In an effort to "set right some discrepancies," Greencastle Community Schools has adopted a standardized pay index for its administrators.
Citing some inconsistencies in how administrators are paid in the corporation, as well as low pay overall when compared to similar schools around the state, acting Superintendent Dawn Puckett requested the approval of the standardized index at Wednesday's monthly school board meeting.
The index is based not only on comparable pay to other administrators, but uses as its base the standard teacher salary in the corporation.
From there, a number of other indexes are applied to reach the administrator's pay rate. Each administrative position in the corporation has its own rate based on total student population and extracurricular responsibilities.
Other factors taken into account include administrative experience, education level, evaluation scores and contracted days.
Puckett called it "a fair and reasonable method for determining our administrators' salaries."
Having compared the salaries of GCSC administrators to similar schools, they were found to be below the average at every level, and the new system is a way of correcting this matter.
Praising the systematic approach to administrative salaries, board members approved the new system unanimously.
In addition to approving the index, the board also applied the new pay scale to all current administrators, retroactive to August.
Puckett told the Banner Graphic the new system is also being applied in hopes of keeping quality administrators in Greencastle and luring new ones when the time comes.
"It helps retention and helps recruiting both," Puckett said. "There's a possibility of openings in the future from retirements and things like that, so it's not only about keeping our really good folks, but when the need arises, to entice good folks to come."
Not only has retention been on the mind of Puckett and the board, but the possibility of bringing back talented staff members has also been addressed recently.
During a Dec. 27 meeting, the board approved the rehiring of Bill Smith as high school director of guidance and Wendi Haltom as Tzouanakis special education teacher.
Both educators had stepped down from their positions during the fall semester.
"We are very excited to get these high-quality employees back," Puckett said. "The dangerous thing about a high-quality employee leaving is it's easy for them to get a really good job somewhere else. So we are excited to know that they care enough about Greencastle that they are willing to come back and be a part of our family again."
In a somewhat related matter, the board also approved the temporary hiring of former GHS Spanish teacher Pat Gottschalk for the second semester. Gottschalk replaces first-year teacher Jamie Hamock, who resigned in November.
Even computer technician Steve Ball, who announced his retirement in December, has agreed to extend his retirement date until Feb. 22.
Ball's extension should help the corporation as it searches for new technology staffers to replace himself and technology coordinator Jeff Sigworth, who retired in October.
While the possibility of outsourcing the school's technology work was discussed in November, Puckett said the GCSC is now hoping to go another direction.
"Our goal is to have the same level of service and job performance that we have had for many, many years with Jeff and Steve," she said. "We know that the best way to get that is to get high-quality employees in to fill those positions who have ownership and have a stake in the community. We opened it up for a job pool and our hope is we can find really good quality applicants we can fill those positions with.
"If it turns out we don't have anyone who can actually fill the bill, we would have to go to managed services."
Other personnel matters approved in December and January have included:
* New hires: Michelle Thomas, substitute Tzouanakis fourth-grade teacher, Jan. 7-Feb. 1; Lisa Lindley, Tzouanakis special education teacher; Brittany Labhart, high school college and careers teacher for two periods; Megan Jackson, part-time high school industrial technology teacher; Stacy Robinson, district database coordinator; Melissa Maginity, aide at Tzouanakis; Rondina Tran, Deer Meadow noon aide; Pamalee Smith, part-time aide at high school; Jennifer Beck, part-time transportation department secretary; Lucinda Fox, high school guidance secretary; Deanne Jordan as Tzouanakis custodian; Julie Kortesmaki as Deer Meadow aide; Shelly Markham as Tzouanakis aide.
* Resignations: Sharon Hoskins retirement as Tzouanakis principal secretary, effective Dec. 21, 2012; Michael Stephens as GHS math teacher, effective immediately; Brittany Eubank as Ridpath noon aide.
* Transfers: Stacy Robinson, to computer technician; Celeste Perry, to Tzouanakis secretary/ECA treasurer.
* Substitutes: Deanne Jordan as substitute custodian; Tiffany Trissel as substitute bus driver; Megan Miller, Austin Miller, Kim Fenwick, Ben Hesler, Kenny Buchanan and Tyler Chew as substitute teachers.
* Extra-curricular activities: Stacie Stoffregen hired as GMS girls' track coach; Art Dwigans hired as GMS boys' track coach; Jamie Grivas rehired as GHS girls' soccer coach; Benjamin Hesler and Jesse Ford approved as GHS volunteer wrestling coaches; Amy Weliever hired as GHS girls' assistant track coach; Kyle Uhlmann hired as GHS boys' track assistant coach; Glenn Hile, Jack Scanland, David Wood and Matthew Welker approved as GHS baseball volunteer coaches; Travis Nicholson, Mike Meyer, John Perkins, Dave Stephens, Arlie Mitchell, Brad Wood, Jeff McCall, Jesse Vermillion, Luke Morgan and Brian Bridgewater hired as assistant football coaches; Beth Farr, resignation as GHS JV cheer coach.