earlier.
In the past, the salaries for the superintendent and principals were all included together on the February agenda.
The board approved a policy earlier this year to move up the superintendent’s salary/contract decision. That allows more time for a replacement search should the superintendent’s contract not be renewed.
Salaries and contracts for Principals Nathan Vitosh and Mike Sorensen will continue to be on February’s agenda, Stromberger said.

Other school board business

  • Several part-time hirings were approved—Jared Rentschler as freshman boys’ basketball coach this year, Lynn Fortkamp as morning route bus driver (south of Champion route) and Rob Browning as music accompanist for this school year. Supt. Fisher noted that Browning has been paid some years in the past and other years hasn’t received pay. With Dr. C gone now, Browning will also be accompanying the musical next year, as well. He’ll receive pay similar to an asst. coach, according to the salary schedule, Fisher said. The board also approved the resignation of special ed. aide Tracy Coleman.
  • Dec. 18 will mark the last day of school before the Christmas break and end of the second quarter, according to Mike Sorensen, grade 7-12 principal. The school calendar was adjusted this year to complete all of the first semester before the Christmas break, rather than coming back in January to continue the second quarter and first semester for a few days.
  • A local builder will be asked to initially evaluate the stability of the west wall in the Shorthorn gym. Supt. Fisher said that might be a good starting point, and felt if further evaluation was needed, an engineer’s opinion could then be sought. Board member Gregg Smith asked about the expertise of a builder versus engineer in this type of evaluation, but board member Todd Burpo said unless the engineer has worked in the construction field, too, he doesn’t put a lot of weight on an engineer’s evaluation alone. In the end, the board gave the okay to start locally with the evaluation.
  • After seeing how they liked the lighting change in the board room for a couple months, the board authorized Supt. Fisher to proceed with changing out the rest of the office area and school lobby to T-8 lighting versus the T-12 system now in place throughout the school building. The work will be completed over the Christmas break at an estimated cost of about $4,000, Fisher said. Eventually, the plan is to replace all of the lighting in the building as the old system is being phased out.
  • Approval was given to findings of the board’s Americanism committee on textbooks used at CCS and their content on history and government. The board also adopted state language arts standards as required.
  • Sue Kunnemann, an aide in the grade school, was allowed to take leave-no-pay days that will be in excess of the nine allowed employees over a three-year period. The board discussed whether to give this authority to the administrators, but Supt. Fisher felt it best to stay a board vote. This is the first year the policy is in effect for classified staff. It’s been used among the teaching staff for several years.
  • Supt. Fisher, and board members Tom Gaschler and Penny Strand represented Chase County Schools at the school board association convention in Omaha last month.
  • Board members also attended part of the school day last Thursday observing the school’s Reading Mastery Program being used in grades K-6 this year.

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