Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Local News

March 28, 2014

Board approves personnel changes

The Knoxville School Board is making progress toward filling vacancies created by several retirements at the end of the school year.

Monday night, the board approved the hiring of Jim Bassett, Director of Facilities and Operations and Troy Pearson, Grounds and Facilities Manager. These two have been hired to replace retiring Jeff Sinnard and Gary Bacus.

Superintendent Randy Flack told the board that Bassett has knowledge in heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, as well as other areas. Pearson’s background in buildings and construction is expected to aid the district as well. Flack believes the two will work closely together in the coming years, to care for Knoxville School District facilities.

The combined pay for Bacus and Sinnard, including FICA and IPERS, totals $143,413.03. Their replacements will cost a total of $134,067, leaving a savings of $9,346.03. (All of the pay figures in this article include FICA and IPERS.)

One of the goals of the early retirement incentive was to reduce personnel costs for the district. Board President Leslie Miller had asked Flack to prepare information regarding savings for those positions already filled.

Northstar Counselor Denise Bontrager is among the retirees. Her replacement, also approved Monday night, will provide a savings of $12,525.47. (Bontrager’s total pay was $76,644.47. Replacement Sondra Dyer’s total pay will be $64,119.)

Savings will also been seen with High School Spanish Teacher Tracy Coon’s retirement, Amy Ripperger. Coon’s total pay was $74,313.20; Ripperger’s, $47,797.80. Ripperger’s contract was among those approved Monday night.

The board has previously approved Linda Abbott to transfer to West Elementary to replace Mike Montgomery as principal. Abbott’s pay will total $99,093, versus Montgomery’s $111,596.

Abbott’s replacement as Assistant Middle School Principal, Ryan Klein, was approved Monday night. Klein, currently a dean at Knoxville High School, will make $87,435 versus Abbott’s $96,120.21.

Klein’s transfer was approved 4-1 with board member Mike Moats dissenting. Moats told the Journal-Express on Tuesday that his vote was not a reflection on Klein, but on the board’s decision to maintain an assistant principal. As a member of the district’s personnel committee – joined on the committee by Flack, Business Manager Craig Mobley and board member Tim McDonald – he recommended that the position be that of a dean, which would have lowered the cost of this role.

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Upon completion and reopening of Third Street, should the City of Knoxville wait to start the next stage of the Streetscape and Infrastructure project until 2015?

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