A new principal will be filling a familiar office when he walks through the doors at Greencastle High School.
James E. Church, who began his administrative career at GHS in the early 1980s, was selected as the new high school principal during a special session of the Greencastle School Board Wednesday.
He will be filling the position vacated by Susan Phillips, who was recently named the new superintendent for the Eminence Community School Corp. in Morgan County.
"We love the Greencastle community," said Church, who along with wife Brenda has already resided in the city on East Washington Street for the past seven years.
Most recently he has been principal at Northview High School in Brazil. With grandchildren residing in Indianapolis, locating in Putnam County has put the Churches midway between work and family.
In presenting Church as the top candidate to board members Jack Berry, Mike Dean and Barry Fisher (board members Barbara Bryan and Mark Kannowski could not attend), Supt. Robert Green said more than 20 candidates had applied for the principal's job. The candidates were narrowed to six, and Church emerged as the top applicant.
After leaving Greencastle in the 1980s, Church went on to be principal at Terre Haute South Vigo High School. He later left education for a time to operate a community shelter in Terre Haute, before returning to the helm at Northview.
GHS assistant principal Russ Hesler was on hand at Wednesday's meeting to welcome Church, and said he was happy to hear Church would be the board's choice as principal. Personnel director Ruth Schroeder also welcomed Church back to GHS.
Meanwhile, Supt. Green announced that negotiations have been completed with the classroom teachers association, and a two-year agreement was then ratified by the school board.
In highlighting the agreement, Green said teachers at the top step of the pay scale will receive a $1,400 raise each year. Other teachers will receive $1,200 increases.
The teachers also agreed to pay 2.5 percent more of their insurance costs each of the two years. That will bring their total contribution to 15 percent of the insurance premiums.
Some other language changes and the addition of collaboration time twice per month after school were also agreed upon. And the Science Bowl adviser was added to the academic teams to be paid. A change was also made in the high school cheerleader sponsor position.
Board member Dean made the motion to approve the new contract, with a second from Fisher and unanimous approval of the master contract.
Under non-certified personnel matters, the board approved a four percent across-the-board pay increase, as well as a one-time payout to settle an overtime issue with the school building secretaries. That payout will total $7,600.
The pay raise for administrators was approved similar to the teacher increases, except that because they work more days than teachers, Green said, their raise was a little more. An adjustment was also made to the salary of assistant superintendent Kurt Freeman.
Fisher made the motion to accept the recommendation for the salary contracts for the non-certified staff and administrators. Dean gave the motion a second, and it was approved.
In other business, the board handled 24 other personnel items during the special session.
Those items included hiring:
-- Jane Roberson as sixth grade math teacher.
-- Amy Weliever as media specialist at the middle school.
-- Dawn Huber as sixth grade language arts teacher.
-- Geoff Price as part-time music teacher at Tzouanakis Intermediate School.
-- Bridgett Campbell as noon aide.
-- Shana Faust, Carolyn Ruark, Jill Green, Janean Edwards, Kathy Terry, Julie Stevens, Karen Hirt and Hollie Fowler as Jump Start teachers for the summer.
-- Larry Mason as summer school math teacher at the high school.
-- Charles Shields as technology education teacher at the middle school.
-- Janet Jayne as adult summer worker for bus clean-up at the bus barn.
-- Heather Powers as middle school activities director.
The board also approved:
-- A family medical leave for Henry Wallen.
-- A maternity leave for Laura Brentlinger.
-- The resignations of Cheryl Cook as cafeteria assistant, Stephanie Hudson as noon aide and instructional assistant, Robert Irwin as substitute bus driver, and Vincent Sly as summer bus clean-up employee.
-- A transfer for Robin Johnson from art teacher at Tzouanakis to the high school.
The Greencastle School Board regularly meets at 7:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Miller Education Center, 522 Anderson St.
The meetings are open to the public.