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Indian River board debates new position

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PHILADELPHIA — Indian River Central School District may be on the verge of a new administrative position — or the idea may be quashed altogether.

Although the Board of Education agreed to a curriculum director position when the 2013-14 budget passed, all members aren’t happy with the salary, and some are not happy with the job description.

Voting on the position has been tabled.

“Our concern, I recall, was the salary you gave us wasn’t what we were expecting,” board President Frank J. Laverghetta said to Director of Human Resources Dennis L. Schrecengast at Thursday’s meeting.

A note to the board members with the job description said the starting salary would be between $85,000 and $100,000. The position would be for a year-round administrator to help Assistant Superintendent Mary Anne Dobmeier complete more than 900 teacher evaluations and assist with staff development for kindergarten through fifth grade. This person also will coordinate the universal prekindergarten program.

“I still have issues with the justification,” board member Donald L. Brumfield said. “It says ‘justification’ on the front, but these are just the duty descriptions.”

He said he could not vote for the position without being able to justify it to the taxpayers.

Board Vice President Thomas L. Lapp did not understand why the position was being questioned by other board members.

“For me, I believe the concept was already introduced,” he said. “We voted on the concept. That’s not even a question. When the budget was passed, everyone knew it was in there. My issue is with the salary, not the concept.”

Board member Linda M. Capone said a job description was not available at the time the budget was voted on. Mr. Brumfield agreed.

“Just because we put it in the budget doesn’t mean they’re going to be hired,” he said. “That’s always been our policy.”

He said the duties of the position would dictate the pay.

Mrs. Dobmeier said teachers, in order to have better evaluations, would need additional coaching other than the formal and informal classroom observations necessitated in the annual professional performance review. Because the rise in enrollment has led to a rise in teacher hires, 982 evaluations would have to be turned in to the state every year.

Superintendent James Kettrick agreed that Mrs. Dobmeier needed help.

“You want to stay ahead of this thing if you can,” he said. “This is a new animal. I’m suggesting to you that it’s something you need right now, because the APPR is not going away.”

He said he understood that the salary caught the board members off guard.

Mrs. Capone said Mr. Kettrick should have had a job description ready before now since the position initially was proposed in January.

“I’m just really bitter about the way this position has been developed,” she said. “I’m fed up with the way it has been presented. We lowered it down to ‘curriculum coordinator.’ Now, all of a sudden, it’s ‘curriculum director.’ It took us this long for the job description and justification.”

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