Pay raise coming for District 14 teachers

May 15, 2016 By Christina George, Staff Writer

New teachers at Wyoming Indian schools this fall will earn a $48,000 base pay, a $1,000 increase from the current academic year.

The Fremont County School District 14 Board of Trustees also voted to give step increases on the salary schedule for current staff based on education level and number of years employed in the Ethete district.

Despite anticipation of lean years ahead for state school funding, including K-12 education, superintendent Owen St. Clair said the raise in pay was the board's way of rewarding staff for their efforts.

"In years coming up with the (state education) funding model being tweaked and cut, we really have to take a look at how we are going to doing business in the future," St. Clair said.

"Right now our district is doing well to reserve money, and we just thought, the board trustees thought, we needed to do what we could do now."

Trustees, however, agreed to scale back, slightly, on how much it covered insurance costs. Pre-viously, School District 14 paid 100 percent of employees' insurance costs. St. Clair said em-ployees will now have to cover 5 percent of the cost for insurance.

"There is a little give and take, but there is more give than take," he said.

The school board also is preparing for the 2016-17 school year by firming up staff.

All administrators were offered contracts to stay on - high school principal Pam Gambler, elementary principal Scott Morrow, district special education director Dawn Scarince, human resources and athletic director Phil Garhart, elementary school assistant principal Kim Ibach and middle school principal Scott Gion.

During a special board meeting April 25, trustees voted to hire eight teachers and two teaching assistants.

Two elementary teachers were hired earlier in the month. More are expected to be hired at the board's May meeting.

St. Clair said more new staff are being hired for next year because several teachers are retiring, which comes with benefits and downsides.

"We are getting fresh minds in new people to add to how we do things here," he said. "Training and professional development is important to acclimate them in our unique district."

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