Teacher pay in Hayden may increase

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— Hayden teachers are paid less than their counterparts in any of the neighboring towns.

Salaries start at $24,133 for an entry-level position, compared to $29,075 in Steamboat Springs and $26,500 in South Routt.

All that is going to change this November if the Progress in Education Committee has anything to do with it. A campaign for a property tax bond, which would fund a raise for teachers, has already begun. The school district will ask voters to pass a $154,000 tax increase to bring the base teacher's salary up to a competitive $26,133.

This salary would complement what Board of Education member Patty Bruchez called "a very good benefits package."

For a resident whose home is valued at $200,000, the tax hike would mean an additional $34.11 a year.

The need for a competitive salary is at the forefront of everyone's minds these days as they work to fill the last of the open positions in the Hayden School District.

Contracts have been signed and returned by Scott Parker for the position of middle school special education teacher and high school head football coach. Parker's wife also accepted a position as a fifth-grade teacher.

Hayden Valley Elementary School Principal Mike Luppes reported at Wednesday's Board of Education meeting the Parkers have already moved to town.

Contracts have also been signed and returned by Leif Jacobson for the positions of high school math teacher, assistant football coach and assistant track coach. Tim Watts will be Hayden High School's new band teacher.

The school district has also hired Shawn Baumgartner as the new high school physical education teacher, head boys basketball coach and assistant football coach. Baumgartner will be moving to Hayden from Ault.

Luppes said the elementary school is still searching for a qualified special education teacher.

In other business, Superintendent Scott Mader discussed the progress of the Hayden School District's new Web site: http://Hayden.powerserve.net).

New information is always being added to the site, including a calendar of events.

"We're entering the 21st century," Mader said.

Mader also invited board members to tour the new middle school Macintosh lab. The school district has decided to opt for leasing all computers instead of buying.

"Leasing is the best option for us right now," Mader said. "When you buy, it is so expensive and you hang onto computers way too long."

With leasing, computers are updated regularly at no extra charge.

Mader also announced Hayden School District Bus No. 2 is going to the junkyard. Split rims made the vehicle not worth selling.

Discussion also continued around the extension of school property near the track at the high school. The school district hopes to buy the land along Washington Street for the project.

Decisions are pending a survey of the property.

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