Board hears of ongoing staff professionalism efforts

by Dave Cary
Review Correspondent

PLYMOUTH — The ongoing story of professional development in the Plymouth School District — whose depth and breadth is routinely emphasized by the School Board’s liaison to the Professional Development Committee Richard York, according to Assistant Superintendent Dan Mella, does not take a breather now that school’s out.

Instead, Mella told the School Board Tuesday, it consists of “a lot of people doing a lot of work in the summer.” Saying he couldn’t mention everything, he listed included curriculum writing, professional development seminars, developing a math literacy framework, updating science curricula — all in preparation for next fall and beyond.

Over the summer, he said, the workshops, seminars and activities would involve not only faculty but administrative and support staff as well.

All told, he added, if the scheduled person-hours were added up, totals would be 1,107 hours for elementary and middle school, 505 to math alone, and the rest to high school for a total of 3,787 hours.

If these were assigned to as single person on a 40-hour week basis, it would take that him or her just under 95 weeks to complete it.

“That’s what teachers do in the summer,” he concluded.

York added a postscript of his own later in the meeting. He said he was impressed by the 95-week figure but added that the school board’s own professional development efforts — launched earlier this year — were about to begin. Their first topic: engaging the community.

• • •

In personnel matters, the board:

• Accepted a resignation request from Sara Sandman, guidance counselor at Plymouth High School, effective at the end of the school year. Sandman served the district for two years.

• Accepted a resignation request from Brenda Schwaller, fourth grade teacher at Fairview Elementary School, effective at the end of the 2017 school year. Schwaller served the district for two years.

• Accepted a resignation request from Abigail Price, reading specialist at Horizon Elementary School, effective at the end of the school year. Price served the district for six years.

• Approved a retirement request from James Meinen, special education teacher at Plymouth High School, effective at the end of the school year. Meinen served the district for 20 years.

• Approved a retirement request from Lisa Keys, art teacher at Plymouth High School, effective at the end of the school year. Keys served the district for 25 years.

• Approved a 100 percent contract for Sanora Stout to teach eighth grade at Riverview Middle School beginning with the 2018–2019 school year. Stout earned her bachelors degree at Brigham Young University and this will be her first year of teaching.

• Approved a 100 percent contract for Amanda Parks to teach fifth grade at Riverview Middle School beginning with the 2018–2019 school year. Parks earned her bachelors degree from UWOshkosh and this will be her first year of teaching.

• Approved a 100 percent contract for Courtney Greenwald to teach fourth grade at Parkview Elementary School beginning with the 2018–2019 school year. Greenwald earned her bachelor’s degree from UW-Whitewater and this will be her first year of teaching.

• Approved a 100 percent contract for Jennifer Noster to be a special education teacher at Fairview Elementary School beginning with the 2018–2019 school year. Noster earned her bachelors degree from UW-Oshkosh; this will be her twelfth year of teaching.

• Approved a 100 percent contract for Heaven Elliot to teach German at Plymouth High School beginning with the 2018–2019 school year. Elliot earned her bachelors degree from UW-La Crosse and this will be her first year of teaching.

• Approved a 100 percent contract for Kellen Warner to teach sixth grade at Riverview Middle School beginning with the 2018–2019 school year. Warner earned her bachelors degree from UW-Parkside and this will be her first year of teaching.

• Approved a 100 percent contract for Ryan Krippendorf to teach art at Plymouth High School beginning with the 2018–2019 school year. Krippendorf earned his bachelors degree from UWM and this will be his eighth year of teaching.

• Approved a 100 percent contract for Shane Smith to teach physical education and health at Plymouth High School beginning with the 2018–2019 school year. Smith received his bachelors degree from UW-Oshkosh and this will be his second year of teaching.

• Approved a 100 percent contract for Ingrid Polinski to be a special education teacher at Riverview Middle School beginning with the 2018–2019 school year. Polinski received her bachelors degree from UWStevens Point and this will be her first year of teaching.

• Approved a 100 percent contract for Colleen Schultz to teach English Language Arts at Plymouth High School beginning with the 2018–2019 school year. Schultz earned her bachelors degree from UWM and this will be her first year of teaching.

• Approved a 100 percent contract for Elizabeth Smith to be a special education teacher at Riverview Middle School beginning with the 2018–2019 school year. Smith earned her bachelors degree from UWWhitewater and this will be her first year of teaching.

The board also heard a support staff update:

• Clare Erbe, school secretary at Fairview Elementary, is retiring after serving the district for 46 years.

• Kathryn Peterson, special ed aide at Parkview Elementary is retiring after serving the district five years.

• Stephanie Zamora, special ed aide at Fairview Elementary has resigned after serving the district one year.

• Cassidy Boldt, special ed aide at Fairview Elementary, has resigned after serving the district one year.

• Emily Connovich, special ed aide at Fairview Elementary, has resigned after serving the district one year.

• Rose Lensmire, server/ cook at Fairview Elementary has resigned after 14 years with the district.

In other personnel matters, the board voted to implement and ratify the collective bargaining agreement with the Plymouth Education Association.

An out-of-state travel request was approved for Todd Williams, PHS business education teacher, to take students to Baltimore, Md., for the 2018 FBLA National Leadership Conference from June 28 to July 1. The trip is in line with existing school policy and will be paid for by parents, students and fundraising.

• • •

In other matters, the board approved a package of NEOLA policy updates after their final reading.

The board renewed membership in the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, the organization that organizes high-school athletics in the state.

The board also awarded the athletic fields irrigation contract to the Milwaukee Lawn Sprinkler for $57,030. The amount will be paid by the athletic booster clubs.


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