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Teacher contracts ratified
Minimum raise for 2018-2019 is $1,700
new slt school board
National Honor Society students graduating from GBHS were recognized at Monday's school board meeting. - photo by Photo courtesy of USD 428

Teachers at Great Bend USD 428 will receive a minimum pay raise of $1,700 for the 2018-2019 school year, Superintendent Khris Thexton said after Monday’s school board meeting. The base pay for a starting teacher will increase from $36,400 to $37,700.

Pay of teachers as a whole will increase by 5 percent, but that isn’t an across-the-board raise; some will receive more and some will receive less.
“Everybody will get horizontal and vertical movement,” Thexton said of the teachers’ placement on the district salary grid.
Teachers’ cost for insurance will stay the same, as will the number of hours teachers are required to work.
The board approved the 2018-2019 teachers’ contract without comment as part of the consent agenda, along with minutes of April meetings, the personnel report, bills and financial reports, a pay adjustment for classified employees, and administrative contracts.
During the meeting, the board held a 20-minute executive session to discuss “the latest proposal for ratification of (the) negotiated agreement.” The board spent 30 minutes in executive session on the subject at the April 9 meeting, after which Thexton said teachers had an offer to approve or reject.
Thexton told the school board Monday that the Great Bend-National Education Association had since contacted him and that teachers had approved the contract.
“I heard from quite a few teachers who were very appreciative,” board member Susan Young said Monday.
Great Bend uses the method of Interest-Based Bargaining, or IBB, to negotiate. IBB is also known as “win-win” bargaining because the discussions focus on mutually beneficial agreements.
The consent agenda also included a classified pay adjustment and administrative contracts. The Great Bend Tribune will be checking on those this week.

The board also took time Monday to recognize the achievements of several Great Bend High School seniors:
• Eight GBHS seniors have earned the Kansas Seal of Biliteracy by attaining proficiency in English and one or more other world languages. Camryn Dunekack, Addison Ingram, Lindsey Newman, Rossiel Reyes, Paloma Sandoval, Rodrigo Miranda, Valeria Castillo and Cesar Antillon are the first students in the district to attain this award, and the first in the state to earn it this year. The seal is a statement of accomplishment that recognizes a student’s readiness for career and college and for engagement as a global citizen and will be a part of their high school record. The award is presented with their diploma at graduation.
• Seventeen National Honor Society students will graduate this month. These students have met all requirements, including at least a 3.8 GPA, and show a commitment to community, leadership and character.
• At the state Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Leadership Conference in Topeka, senior Lindsey Newman qualified for nationals with her second-place finish in Personal Finance. The four-day 2018 National Leadership Conference will be held in June at Baltimore, Maryland.
• The west Kansas district speech national-qualifying tournament was hosted by Buhler High School, where sophomore Patrick Heath placed second in the Informative Speaking event. He has qualified and will travel to the National Speech and Debate Tournament at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, June 16-20.

USD 428 follows a five-year rotation cycle for computer purchases (a three-year cycle for Chromebooks) in order to maintain up-to-date technology for staff and students. The board approved buying 110 desktop computers, 500 Chromebooks and 125 iPads for a total cost of $272,780.
School personnel can purchase the old computers at a cost of $75 for a desktop, $35 for an iPad Mini and $30 for a Chromebook. Graduating seniors will be allowed to keep their Chromebooks.

Other business
In other business:
• The board approved switching to summer hours at the District Education Center from May 25 through July 27. The office will close at noon on Fridays. Employees will have the opportunity to work longer hours Monday through Thursday so they can still work a 40-hour week if they are full-time.
• Bid requests for 720 cartons of 8.5 by 11 copy paper and 40 cartons of 11 by 17 paper were sent to five paper vendors. The low bid from Premier Paper was approved for $18,057, compared to $18,784 last year for a similar amount of paper. Also, a low quote for card stock in all colors was awarded to Vertiv Operating Co. for $6,591.
• The board approved the purchase of Visix Digital Software and flat screens to deliver messages, media and alerts at Great Bend High School. Installation will take place over the summer. The first year’s cost will be about $12,775. GBHS instructor Dan Heath’s audio-visual technology students will create much of the content.
• The 2018-2019 school year calendar was approved. Important dates are:
- Aug. 9, start of five days of new teacher orientation
- Aug. 17 and 21, teacher work days
- Aug. 16-20, teacher in-service work days
- Aug. 20, district kickoff with Business Showcase
- Aug. 22, first day with students

Donations and grant applications
The board also recognized/approved the Education Foundation Grant recipients and other contributions and grant applications submissions:
• The GBHS Panther Paw Shoppe (Special Services) received $300 from The Upside of Down Syndrome Group (thanks to Shawn Suppes).
• S2M LLC donated $100 to GBHS Community Service Day.
• Wheatland Electric donated a Kindle as a prize for 4th Quarter Behavior Recognition assembly at Riley Elementary School.
• GBHS Dance Line received a $100 donation from Lorrie and Randy Moyers.
• Great Bend Middle School Booster Club donated $243.53 to purchase a popcorn machine for the school and $612 to purchase 204 keychains for eighth-grade recognition gifts.
• Cindy Sandy, Eisenhower KRR (Kansas Reading Roadmap) program director, received permission to apply a $500 grant from Walmart.
• KRR programs at Park, Riley and Jefferson Elementary schools each received permission to apply for $500 donations from Walmart ($1,500 total).
• Emma Goad, Jefferson KRR Program Director, received permission to apply for a $4,000 Dollar General Literacy Foundation grant that provides reading material for KRR students. Goad also received permission to apply for a Subway grant to provide a lunch for 90 K-5 students and sponsors for a summer field trip.
• Michelle Daniel, Riley Elementary family support worker, received permission to apply for a $10,000 Robert Wood Foundation Sports Award. If her application wins, funds would be used for playground equipment and items for the Walking School Bus program.

The following personnel changes were approved:

Licensed Employee Appointment
• Paulette Soupiset, school nurse at GBHS and Park Elementary School

Licensed teacher appointments
• Alana Jamison, GBHS English
• Kelsey Menges, Eisenhower sixth grade
• Kristina Garza, Eisenhower second grade
• Deanna Curtis, Lincoln special education
• Miraya Starnes, art at elementary schools

Licensed teacher resignations
• Gwen McDonald, Eisenhower fifth grade
• Bonnie Ward, Riley third grade
• Brian Hutchinson, GBHS art
• Amanda Loving, Riley second grade
• Rhonda Geisler, Riley sixth grade
• Nichole Hertel, Eisenhower first grade

Licensed employee resignation
• Deirdre Deiter, school psychologist for Barton County Special Services