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USD 428 approves pay increases
Chris Umphres again chosen as school board president
usd 428 district office
Great Bend USD 428 District Education Center.

The negotiated agreement for Great Bend USD 428 teachers was approved at Monday’s school board meeting, along with 3% pay increases for classified employees, directors and administrators.

The base salary for a teacher starting at USD 428 increased by $1,200 to $40,200. Superintendent Khris Thexton said that also represents a 3% increase. All returning teachers will receive an additional $1,200 and any increases included in the “step and lane” salary schedule that rewards years of experience and additional education or professional development.

Thexton said teachers have already ratified the new contract, which also includes an option for a high-deductible insurance policy and a health savings plan.

Appointments and designations

Monday was the first meeting of the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Chris Umphres was elected to continue serving as board president and Lori Reneau as vice-president.

new slt school board umphres
Chris Umphres

Other appointments:

Assistant Superintendent John Popp, Clerk of the Board of Education. Cathie McManaman was named assistant clerk to serve in his absence.

Kathy Roberts, Payroll Clerk, will continue serving as board treasurer. Samantha Drake was named assistant treasurer to serve in her absence.

All Learning Center Principals and Assistant Principals will continue to serve as truancy officers.

Superintendent Thexton continues to serve a hearing officer for Free and Reduced meals.

Food Service Director Kristy Alvord continues as food service representative.

Kathy Roberts will serve as KPERS representative.

Randy Wetzel, Tricia Reiser and Christie Gerdes continue to serve as federal and state grant representatives.

Susan Young continues as the USD 428 Education Foundation representative. Young told the board that the foundation won’t hold its annual fundraising dinner this November because of pandemic concerns.

John Popp and Christie Gerdes will serve as representative for Title VI, Title VII, Title IX, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of handicap in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.

Susan Young will serve as KASB Governmental Relations Network Representative.

Public Information Officer Andrea Bauer will serve as the Freedom of Information Officer.

John Popp is records custodian.

In naming the depository for district funds, the board approved:

- Active Accounts (Operating Account): First Kansas Bank

- Direct Deposit (Payroll): Farmers Bank and Trust

- Direct Deposit (from State of Kansas): Farmers Bank and Trust

The district will invest idle funds with bank(s) within the district that will pay the public fund rate.  Depository banks will have a Kansas charter.

The Great Bend Tribune will continue to be USD 428’s official newspaper.

Jacquie Disque will again represent the board on the committee for selection of district insurance. Insurance and Plan 125 issues are important to employees of the district. A committee, comprised of persons from a cross-section of licensed and classified job categories, will meet throughout the 2020-2021 year, according to a pre-arranged schedule. They will review the status of the offerings, research alternative possibilities, and eventually will bring to the Board a recommendation for insurance and Plan 125 offerings for the subsequent year. 

Tricia Reiser will serve as homeless coordinator.

Deanna Essmiller and Don Williams will represent the board on the Interest-Based Bargain (IBB) team that works on teacher contract negotiation.

The contract with Watkins Calcara, Chtd. for legal services will continue.

Aaron Emerson will be the board representative to the GBHS Hall of Fame Committee.

Lori Reneau will be the board representative to the Supplemental Salary Committee.

Organizational procedures (partial list)

Superintendent Thexton is authorized to pay certain types of bills, including utilities and bills that allow a discount is paid by a certain date or bills that would result in a penalty after a certain date, prior to board meetings.

The board again adopted a  1,116-Hour Calendar for 2020-2021.

The Licensed Employees’ Agreement stipulates that the annual mileage rate for reimbursement to employees for approved miles traveled is established each July, according to the Kansas state rate.  The current state rate is 57.5 cents. 

The cost of copies approved and prepared by the Freedom of Information Officer is 30 cents per page.

The USD 428 substitute teacher per-day pay remains unchanged at a rate of $100 per day and $50 per half-day.

The maximum travel allowance per meal is $10 per meal in state and $15 per meal out of state.