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School Board Approves Shuffling Teachers And New Hires

By Staff | May 27, 2010

Staff-related issues, including several transfers within the school district, were discussed by the members of the Emmetsburg Community Schools Board of Education during their May 17, meeting.

Superintendent John Joynt shared that a number of teachers will move to new positions within the district for the 2010-2011 school year.

“Rita Garrelts will take the new preschool position, and Tami Jensen will move from special education to Kindergarten” said Joynt.

Garrelts has been a Kindergarten teacher at West Elementary, and Jensen has taught special education at West Elementary.

Joynt explained that Renee Iverson will return as special education teacher from her first grade teaching position; Missy Birkey will move from early childhood special education and preschool special education to first grade; and Janie Eischen will transfer from fourth grade teacher at West Elementary to seventh grade and eighth grade at the middle school.

Kari Mueller, elementary and Catholic School Resource Room teacher, will move to the middle school to fill the special education vacancy left by retiree Sharon Hobart (the current special education position at West Elementary has been eliminated for next year, and the position of special education/Title I instructor at the Catholic School will be filled by Renee Chism). 

Also, Erin Siefken, TAG/high school English teacher, will assume much of retiree Tom Hoover’s high school English course load (high school business teacher Jill Schany will also help out by teaching Second Chance Reading). Zach Hamann, who currently teaches high school special education and middle school physical education, will move to full-time high school special education (retiree Cynthia Berkland’s position will not be filled).

“Right now, we are advertising in-house for early childhood special education and the fourth grade openings,” said Joynt. “I’m not sure that there’s been a huge amount of interest in either one at this point.”

Joynt also listed the roster of new teachers who will joining the Emmetsburg Community School District next year: Deena Fries, high school special education; Jared Pickett, high school science (will also serve as high school wrestling head coach); April Moffitt, family and consumer science teacher position (pending board approval and background check); and Mina Fantz, part-time elementary art teacher position (pending board approval and background check).

“Mina has lived in Emmetsburg for several years now,” said Joynt. “She’s been subbing for us since she moved to town. She has three children, and her husband is Joel Fantz, the county engineer. She started teaching in 1991, working full-time a couple of years and part-time a few of those years.”

Principal Jay Jurrens shared information about April Moffitt.

“April has been teaching for the last six years in the Graettinger Community School District,” said Jurrens. “She lives in Estherville and is excited to be coming here.”

The board approved offering contracts to April Moffitt and Mina Fantz. Travis Birkey will receive a contract for seventh grade football coach; Molly Rodemeyer will receive a contact for seventh grade girls’ basketball coach; and Erin Siefken will be offered a contract for the Individual Speech Coach position.

In resignations, the board approved the resignations of Zach Hamann as middle school wrestling coach (contingent upon finding a replacement), Travis Birkey as middle school assistant football coach, and Mickey Cooke as part-time custodian at West Elementary.

In staff-related business, board members agreed to offer contracts to Classified staff (office staff, custodians, bus drivers, cooks, servers, and paraeducators) granting a 10-cents per hour increase for most staff.

“This 10-cents per hour wage is in addition to the $477 increase for a single health insurance plan for full-time employees,” Joynt said. “The annual cost of a single health insurance plan is now $6,719.”

Salaried staff will also received a one-percent salary increase. Network Administrator Mitch Mueller will receive a 75-cents per hour increase to bring his wage up to $14 per hour.

Administrators will also received a one-percent salary increase. West Elementary Principal Matt Pugh will receive a $760 increase in salary to $76,760 and Middle School/High School Principal Jay Jurrens will receive a $770 increase to $77,770.

“I recommend a contract addendum to show a one-percent increase of $990 for myself,” said Joynt. The increase will bring the superintendent’s salary to $99,990. The superintendent contract included language for a $2,000 raise for each year of the three-year contract.

“I just want to thank Mr. Joynt for reducing his raise,” commended board member Don Hagen.

“I wanted to keep with the theme of one-percent,” Joynt stated. “We’re all in this together.”

In other business, board members approved a 28E agreement to share a music teacher (Kelley Fog) with Emmetsburg Catholic School. The Catholic School will be responsible for 27-percent of Fog’s contract. The board also approved a 28E agreement to share swimming with Algona and Estherville Lincoln Central for the 2010-2011 school year.