CAMDEN — During a meeting on Thursday, July 8, the Preble Shawnee Local Schools Board of Education approved giving five administrators three percent raises for the 2021-22 school year, as well as five vacation days to be used or cashed out beginning next school year.
The board also approved a three percent stipend for the 2020-21 school year for the administrators who include Curriculum Director Dr. Jaime Ranly, Director of Special Education Jennifer Taulbee, Preble Shawnee Elementary Principal Heather Campbell, Middle School Principal Kyle Morton and Junior/Senior High School Principal Dianna Whitis.
During a report from the district’s Ohio Association of Public School Employees union group, the school’s local union representative Kathy Chamberlain reported on the educational opportunities provided to OAPSE members and their families, including a free online associates degree program, and a low cost bachelor’s program. She then went on to comment on the reduction in force actions taken on 10 staff members at the board’s previous meeting.
“I know it’s done, and you felt like you did what you had to do. But when you can look at these folks and tell them that you’re deficit spending, you have no funds, and take their benefits and take their hours, and then vote to put in a driveway, and to give administration raises or stipends however you want to put that — that’s just wrong. I’m very disappointed that happened. I don’t know what else to say. I’m just at a loss, that in good conscious, you can do that.”
She also voiced a complaint about the manner in which board documents are made available, and the manner in which the board voted on the personnel actions as part of a consent agenda. “And then the board docs. Why is everything in where you have to go and search and look for it? Why can’t it be printed out when you come in here so that you can read it? Everything was all lumped together in their vote last week. I don’t even think I realized that’s what you were voting on when you made your vote, because everything was all together, and you just voted — you all said ‘yes’ and went on your merry way.”
She continued, “It’s like you have to do your homework for two days before you come into the board meeting, so you know what’s going on what’s being voted on.”
Board members said the way board materials are presented had been working, but they could revisit the process. It was also pointed out, funds being used for the driveway project in question were permanent improvement funds which cannot be used for salaries or other such expenditures.
Also at the meeting, board members appointed Chris Brown from the Butler County Educational Service Center to serve as interim superintendent until newly hired Superintendent Todd Bowling begins on Aug. 1. The board also entered into two separate executive sessions to discuss personnel.
The next meeting of the Preble Shawnee Local Schools Board of Education will take place Thursday, Aug. 12 at 6 p.m. in the Junior and Senior High Media Center.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr