Howland OKs raises for administrators

HOWLAND — The Howland Board of Education has approved a pay increase for the district’s 10 certified administrators and supervisors.

Treasurer Rhonda Amorganos said Tuesday the board at a recent meeting approved 2 percent increases for 2017-18 and zero percent increases for 2018-19, which are in line with what the district’s teachers received in their last contract.

In 2017-18, there were seven principals in the district — a principal and assistant at Howland High School, a principal at Howland Middle School / North Road Intermediate and an assistant at the middle school, and a principal at Howland Springs, Howland Glen and H.C. Mines elementary schools.

Amorganos said the middle school principal, Stephen Kovach, also served as North Road principal last school year, but he has not been assigned yet for this year.

She said the 2 percent increases for principals last school year cost the district $13,800.

The facilities / maintenance supervisor, transportation supervisor and technology supervisor also received 2 percent raises for 2017-18 and zero percent for 2018-19. Those increases cost the district $7,000, Amorganos said.

In 2016, the board approved a new three-year contract with the 200-member Howland Classroom Teachers’ Association that expires June 30, 2019. The agreement included a 2 percent pay increase the first and second year and a reopener clause in the third year.

In other business, the board approved re-employment of Jennifer Scharba as a middle school teacher on a one-year contract. She had previously been placed on the reduction in force list in May that included six teaching positions to save the district $360,000 annually.

The positions placed on the RIF included two elementary teachers, two middle school teachers and two high school teachers. Officials had said enrollment for 2018-19 would determine if some teachers may be brought back.

Superintendent Kevin Spicher said in recent years, Howland has seen a decline in enrollment — dropping from 3,000 students more than five years ago to less than 2,600 now. He said the cuts were planned whether a 5.9-mill, 10-year emergency operating levy passed or not in the May primary. The levy was approved.

In other action, the board:

• Accepted the retirement resignation of Beverly Mindek, nurse assistant, who has served in the district since 1993;

• Approved extended school year services for four special needs students to attend the Trumbull County Educational Service Center program with an aide at a cost of $9,000;

• Approved board member Susan Brucoli as delegate and Julie Altawil as alternate to the Ohio School Boards Association annual meeting in November in Columbus.