August 17, 2015

Residents approve district levy

Approximately 20 residents at the Hamilton School District Annual Meeting Aug. 17 approved a $29.36 million tax levy that will support a $56.12 million budget for the 2015-16 school year. Local property owners can expect a $9.56 mil rate when their tax bills arrive in December which is a decrease of 20 cents per $1,000 of value. For each $100,000 of property citizens own, they will pay $956 in property taxes to support their local schools. Property values in the district are projected to increase two percent.

The 2015-16 budget was created as a status quo financial plan with most schools and departments coming in with zero-percent increases or slight decreases. The budget is a 1.99 percent increase over the current budget and includes fund balance spending for a new high school addition and anticipation of 25 additional students.

The state Joint Finance Committee restored a proposed cut that would have resulted in the elimination of 10.5 positions in the district affecting class sizes and programs.

Debt service expenses for long-term construction projects will drop 13.86 percent next year thanks to previous refinancing that brought down interest payments and the pay-off of principal and interest each year.

School officials anticipate property values will remain stable and expect the district’s enrollment will increase by 25 students this year.

The tax rate could be affected if the projections do not match in October with actual numbers. Increased property values or state aid would result in a lower tax rate, and less-than-expected property values or state aid will cause an increase.

In addition to approving the levy, citizens approved four other resolutions that keeps School Board salaries at $4,000 a year, allows the district to sell or dispose of property no longer needed for school purposes, approves leasing of property for farming purposes and reimburses School Board expenses when incurred in the performance of their duties.

Personnel business approved at summer meetings

In personnel matters this summer, the School Board:

  • accepted the resignations of Hamilton assistant cook Kathleen Krolczyk, Woodside associate kitchen employee Kristin Dhein, Maple Avenue instructional paraprofessional Rebecca McGinley, Hamilton mathematics teacher Steven Akin, Marcy grade 2 teacher Kathleen Kluck, Hamilton mathematics teacher Kelly Lam, Lannon special education teacher Heather Gray, Hamilton alternative programs teacher Desiree Rahmlow, Marcy instructional paraprofessional Meredith Fenske and Templeton Title I paraprofessional Eden Mitchell.
  • appointed Kameron Cerroni as high school social studies and Learning Center teacher, Kathleen Krolczyk as Hamilton clerical and student supervisor paraprofessional, Catherine O’Connell as Woodside grade 3 teacher, Benjamin Bedroske as part-time Templeton music choral teacher, Sarah France as Marcy special services paraprofessional, Julie Schmidt as Maple Avenue instructional paraprofessional, Brittney Diedrick as Hamilton cook, Kirsten Schlaman as Woodside guidance counselor, James Gornick as elementary band teacher, Jeanna Tinus as Hamilton alternative programs teacher, Brooke Spitzner as Marcy special services paraprofessional, Tim Christman as Marcy grade 2 teacher, Melanie Bunton as Marcy grade 2 replacement teacher, Kristina King as Hamilton mathematics teacher, Karen Figarino as Woodside associate kitchen employee, Leanne Wied as Hamilton mathematics teacher, Jennifer Orlowski as part-time Willow Springs early childhood replacement teacher, Melanie Vonachen as a Willow Springs special services paraprofessional, Alyssa Olson as a high school instructional paraprofessional, Kelleah Lewis as a Lannon special education teacher, Gretchen McGregor as a Woodside grade 2 replacement teacher and Karen Seiler as a Marcy instructional paraprofessional.
  • modified the contracts of Hamilton communication arts teacher Lauren Kelty and Hamilton world languages teacher Lindsey Klein.
  • approved the retirement requests of Woodside custodian Lucille Pehowski effective Aug. 27, district comptroller Patricia Schaefer effective Feb. 5 and Information Technology executive assistant Cynthia Robb effective Jan. 8; and
  • approved a 1.62 percent total aggregate salary increase for cooks, associate kitchen employees, custodial and maintenance staff, groundskeeper, paraprofessionals, administrative assistants, confidential support staff and administrators. Custodial staff were provided a $500 merit stipend for performance during the 2014-15 school year prorated based on full-time equivalency. In addition, salary adjustments for identified administrative assistants were approved.