Teachers and support staff at Northeastern Wayne Schools will get 7% raises this year.

Under a new contract negotiated with the Northeastern Wayne Classroom Teachers Association, teachers employed there before the current school year will get a 7% raise. Teachers who started this school year will receive 5% because they were hired at a higher pay rate, Matthew Hicks, superintendent, said. Pay was frozen for one teacher who had been paid at a higher rate.

Annual pay will range from $43,397 for new teachers to $76,915 for teachers with 30 or more years of experience and a master’s degree. 

The agreement includes a 2% addition to stipends paid for extracurricular activities such as coaching and sponsorships. It adds pay for leadership positions such as department or grade level heads. 

Separately, the board approved a 7% raise for noncertified employees. They will be allowed to accumulate up to 40 illness days. Additionally, the school corporation will buy back 10 to 20 days of accumulated illness days at half rate for employees who have five years or more employment.

Hicks also reported on the effects of losing income from book rental and fees for items such as art supplies, musical instruments and materials that can’t be reused. The Indiana General Assembly banned schools from collecting most fees effective this school year, with the promise that the money would be replaced.

The legislature allocated $151 per student, about half as much as collected last year, Hicks said. At Northeastern, rental and fees would have cost $250 to $319 per student, depending on grade level.

Northeastern is using its education fund to make up the loss. Schools are not able to quickly add positions for larger-than-expected classes and must be more conservative with teacher pay raises, Hicks said.

The Indiana Department of Education is collecting information about effects on school districts.

State Sen. Jeff Raatz, who chairs the Senate education committee, met with all five Wayne County superintendents about the situation and promised to share information with other lawmakers, Hicks said. Because the General Assembly sets the state budget only every-other year, changes would come in 2025 at the earliest.

“Senator Raatz is very committed to getting our input,” Hicks said. “He does take the time to meet with us, and he is not required to do that. He calls me and other school superintendents. He wants to make sure he has an understanding of how what was passed (by the legislature) affects us in the real world.”

The board also approved a 2024-25 school calendar. School starts Aug. 6, 2024, fall break Oct. 14-18, Thanksgiving Nov. 26-28, Christmas break Dec. 23-Jan. 3, 2025, spring break March 21-28, final student day on May 21, and commencement on Friday, May 30.

Personnel actions

The board reviewed the following personnel actions.

Extracurricular: Brianna Jay, Damsels; Todd Crull, JV assistant wrestling; Tory Hunt, seventh grade basketball; Joel Summitt, eighth grade girls basketball; Brian Richmond, archery; Doug Berhalter, Judy Whallon-Fry Carter, assistant archery; Cody Dudley, girls varsity basketball; Chad Kircher, girls assistant JV; Stephanie Lord, girls assistant basketball; Frazier Phillips, eighth grade boys basketball; Tyler Moore, assistant JV; Jeremy Everman and Brian Mauer, assistant ninth grade boys basketball; Don Beatty, Dave Baker, volunteer boys basketball; Corey Baker, volunteer wrestling; Brayden Stevens, middle school wrestling; Ryan Hartman and Jackson Neagle, assistant JV wrestling; Brent Ross, varsity boys basketball.

Position changes: Charollete Franklin, from food services to custodial; Steve Marker, additional responsibility for NHS/SOS teacher (after school); Melanie Berger, from middle school special ed teacher to permanent building sub.

New hires: Kassandra Day, elementary school permanent building sub; Megan Nolte, NMS floating sub; Renee Lafuze, NHS teaching assistant; Samantha Bane, food services; Nicholas May, food services; Dakatah (Ashley) Maupin, NMS special education assistant; Maddy Wolfe, NES teaching assistant; Brooke Hall, NMS special education teacher; Jamie Thomas, middle school certified teacher.

Departures: Angela Robertson, NMS teaching assistant; Brooke Hall, NMS special education; Amber Duncil, NHS teaching assistant; Todd Wilson, NHS softball coach; Heather Dice, NES teaching assistant; Sara Mayo, NES teacher; Clara Laughlin-Foster, JV softball coach.

The board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, in the student services building, 7299 U.S. 27 N., Fountain City. The public may attend.

Northeastern Students of the Month

Early Learning Center: Nolan Alyea

Northeastern Elementary: Adrienne Limburg

Northeastern Middle School: Angella Cox

Northeastern High School: Valerie Martinez

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A version of this article appeared in the October 25 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Bob Hansen is a reporter for the Western Wayne News.