With the 2018-19 school year winding down, the Oregon school board looked to the future Monday night, electing officers and approving contracts for teachers and administrators for the 2019-20 school year.
The contracts included a 2.44 percent raise, which represents the state’s Consumer Price Index, district superintendent Brian Busler wrote in an email to the Observer.
The board, which was minus Tim LeBrun, Barb Feeney and Courtney Odorico, unanimously approved contracts for teachers, nonrepresented staff and administrators. Troy Pankratz initially intended to recuse himself from the vote, as his wife, Kelly is an educator in the district, but to have a quorum for a vote, her contract was removed, to be voted on at the board’s next meeting.
Also Monday, board member Steve Zach was reelected as president after Pankratz nominated him. It’s a position he’s held since 2016, when he defeated then-member Charles Uphoff in a 4-3 vote.
Zach was re-elected to another three-year term last year, and he said then did not intend to serve as president for that entire period.
“I think it’s wise we look at a rotating president at some time,” he said.
Pankratz was elected vice-president, succeeding Courtney Odorico. Tim Le Brun was elected treasurer, succeeding Barb Feeney, and Krista Flanagan was re-elected as clerk.
All votes were unanimous.
After the election of officers, Zach floated an idea about replacing the board’s two committees – policy and visioning – with a committee of the whole format. A committee of the whole is an informal discussion among the entire board.
“Maybe the second meeting of the month, we could designate the first portion of the meeting for our business stuff to get it done fairly quickly, and then we would have a period of time allocated for policy matters,” he said. “After an hour, the second part could be designated to visioning.”
Zach said there are several reasons a committee of the whole format would benefit the board’s efficiency.
“It reduces the redundancy of committee members getting information … and then having to present the same stuff at the board meeting the next time around,” he said. “It also eliminates another meeting of administrators who are going to be attending those.
“With the committee of the whole, we would discuss it, and whatever action came out would then go to the next board meeting.”