June 19, 2006

Citizens approve levy at Annual Meeting
More than a dozen residents at the Hamilton School District Annual Meeting approved a levy of $24.1 million that will support a $42.3 million budget for 2006-07. The budget increased 4.75 percent, in part to educate an additional 60 students who are expected to enroll next fall. The budget also includes five new positions in the English Language Learners, Advanced Placement and Early Mathematics Empowerment programs.

The tax levy, which includes debt from previous referendums, is up 7.59 percent, but the mil rate will remain at the 2005-06 rate of $9.50 per $1,000 of property value. School officials estimated property value in the district to grow about 7.6 percent – a conservative estimate. If growth is greater, the mil rate will be less that the predicted $9.50.

Citizens also approved a $30 annual raise for School Board members, increasing the salary to $3,800. The original motion had been to keep the salary at the current rate of $3,770, but community member Joseph Marchese, who complimented board members for their accomplishments and leadership, said it would be an insult to keep the pay the same. He recommended amending the original motion to increase School Board pay by $30 per year. The amended motion carried with one School Board member abstaining from the vote.

While 13 residents attended and passed five resolutions at the meeting, they were outnumbered by Alverno College education students, school employees, the school attorney and a newspaper reporter who came to the meeting only to work at or observe the proceedings.

Personnel issues decided at regular meeting
Following the Annual Meeting, a regular School Board meeting was held. In personnel business, the School Board:

  • Approved a 3-year total salary and benefit compensation package for paraprofessionals that includes insurance concessions and salary increases of 5.72 percent in 2006-07, 4.9 percent in 2007-08 and 3.92 percent in 2008-09;
  • Approved a 2-year contract with the district administrator that increased her salary by 2.3 percent;
  • Accepted the resignations of Marcy special service paraprofessional Anna Rauter, Woodside associate kitchen employee Cheryl Kau, and Woodside and Maple half-time music teacher Renee Kealey;
  • Approved lay-off notices for Willow Springs paraprofessionals Patricia Koll and Karen Ludin, and Marcy paraprofessional Shirley Hall; and
  • Appointed Peter Dargatz as Woodside fourth grade teacher, Matthew Reischauer as Hamilton part-time social studies teacher, Jill Wozniak as Maple Avenue speech and language specialist, Jennifer Hetzel and Woodside fifth grade replacement teacher, Laura Kasper as Maple Avenue part-time speech and language specialist, Erin Pandya as Marcy fifth grade teacher and Jennifer Knapp as Marcy part-time speech and language.