May 19, 2014

District 201 approves contracts for top administrators

Belleville District 201 school board unanimously approved new three-year contracts for all six of the district's top administrators during its meeting Monday night.

Contracts were approved for: Superintendent Jeff Dosier, Assistant Superintendent Brian Mentzer, Director of Special Services Melissa Taylor, Director of Curriculum and Human Resources Andrea Gannon, Belleville East Principal Stephanie Posey and Belleville West Principal Richard Mertens.

However, the new contracts, which start Thursday and run through June 30, 2017, state salaries for the 2014-15 school year will be set at a later date, according to Mentzer. He couldn't specify when board members will set the administrator salaries.

The current salaries are as follows: Dosier $158,487; Mentzer $121,166; Gannon $118,610; Taylor $118,610; Mertens $119,650; and Posey $127,745.

School board members approved hiring two new teachers: Clark Schmitt and Kristen Ratermann. Schmitt will be a math teacher at East, and Ratermann will be an English teacher at East.

The board also recalled two teachers -- Brian Edgar and Joe Rujawitz -- who were honorably dismissed earlier this year as part of the district's annual reductions in force. Edgar is a teacher at the district's Alternative Day School, and Rujawitz is a special education teacher at East.

Dosier said the district still has 10 positions for next school year that remain unfilled. "We are making sure we need all of those and can afford them," he said.

As a cost saving measure, District 201 has eliminated the administrator position currently held by Gannon. Next school year, she will serve as the director of alternative programs including the Alternative Day School currently located at Belleville East.

The current director of the Alternative Day School -- Robert Dahm -- will be a teacher next school year, Dosier said. Dahm's school assignment is still being determined.

Eliminating the director of curriculum and human resources will save the district between $102,000 and $107,000 annually, according to Mentzer.

The current responsibilities overseen by Gannon will be shifted between Taylor, Dosier and Mentzer.

"We felt like we had to make these administrative cuts," Dosier said, in an effort to keep the district's tax rate steady.

He said District 201 has half the number of administrators it did five years ago.

In other business, the school board approved:

*A proposal from Rice Sullivan LLC to complete the fiscal year 2014 audit at a cost of $26,750

* Selling advertising for Turf for the Teams to raise money to install turf on both stadium fields at Belleville East and West high schools.

"We really believe there is strong support for it in our community," he said.

Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or Follow her on Twitter at @BND_JForsythe.

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