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SALEM SCHOOLS Board fails to renew contract for teacher



Published: Tue, April 16, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The district hired a firm to build a new bus garage.

By NORMAN LEIGH

VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU

SALEM -- The contract for a teacher reprimanded earlier this year was not renewed by the school board.

The decision to forgo renewing Dennis Milne's contract was made during the school board's Monday meeting.

Milne, 32, of Columbiana, is a social-studies teacher at the junior high school.

In March, the district gave him a letter of reprimand in connection with drug-related items found in his car while it was parked on school property in February.

Milne denied any ownership or knowledge of the items, and he was not charged.

The school district issued a reprimand letter based on its review of the episode.

Superintendent Dr. David Brobeck declined Monday to respond directly when asked if Milne's nonrenewal is connected with the drug items.

About the case

The case unfolded when a towing company showed up at the junior high school on North Lincoln Avenue to repossess Milne's car. The tow-truck driver discovered inside the car marijuana seeds and a makeshift pipe, police have said.

The driver towed the car to the police station. By not calling authorities to the scene where the items were discovered, the driver probably compromised their use as evidence in a criminal case, police have said.

In other matters, the school board agreed to hire Ricciuti, Balog & amp; Partners, a Youngstown architecture firm, to design a new bus garage.

The firm's fee will be calculated by determining nearly 6 percent of the building's cost.

The district is considering building a garage to save money on the cost of maintaining its 17-bus fleet.

A new garage would cost the district about $300,000 to build and nearly $70,000 annually to operate. That would include the cost of hiring a mechanic to maintain the vehicles.

The district keeps the vehicles at a private facility and pays about $95,000 annually to have them maintained.

Construction on the garage, possibly to be built near the high school, off North Lincoln Avenue, may begin this summer and be finished by year's end.

Reviewing program

The school board is reviewing its high school machine trades program, which is suffering from sagging enrollment.

About 20 students are enrolled in the course this school year. Nearly a dozen have signed up for it in the 2002-03 school year, Brobeck said.

School board President Don Finch said the machine trades curriculum will be preserved.

Part of the review, however, includes the board's decision Monday not to renew the contract of Doug Moffett, who teaches the course, Brobeck explained.

Moffett attended the meeting and disputed the administration's enrollment figures.

He said his ability to teach and his closeness to his students have been criticized.

Moffett argued that he is progressing as a teacher, and that his closeness to students is proper. "I don't hang out with them," he said.




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