BEDFORD – Bryce Bennet was sworn in Thursday night at the NLCS school board meeting.
Lawrence County Clerk Billie Tumey gave Bennett the oath of office. He will replace Rusty Garrison who recently resigned.
In other businesses, school board members voted to increase the substitute teacher pay. The new rate for a general substitute will increase to $80 a day which is a $5 increase. A certified substitute will be paid $100, a $25 increase.
Superintendent Dr. Ty Mungle updated school board members on the first week of school. He said both students and teachers are ready to take on the new school year.
Dr. Mungle said the last child to get off a school bus is at 4:35 p.m. compared to last year at 5 p.m. There are still minor adjustments being made on the arrival and departure times.
Most class sizes are normal, and a kindergarten position will be added at Shawswick Elementary. The school corporation is still looking to fill several teaching positions. Several resignations have left some staffing shortages.
NLCS has received several applications including some from out of state.
During Thursday night’s school board meeting nine more certified teachers and nine support staff members resigned.
Lacy Hawkins, North Lawrence Education Association President, addressed the board Thursday evening stating that teacher contract negotiations will begin shortly. She reminded the board not to forget about possible pay increases for teachers.
“While we’re optimistic about the year ahead, the end of 2019 and the 2020-2021 school year were quite taxing on our teachers. Consolidation/reorganization moved many to new buildings and/or grade levels. When the pandemic hit, our teachers either taught in-person through a pandemic or learned to teach a rotating schedule of in-person, virtual, and hybrid. Teachers stripped their rooms of class pets, gave up miniature fridges where they kept water, lunch, and snacks close by, and stepped in to help clean and sanitize when limited custodial staff was overwhelmed. The elementary and middle school implemented a new reading curriculum and the high school adjusted lessons to fit the new trimester schedule. Through all of this, teachers supported each other and their students,” Hawkins wrote in a letter to the board.
“Currently, teachers are concerned about the lack of paraprofessionals/aides as well as the loss of teaching colleagues, particularly in special education but generally across the corporation to surrounding corporations, many due to better salary offers. We know that fewer staff here means more responsibility on the ones who stay and that sometimes that means people are stretched thin. When we look to replace those who leave, we’re concerned about attracting and retaining the best. All new teachers are going to struggle. Teaching is difficult. We need to keep experienced teachers to help the new ones find their way,” she added. “When I asked teachers for things to share with the board, one teacher said the following that I think really captured what I’m hearing from a lot of teachers.”
“I would like the board to know that I love this community and am invested in doing everything I can to help improve and encourage all students to succeed. I hope the board can see us. See us working, being flexible at a moment’s notice, being team players even when the goal line keeps moving on us. I hope they see and reward the teachers that have stayed and have toughed it out when we could have gone elsewhere for higher pay and a higher salary and more efforts to show us we’re valued.”
“As a union, we look forward to continuing to improve communication between teachers and administration. I hope to speak monthly at board meetings with a sort of “state of the union” from our perspective. So far, discussion meetings have gone well and made teachers feel not only heard but part of the decision-making team. We will enter contract negotiation soon and hope that the efforts of our teachers over the last two tumultuous years will be remembered and Dr. Mungle’s vision for increased salaries realized,” Hawkins wrote.
Several improvements have been made to the tennis courts, soccer field, track, and pool area.
Tim Morrow again asked the school board about teaching Critical Race Theory in the school system as part of the curriculum and the school board members remained silent on the issue.
Personnel Changes approved by the board include:
- Bradford Barclay – North Lawrence Career Center Computer Science effective July 26, 2021
- Emily Carter – Bedford Middle School Resource Instructor
- Sara Hosea – Oolitic Campus Instructor
- Emily Medsker – Lincoln Instructor
- Emily (Kati) Patriquin – Shawswick Elementary Instructor
- Heath Snider – Shawswick Elementary Instructor
- Adam Yates – Bedford North Lawrence Instructor
- Kristi Yates – North Lawrence Community Schools Nurse
- Cathay Bell – Playful Pathways 180 days 40 hours School Year effective August 19,2021
- Elizabeth Corbin – Lincoln Elementary Instructional Assistant effective August 3, 2021
- Katelyn Gibbens – Shawswick Super Sup effective August 9, 2021
- Kaci Hall – Parkview Instructional Assistant effective August 3, 2021
- Michael Hudson – Bedford North Lawrence Assistant/ Study Hall Monitor effective August 4, 2021
- Lynnie Hughes – Shawswick Elementary Instructional Assistance effective August 3, 2021
- Kayla Kern – Needmore Elementary Instructional Assistant effective September 13, 2021
- Amanda Kirby – Needmore Instructional assistant effective August 3, 2021
- Samantha Overton – Shawswick Elementary Super Sub effective August 9, 2021
- Christine Thomas – Bedford North Lawrence Instructional assistant effective August 3, 2021
- Joni Todd – Parkview Super Sub Instructional Assistant effective August 3, 2021
- Roy Douglas – NLCS 28 hour Custodian effective August 26, 2021
- Maggi Snack – NLCS School year Bus Driver August 4, 2021
- David Wray – NLCS 52 week Custodian effective August 26, 2021
- Judy Barker – NLCS Food Service cook effective August 9, 201
- Amy Walls – NLCS Food Service cook effective August 3, 2021
- Todd Tanksley – Transferring from Bedford North Lawrence Principal to Parkview Assistant Principal effective July 1, 2021
- Pat Holmes Transferring from Oolitic 28 Hour Instructional Assistant to Oolitic 40 hour school year Super Sub Instructional assistant effective August 3, 2021
- Elizabeth Kile – Transferring from Bedford North Lawrence Resource to BNL Self Contained effective August 4, 2021
- Alex Page – Transferring from NLCS Child Nutrition Program Coordinator to NLCS Director of Food Service effective August 9, 2021
- Tanner Romine – Transferring from Bedford Middle School 28 hour to Bedford Middle School 40 hour School year Super Sub Instructional assistant effective August 3, 2021
- Tyler Blanton – Transferring from 52 week Mechanic to Corporation Bus Driver effective August 4, 2021
- Sherrlyn Fletcher – Transferring from NLCS Custodian evening to North Lawrece Community Schools Custodian day shift effective July 29, 2021
- Crystal Fisher – Shawswick Elementary Intermediate Robotic Coach
- Sidney Jovanovich – Shawswick Elementary Primary Robotics Coach
- Kyle Dalton – Middle School Assistant Football Coach Fall 2021
- Brayden Tidd – Bedford North Lawrence Assistant Football Coach Fall 2021
- Cody East – Bedford North Lawrence Boys Assistant Tennis Coach Fall 2021
- Bret Roberts – Bedford North Lawrence Girls Assistant Soccer Coach Fall 2021
- Hannah Bennett – Resigning as Elementary Instructor
- Shelly Burnside – Resigning as Bedford North Lawrence Instructor
- Deborah Crane – Resigning as Oolitic Art Instructor
- Jason Filer – Resigning as Bedford North Lawrence Instructor
- Christina Hennion – Resigning as speech-language Pathologist
- Danielle Martin – Resigning as Lincoln Elementary Instructor
- Marci Ramey – Resigning as Shawswick Elementary Instructor
- Lucas Roman – Resigning as Parkview Elementary Instructor
- Steven Weber – Resigning as Bedford North Lawrence Physical Education Instructor
- Greg Burton – Resigning as Bedford North Lawrence Hall Monitor effective July 23, 2021
- Sara Mckee – Resigning as North Lawrence School bus driver effective July 25, 2021
- Rose Mary Foster – Resigning as Food Services effective July 27, 2021
- Macy Nierman – Resigning as Shawswick Instructional assistant effective July 1, 2021
- Gloria Nelson – Resigning as Playful Pathways Instructional assistant – effective July 27, 2021
- Jacklyn Reynolds – Resigning as North Lawrence effective August 5, 2021
- Kim Rizzi – Resigning as North Lawrence 52 week custodian effective July 29, 2021
- Cierra Uebelhoer – Resigning as Playful Pathways Instructional assistant – effective July 24, 2021
- Jenifer Wray – Resigning as Instructional assistant July 30, 2021
- Danielle Garrison – Requesting medical leave starting September 22nd continuing for 6-7 weeks and then parental leave begining from November 11th – December 17, 2021
- Julie Couch – Requesting leave August 5th continuing for 4-6 weeks