Mid-Prairie hires two elementary principals
WELLMAN — With the hiring of Teresa Beenblossom and Bill Poock Monday, the Mid-Prairie District filled all four administrative positions at its five schools. Beenblossom will be the principal for Kalona and Washington Township elementary schools and Poock, principal for Wellman Elementary and district’s Preschool Director.
Currently the principal for St. James Catholic School in Washington, Beenblossom also is principal for the Washington School District’s Assure Center (alternative high school). Previously, she was an elementary guidance counselor and at-risk coordinator for 10 years. Her classroom teaching was in sixth grade and second grade.
Poock, a 1989 graduate of Mid-Prairie High School, is the elementary curriculum coordinator for College Community School District in Cedar Rapids and was a kindergarten through fourth grade learning strategist there for five years previously. A national board certified teacher, Poock taught fourth and sixth grades.
Both officially start Aug. 1 and the total package (salary and benefits) for each is $119,490.
Mid-Prairie initially had three positions to fill when the high school, middle school and an elementary principal all opted for early retirement his year. When the high school position was filled by the Kalona Elementary School principal, the district found itself replacing all the principals. The middle school principalship was filled by hiring Mark Pennington, the high school special education teacher. Pennington also was a Wellman council member, but resigned May 6.
In a related issue, the board approved the 2013-14 master contract with the Mid-Prairie Education Association that has a total package increase of 4.75 percent for certified staff and a 4.76 percent increase for support staff. For the certified staff, it means “aging” everyone on the salary schedule with $890 added to the base salary. Starting with next year, the contract will include 194 days, and as a one-time compensation for the additional day. certified staff will be paid a stipend twice during the academic year (December and the last working day of the year). The stipend will be $623.21 per year.
For support staff, the increase is 63 cents per hour plus a one cent longevity pay.
In other business, the board:
• was asked by parent Chris Canny to permit his daughter, Emily, to “walk across the stage” with her class since the former homeschooler did not have the appropriate credits to graduate, following the M-P policy. It is not a matter of receiving a diploma, he stressed, but of simply participating. The request was denied;
• approved the 2013-14 academic year calendar that increase teacher contracts from 193 to 194 days. It also allowed a two-hour early for for Dec. 20, something Superintendent Mark Schneider said he would ask for if M-P won the Live Health Iowa 10-week Challenge for the K-12 trophy. It did. The traveling trophy is currently at Kalona Elementary School and the district gets a smaler replica to keep;
• took no action to modify two contracts for retiring teachers Jackie Bailey and Mary Gregg who, because of missed school due to weather and the flood, the 193rd day is June 3 and the only way they can received an IPERS check for June is to modify the contract to 192 days. Board members voted 3-3 on the request which meant no change;
• accepted the low bid of $39,1290 from Boyse Excavating and Trucking of Wellman for installation of a new septic system at Washington Township. Boyse is a certified on-site wastewater contractor and was one of four bidders;
• approved the personnel sharing agreement with the Keota School District for the services of the Human Resource Coordinator and School Librarians/Technology Support positions that, except for dates, are the same as the current ones;
• approved school fees for 2013-14 that this year does not have book fees. It is one of the few area districts to do so; and
•were asked to consider attending the Synthetic Drug Community Awareness program May 21 at the Parkside Activities Center, Wellman.