South Routt School District cuts administration |

South Routt School District cuts administration

School Board approves Olinger as elementary principal

Jack Weinstein

— The South Routt School District will have one fewer administrator in 2010-11.

The School Board unanimously approved the resignation Thursday of South Routt Elementary Principal Michael Young. He will be replaced by Secondary Dean of Students Raylene Olinger, whom the board unanimously approved as elementary principal.

The district won't replace Olinger, Superintendent Scott Mader said.

Soroco High and Middle schools Principal Dennis Alt, who was unanimously approved to reassume his position, will take Olinger's current role. Olinger served as the assistant principal and was the first point of contact for middle school parents and teachers.

Mader said some additional staffing might be required to assist Alt with his extra duties next school year.

The School Board also unanimously approved Mader as superintendent in 2010-11, his third year with the district. Board members approved Mader, Alt and Olinger for their positions and will review contracts at a future meeting, Business Manager Dina Murray said.

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Murray said with Young's resignation the district would save about $90,000 — the cost of his salary and benefits.

Mader said despite Young's resignation, the district was looking at eliminating an administrative position.

"We needed to take that money out of the budget through staff," he said.

The district had identified the need to cut $155,000 in personnel costs to help address a projected shortfall of more than $472,000. The shortfall is based on an estimated 7.75 percent decrease in state funding and increased costs for employee health insurance and retirement benefits.

The School Board also unanimously approved the resignation of Young's wife, Kim, who teaches fourth grade at the elementary school. Murray said the district hasn't decided whether she would be replaced or if the class would be combined with another class. Murray said replacing Kim Young might require the district to eliminate some para-professionals.

With the exception of a part-time probationary teacher at the high school and the retirement of vocational agriculture teacher Byron Dean, who has been with the district 30 years, the School Board unanimously approved renewing contracts for all of the district's probationary and nonprobationary teachers for 2010-11.

The School Board is scheduled to consider classified staff, at-will employees who don't have contracts, at the next meeting.

Also at Thursday's meeting, Murray presented a preliminary 2010-11 budget. She and Mader said it was "very preliminary" and likely will change as the district gets more information about revenue and expenses for next school year.

Some of the larger cuts include reducing the district's ending fund balance, its end-of-year cash, by $116,000 to $1 million; and reducing supplies, services, professional development in instruction, administration, maintenance, transportation, athletics, food service and technology for savings totaling more than $78,000.

"I think we're making good, solid progress at getting toward a workable budget," School Board President Tim Corrigan said.

Board members won't app­rove the budget until June. The final budget isn't due to the state until Jan. 31.

The School Board also discussed the district's 2010 calendar and the possibility of creating a survey that would be distributed to teachers, parents and community members. Board members decided that both required additional discussion. They set a special budget meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. April 5.

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