2007-08-18 / News

District wraps up labor contracts

By Charles Prince

MILLERSPORT - Walnut Township Schools wrapped up its second labor contract in record time.

Superintendent Ron Thornton told board members Monday night that negotiations with non-teaching employees went very well. Board members later unanimously approved a three-year contract beginning July 1, 2007 with annual increases of 3 percent, 3 percent and 4 percent. A three-year contract with teachers with the same wage increases was approved earlier in the summer.

Board members also agreed with Thornton's recommendation that any employees who aren't a member of a union, with the exception of the superintendent and treasurer, should receive the same percentage increase. Board members set the salaries of the superintendent and treasurer.

In his report, Thornton said he is organizing a diverse group to draft a district bullying policy. The state is requiring all districts to develop such a policy by the end of the year.

"I think we can put a dent into it (bullying)," he said.

He announced that Dina Reasoner and some others are restarting a chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at the high school. He welcomes the group, noting though that the district is unable to provide any financial support.

Thornton told board members that he's been inviting senior citizens to come into the district officeand talk with him. He's been giving anyone 60 years or older a district pass for free admission to any district events or home athletic games. The passes are available to any district resident 60 years or older.

Thornton promised to have the details at next month's board meeting of his continuing efforts to fund long overdue maintenance projects without asking district residents for more money.

"I think we can get our buildings where they need to be with some work and time," he said.

High school principal Roger Montgomery expects four or fivemore students this year. Elementary principal Cheryl Thomson is monitoring kindergarten and third grade enrollment closely. One half-time teacher is available to move and another aide may be needed for special education students. She is waiting to see how many students actuallly show up.

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