Rosie Tippin to step down from school board

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — School Board President Jan Mees announced Monday that board member Rosie Tippin plans to resign her position because of health issues.

"We're sorry. We'll all miss her," said Lynn Barnett, Board of Education secretary and assistant superintendent for Student Support Services. "She brought a fresh perspective to the Board of Education."

The board will vote to accept Tippin's resignation during a special session May 21. The process to fill the position on the board will be the same as when Tom Rose succeeded departing board member Don Ludwig in June 2007. Members of the public have until June 4 to submit applications to run for the position. The board will then interview applicants and appoint a new member.

At Monday night's meeting, the board also discussed plans for salary improvement.

During the financial update, Linda Quinley said there is $1,684,458 available for salary improvement. The board accepted the Financial Committee's recommendation to operate the salary schedule for support staff, a move that will require $423,000.

The salary schedule will not be operated for professional staff because the district simply does not have the $700,000 it would require to operate. Professional staff includes positions such as teachers, administrators, counselors, librarians and other certificated staff.

"I'm hoping that there will be some miracle that will bring us $700,000," Mees said.

Although the board is postponing the educational advancement portion of the salary schedule until they can afford it, teachers will receive an additional 1 percent of their salary through an "extra duties" stipend for professional staff. This plan will compensate teachers for about two days of extra work that most teachers do in preparation for the beginning of each school year.

"They probably already do these duties, but now they'll have to document it," Rose said.

The board accepted the Financial Committee's recommendation to operate the salary schedule for support staff and provide a 1 percent stipend for professional staff. But board members agreed the district needs to do more to pay its staff. Interim Superintendent Jim Ritter explained there is a unity among the board in its desire to improve salaries.

"We need to compensate our teachers and staff better than we've been doing," Ritter said.

The board also accepted a plan to reassign school attendance areas for Cedar Ridge Elementary School. The change is due to overcrowding at Lange Middle School and decreased enrollment at Gentry Middle School. Cedar Ridge fifth-graders will move to Gentry Middle School in the fall rather than Lange Middle School, as in previous years. After middle school, these students will go to Jefferson Junior High School instead of Oakland Junior High School. Jack Jensen, assistant superintendent for elementary education, said parents of Cedar Ridge are comfortable with the change and families with an older child already at Lange will be accommodated.

Reporter Amanda Branco contributed to this article.

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