Education

Belleville school board renews five administrators’ contracts

In this March 2017 file photo, Belleville District 201 Superintendent Jeff Dosier speaks at the Belleville Chamber of Commerce’s Issues & Eggs breakfast at Bellecourt Place.
In this March 2017 file photo, Belleville District 201 Superintendent Jeff Dosier speaks at the Belleville Chamber of Commerce’s Issues & Eggs breakfast at Bellecourt Place. News-Democrat file photo

The Belleville District 201 School Board voted to renew five administrators’ contracts during its meeting Monday night.

Contracts for these were renewed until 2022 with no salary increases:

▪  Jeff Dosier, superintendent, with a salary of $174,280.

▪  Brian Mentzer, assistant superintendent, with a salary of $132,763.

▪  Rich Mertens, principal at Belleville West High School, with a salary of $131,171.

▪  Melissa Taylor, director of student services, with a salary of $130,079.

▪  Andrea Gannon, director of alternative education, with a salary of $130,079.

Administrators’ salaries and benefits are available on the district’s website.

Board members also hired two new employees on Monday night:

▪  Amie Boente, administrative assistant to the director of student services.

▪  Jessica Voirin, school psychologist.

During the meeting, the school board and staff who were present said goodbye to board member Shelly Schaefer. She was elected in the April 4 election to become a Ward 5 alderman in Belleville.

Schaefer has been a member of the District 201 School Board for more than seven years. She has also worked as an elementary school teacher in Belleville District 118 for 26 years.

“Every decision that she makes is about the students, and I don’t think you can ask for anything more from a board member,” Superintendent Dosier said during the meeting.

Schaefer said leaving the school board will be bittersweet.

“I helped hire a lot of people who are in this room right now. I have former students here,” she said. “I’m going to miss this.”

In other business, the board approved a tax abatement to maintain last year’s tax rate into next year, like the board said it would when it set the tax levy in December.

Student, staff recognitions

Principal Mertens highlighted the achievements of four Belleville West students, including:

▪  Kaylee Foster, who is the only young woman to be named an All-American Wrestler in Belleville West history. Kaylee has won more than 50 matches and five women’s state championships, according to Mertens.

▪  Bailee Schobert and Megan Zaiz, who each worked as lead lighting technicians during the school’s performance of “The Shadow Box.” The students’ play won the IHSA Sectional Championship in Drama and earned seventh place at the IHSA State Drama Tournament. Bailee and Megan were named to the All-Sectional Technical Crew, as well as the All-State Technical Crew.

▪  Tiffani Volkman, who competed with the Belleville West speech and acting team at the IHSA state championship and won in a solo event for radio speaking. Mertens said it was the school’s first championship win in that event.

Mertens also recognized John Lodle, English department chair and teacher, during Monday’s meeting.

“What makes Mr. Lodle stand out in my mind is his willingness to step up and help when needed,” Mertens said. Lodle stepped up when there was an opening for chairperson of the thespian troupe, for example.

Principal Jason Karstens recognized a Belleville East High School teacher, too.

He said Natalie Czyz, from the career and technical education department, not only teaches students to cook, but she also volunteers to cook for many of the school’s special events — most notably, cupcakes for East’s 50th anniversary.

The Belleville District 201 School Board meets next at 7 p.m. May 15 at 920 N. Illinois St. in Belleville.

Lexi Cortes: 618-239-2528, @lexicortes

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