School budget, tax rate cut approved

by Dave Cary
Review Correspondent

PLYMOUTH — Voters from the district approved the preliminary budget presented at the Plymouth School District’s annual meeting Tuesday. The total levy approved comes to $10,958,029.50.

There is still a distance to travel before the budget becomes absolutely final, as required data for finalization is still trickling in. Typically, however, this data is very solid.

Jon Miller, district business manager said this is likely to result in a lower mill rate from last year — $8.14 per thousand of assessed valuation versus $8.33 last year.

Total revenues for the district will run $25,745,151, an increase of about $250,000 over last year.

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The Facilities Study Committee — tasked with determining an efficient plan for future facility needs in light of the district’s goals — will conduct a community wide survey in October, board member Bob Travis reported. Travis heads the committee which has received, he said, many good ideas from the community.

To help refine these ideas into more concrete proposals, the board approved engaging the architectural firm Architects Groups Limited (AGL) — which has worked with the district before — for facility planning services in the pre-referendum phase as well as design and schematic development, construction document creation and inspection services of any project that may be approved.

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In personnel matters, the board:

• Approved a 100 percent contract for Debora Kidder to teach family and consumer education at Riverview Middle School. Kidder earned her bachelors degree from Aurora University of Illinois and masters degree from National Louis University in Chicago.

• Approved a 100 percent contract for Kylie Watry to be a cross-categorical special education teacher at Riverview. Watry earned her bachelors degree from Cardinal Stritch University. This will be her first year teaching.

• Approved a 100 percent contract for Angelina Delgado to teach fourth grade at at Fairview Elementary School. She earned her bachelors degree from Cardinal Stritch University, and this will be her first year teaching.

• Approved a 40 percent contract for Kelly Briggs to be a speech and language pathologist at Horizon Elementary School. Briggs earned both her Bachelors and Masters degrees from UWStevens Point. This will be her first year teaching.

• Approved a 50 percent contract for Jean Hoffmann to tach four-year-old kindergarten at Fairview. Hoffmann earned her bachelors degree from UWWhitewater, and this will be her first year teaching.

• Approved the resignation request from Katherine Barows, fourth grade teacher at Fairview, effective at the end of the 2016-17 school year. She served the district for one year.

In support staff matters:

• Special Education Aide Thomas Spatt has resigned after serving the district seven years.

• Ruth Ann Easterhoff, Horizon special education aide, has resigned after serving the district one year.

• Kelly Flaig, Fairview spcial education aide, has resigned after serving the district for 15 years.

• Shealynn Brown has been hired as a special education aide at PHS.

• Elyse Buchholz has been hired as a special education aide at Horizon.

• Haley Stewart has been hired as a special education aide at Horizon.

• Todd Rortvedt has been hired as a foodservice driver for the district.

• Amanda Hendricks has been hired as a special education aide at PHS.

• Krystal Guenther has been hired as a special education aide at Riverview.

• Cassidy Boldt has been hired as an aide at Fairview.

• Melissa Main has been hired as a special education aide at Riverview.

• Mary Augustine has been hired as a special education aide at Fairview.

• Courtney Wieser has been hired as a special education aide at PHS.

• Katherine Jonsson has been hired as a server/cook at Parkview.

• Ida Dickfoss has been hired as a server/cook at both Fairview and Horizon.

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In other matters, the board accepted the following donations:

• $756.04 from Fairview PTO for student transportation.

• $1,567.79 from Horizon Path for student transportation.

• $,1407.82 from Riverview Middle School Activity Group for student transportation.

The board approved a travel request from Tracy Heinbuch, PHS Agri-Science teacher, to travel with students to Indianapolis Oct. 25-28 for the National FFA Convention. The trip is consistent within board policy and expenses will be borne by students and families involved.

In an aside to this reporter, an administration member and a board member singled out Board President Tim St. Clair for his role in the $100-per-student state aid payment to schools, such as Plymouth, that are in the lowest rank of per-student spending. The way state rules have worked, low-spending districts have been more or less unfairly penalized financially.

St. Clair, they said, came up with the idea, presented it to the school board association, followed that up by contacting numerous school districts, then lobbied for it with lawmakers. The idea finally became law after the longest budget wrangle in state history, and it bore St. Clair’s imprint every step of the way.


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