ST. JOHN | Pay raises and stipends for a handful of Lake Central School Corp. administrators narrowly passed Tuesday at the board of school trustees’ meeting.
Approval came amid questions, concerns and finally a “no” vote from the board’s newest member, Janice Malchow.
Board member John DeVries abstained from voting because a relative is one of the administrative staff receiving a raise.
Superintendent Lawrence Veracco said the new salaries for 10 employees are in line with what other districts pay and will help keep these staff members at the Lake Central schools.
The raises and stipends will be effective July 1. Most of increases will come from the district’s general fund.
Director of Business Services Rob James will receive a $5,998 pay raise to increase his salary to $109,478. That brings him to the amount paid the former Lake Central business manager.
DeVries praised the work James has done to analyze and stabilize the corporation’s budget.
“He inherited a mess, and he straightened it out,” DeVries said. “Mr. James absolutely deserves this raise.”
Angie Szymborski, benefits coordinator, will be given a $6,000 increase to earn $47,000 a year.
Veracco said Szymborski is “exceptional in dealing with insurance claims, workmen’s compensation claims, unemployment claims as well as a various retiree concerns.”
English language learning coordinator Lisa DeVries' stipend was raised from $1,200 to $5,000 next year. The “significant increase in the number of students serviced within the district in the area of English language learning” led to Verraco's stipend recommendation for DeVries, he said.
Each of the district’s seven deans of students will have a $5,000 stipend reinstated.
During the spring 2011 budget cuts, the deans’ supervision stipends and duty stipends were eliminated, Veracco said. Meanwhile, the deans’ responsibilities have increased. Those stipends amount to $35,000.
Prior to the vote, Malchow said she knew the quality of the individuals considered for raises, but questioned any raises in light of the layoff of teachers, paraprofessionals and other staff members.
“I’m very surprised by this because of budget constraints,” Malchow said. “The budget is just now in the black.”
She also asked when other personnel might see a salary increase.
“Any plan for teacher pay increases is being negotiated with the Lake Central Teachers Association. It would be premature to talk about it in this setting,” Veracco said. “Rest assured we intend to be fair to all employees.”
The School board was, however, unanimous in awarding Director of Facilities Bill Ledyard a $15,000 a year stipend for the next three years for his expertise and supervision on the construction projects at Lake Central High School, Protsman Elementary School in Dyer and Hal B. Clark Middle School in St. John.
“I think we have been blessed to have him in the right place at the right time. It’s important to keep him in place,” said board member Howard Marshall.
Ledyard’s salary will return to $91,000 in September 2015 when all the construction work is completed.