Assistant principal job to become full-time position at GCMS

GIBSON CITY — Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley school board members last week approved a job description for an assistant principal to become a full-time position rather than the current half-day position.

Board members also accepted the resignation of current jobholder Gene Everett at the end of this school year. In accepting Everett’s resignation, board members expressed thanks for his many years of service. Everett had been a teacher, coach and administrator for the district.

Everett’s long-time experience put him near the top of a competitive salary scale, Superintendent Anthony Galindo said. Galindo said he believes the net increase to make the position full time could be around $10,000. A salary range for the position has not been set, however.   

The increase to a full-time position is designed to provide additional administrative services to the district’s middle school as well as the elementary school. The new job description does not assign a percentage of the position’s time to each building, however. Instead, the assistant principal will serve where needed.

Based on enrollment, Galindo said the reality would be that the majority of time most likely would continue to be spent at the elementary school.

Overall, the job description will be similar to the current one, but will add a duty for covering some evening athletic events throughout the district. The new hire for the 10-month position would start around Aug. 1, Galindo said.

In other personnel action, board members accepted the resignation of Sara Crawford at the end of the current school year. Crawford has served as the art teacher for grades 2-8 and the middle school’s cheerleading sponsor.

New curriculum proposal
Board members heard a new curriculum proposal from science teacher Tami Seneca. The proposal would require three credits in science for high school graduation rather than the current two. The proposal would not change the total credits required for graduation, but would replace an elective credit.

As part of the proposal, chemistry would become a year-long rather than one-semester course. The increased instruction is expected to provide a better preparation for college and careers as well as improve student scores on placement exams.

Board members will take action on the proposal at their February meeting.

Tentative school calendar
Members also received a first look at a tentative school calendar. Galindo said the dates align very similarly with a tentative calendar prepared by the PBL district.

The biggest potential calendar change could be in the high school graduation date. Principal Chris Garard said he is considering a Saturday evening outdoor ceremony on Memorial Day weekend rather than the past Sunday afternoon time.

Donations accepted
The board accepted donations of nearly $1,800 from the GCMS Booster Club for the high school wrestling program; $2,500 from State Farm and $1,000 from Youth Service America for Project Ignition; and $80 from the United Methodist Church of Gibson City for the high school chamber choir.

The board also accepted a donation of $12,500 from the GCMS parent-teacher organization toward the cost of new equipment and resurfacing of the elementary playground. The group’s intention is to reimburse the district as funds allow, but no formal pledge has been made.

Galindo said the cost of the playground is $48,080, including $37,900 for adding thicker surface material and $10,098 for the equipment. He said the cost was kept down by “tons of labor donated” on prepping and spreading new surface material.

Financial issues
Board member Steve Swearingen addressed the board with the idea that the need for budget cuts could be looming. He suggested formally soliciting staff members and awarding some sort of incentive for the best ideas.

Galindo said the staff already is good at giving input and sharing ideas, but the district is “always open to staff and community input.”

Swearingen also suggested that the board consider a more stringent audit due to recent area news of organizations uncovering problems and the district’s complete turnover of staff in the unit office. He emphasized, however, that he has no suspicion of wrong-doing.

President Rod Cope said the audit question would be placed on a future agenda of the board’s personnel and finance committee.

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