School board honors retiring kitchen staff

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The MFL MarMac school board honored retiring kitchen staff Celia Brown (35 years of service) and Glee Sass (nine years of service) at its meeting Jan. 9. Pictured (left to right) are food service director Pat Echard, Celia Brown, superintendent Dale Crozier and school board president Gina Roys. Sass was not present at the meeting. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The MFL MarMac school board honored retiring kitchen staff Celia Brown and Glee Sass at its meeting Jan. 9. Brown, who was in attendance at the meeting, had 35 years of service. 

“I’ll miss the kids a lot,” Brown said.

Sass had nine years of service.

Early separation consideration

The board agreed to offer early separation to up to four staff members, offering up to $60,000 over four years, or $15,000 per year.

“We have an early separation plan to save money,” explained superintendent Dale Crozier, noting that, with staff retirement, the positions can either be eliminated or replaced for less money.

$60,000 is the highest amount MFL MarMac has ever offered, Crozier said. Some school districts in the area have offered more, though, he added.

“All the money would come out of the management fund over four years, which saves money in the general fund,” he said. “We’ll make that up easily.”

Learning lab

High school principal Larry Meyer said, last week, teachers tried a new activity called a learning lab. Through the learning lab, one teacher agrees to be filmed while he or she is teaching. Other teachers, as well as the district’s teacher leadership compensation (TLC) staff, then watch the videos.

“It’s not a teacher being evaluated,” he explained, adding that it’s very courageous for a teacher to be willing to be recorded. “It’s teachers watching their colleague and saying this is what works or doesn’t work.”

Meyer said this is another way teachers in the district can work together.

“It’s beneficial because teachers get together to work collaboratively,” he said. “It’s something very innovative.”

School calendar

Crozier said the calendar for the next school year will likely be presented for approval at next month’s school board meeting. As of now, the 2017-2018 school year is expected to begin on Wednesday, Aug. 23.

Food and Fitness

Crozier said he’s going to recommend that the district not participate in the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative next year, as the cost for a full-time staff member will increase from $5,500 per year to $7,500. He said another staff member can take on the management of the district’s wellness policy and activities. 

School board member Jonathon Moser was concerned about the loss of the position and inquired as to whether a part-time position (at $4,000) would be possible. Crozier said he would look into it.

If the position is gone, said Moser, “We need to make sure the duties are picked up elsewhere and that it’s drawn out ahead of time. The wellness committee, and the district, have made good ground.”

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