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Board OKs teachers contract

Published: Tue, August 3, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.




The McDonald board of education Monday approved a three-year contract with the district’s teachers.

Though teachers will continue to receive pay increases based on years served and increases in their education levels, no other increases will be given from Sept. 1, 2010, to Aug. 31, 2013. There are 45 teachers in the district.

The teachers union, the McDonald Education Association, approved the contract in July.

The biggest issue in the new contract will be the additional cost to teachers for health insurance, said school treasurer Brian Stidham. Teachers will have to pay an increased percentage of the monthly cost of the health-insurance premium.

The cost to teachers will go from 5 percent of the premium for PPO-1 and 10 percent for PPO-2 to 20 percent for PPO-1 and 10 percent for PPO-2. The policies include vision and prescription coverage.

PPO-1 for a single teacher will cost $85.50 a month, and a family plan will be $222.37. For PPO-2, the costs are $38.37 and $99.83, respectively. PPO 2 provides less coverage.

Teachers will also have to pay 10 percent of their dental coverage, $11.66 a month for family coverage and $3.71 for a single person. Before, there was no cost to teachers for dental coverage.

Another change in the new contract is that the board is capping tuition reimbursement at $8,500 for the year for all teachers, and the reimbursement will be based on a first-come, first-served basis.

Teachers who are closed out in a current school year can re-apply at the top of the list the next September.

Teachers receive reimbursement at a rate of $50 per quarter-hour and $75 per semester-hour. In the past, the cost of the reimbursement has run the district $5,000 to $10,000 a year.

In other business, the board accepted the resignation of Roosevelt Elementary School Principal Maggie Kowach, effective July 31, who has taken a job in Struthers.

They hired David Vecchione, now a teacher and athletic director in Lordstown, to fill Kowach’s post at a salary of $65,000 a year. He has a three-year, limited contract to work 203 days per year.

Superintendent Barry Morrison explained that he and a panel of four building-representative teachers at Roosevelt interviewed the final four applicants all day at the school after he screened approximately 10 applicants in interviews.

The teachers and the superintendent made the recommendation to hire Vecchione after he was offered the job Friday.


1Roland_Martin(24 comments)posted 5 years, 12 months ago

The way the board acted at the past meeting is disgusting and out of line. The superintendent claims he is "never wrong". Several times the board told their constituents to sit down and that they have had enough. These fools got the community in the financial mess, now they don't want to listen to people with a different opinion. Can't wait to say goodbye to three of them in fall of 2011 when they won't get re-elected!

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2fredsithjr(3 comments)posted 5 years, 12 months ago

Fellow residents, did you know that with all of the jobs lost, hours cut, programs lost and so on that it was decided by our school board that the coaches for athletics will not take a cut and will be paid the same amount as last school year??? I have the actual list of how much each coach makes and for the board to approve paying them the same amount when we have people that have lost their jobs and programs that have been cut, it is unacceptable. I am all for athletics, but what cuts have been made there , except for a few assistants not getting paid? NONE is the answer. No pay to play and coaches still getting full pay with no cuts. Here is what the SPORTS coaches were paid last school year and once again will be paid this school year: Dan Williams- football $7066, Tom Knight- football $3994, Ron Murray- football $3994, Tennis coach- $3,379, Alan Stanley- golf $2765, boys cross country $3379, girls cross country coach $3379, boys basketball coach $7066, girls basketball coach $7066, softball coach $3379, athletic director $7373, boys track coach $3379, girls track coach $3379, cheerleading coach $3072, bowling coach $2765. Do I need to add it all up? I guess athletics is more important than academics to our school board. This list is available at the board office. Stop in and pick up a copy for yourself. Also, I just learned that there will only be 1 custodian to clean each school??? They have cut 3 custodians??? Tell me how 1 custodian starting when school ends at 2:40 is going to clean the WHOLE high school by themselves! I heard that our beloved(LOL) pricipal Gary Carkido made a comment that he could clean the whole school in 4 hours. Well Gary, let's see it, because I don't see how 1 person can clean and sanitize every room in the high school and 1 in the grade school. Another issue for me is that the company the bord hired to do the audit is the exact same company that didn't catch the mistakes over the past few years. WHY would you hire the same company that has audited the school over the years and not caught the mistakes at that time to now do an audit in 2010??? Do the board members have even 1 brain cell in their heads??? Also, PLEASE tell me how the board has just put Catherine Harvey as their FINANCE COMMITEE chairperson???? She is one of the 3 board members who helped to mismanage our spending over the past few years and she is now the finance committee chairperson! Are you kidding me? Sure, let's just give them almost 4 million over the next 5 years.

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3fredsithjr(3 comments)posted 5 years, 12 months ago

Did we really need to hire another principal with a salary of $65000 + $12000 for benefits??? I think that with as small of a school as we have, that we could have made due with what we have rather than go spend $77000 at this time. One last thing is that we have a computer teacher in both schools that obviously have a degree in computers, so why would we need to hire a computer tech, Joe Celli, at a rate of almost $19 per hour and for up to 1040 hours??? I would think that with the 2 teachers that have a degree in computers that they each could plug and unplug the modem when it goes offline. Do we really need to approve up to $20000 for a tech??? I think those teachers know something about computers. The school board just continues to run our school into the ground. It's not just the 3 that should go.....they all need to go. It's gonna be a very sad day when the levy fails in May and our school is closed. Way to go borad members.

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4fran(14 comments)posted 5 years, 12 months ago

I really don't think these Board members get what's going on here. Like fredsithjr said "PLEASE tell me how the board has just put Catherine Harvey as their FINANCE COMMITEE chairperson????" There was a comment made about it at the meeting, & Mr. Hughes says that the person, who was stating their opinion, is told not to bad mouth a board member. Do these people even listen when there's comments made? They need to pay attention to what is said, & realize the community is also paying their wages. Which brings up another valid point....Why do they need to be paid? They are the ones who got us in this, they should all (except the new one) give back & not take anything. I thought you got paid for work you do, not for putting people in debt.

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5mcdres2(30 comments)posted 5 years, 12 months ago

Except for Dugan, they DON'T get it! How can they hire a HIGH SCHOOL teacher as a principal for the ELEMENTARY school and pay them $65,000 a year?. Plus, they gave the guy tenure, which means that if the board decides to eliminate the principal position that he can bump one of our teachers out. We need to SAVE money, not spend it. Why the big rush? Not one board member met the person. Unbelievable!
I absolutley agree that Harvey should NOT be the chair of finance. She needs to go along with the other three. Waiting until the next election shouldn't be an option. We need to get some petitions going to get them OUT! If we don't then they will have a whole year to bury us even further in debt!

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6than1963(11 comments)posted 5 years, 12 months ago

Except for Dugan(lol) What about Bill Roux? (May he rest in peace) How much does he play into this mess that McDonald schools is facing. What about Tom R, old Treas., and the Board that hired Tom when he was not qualified some 20 years ago. Ray Getz runs his mouth at meetings and he was on the Board that hired Tom R about 20 years ago. Tom made excel program #'s look how he wanted them to look for the Board or Superintendent. Mr. Wasser never made him get trained in the state program. Tom R chose not to get trained so they would not realize they needed to have a levy or money was missing. Tom R. did the same thing his uncle Tom Hannon did when it got tough and things went south they quit...quit. Can not take the heat so he ran away from a community and district just like Hannon when things heated up there under his watch. (Toth)

Has anyone asked about why Tom R kept around to $450,000.00 instead of returning it to the State after the construction was done? He placed it in the General fund to pay bills he could not pay with the money coming in. Some of you need to get all of the facts before getting on this page. Most of you are just puppets to Hannon and I still think he may have something to do about all of the mismanaged money of his nephew. Eventually it all comes out in the wash.

The Board of Education can only make some suggestions to the state, and the state will then approve or disapprove spending. The Board is not to blame for being misled by Tom R .

As for the Elementary principal, Mr. Morrison had 3 teachers, 1 secretary, and himself on a panel to pick the best qualified. Some of them live in our community. Nothing will make you happy until Tom Hannon or his daughter maybe becomes Supt. instead of Mayor.

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7mcdres2(30 comments)posted 5 years, 12 months ago

Sounds like than1963 is a puppet to Harvey. She was well aware of the financial situation and did nothing to stop the runaway spending train. The Board approved all of the spending, but she and the others won't accept any responsibility. It's easier for her to say she was misled when no one really knows what the board was told in exec. session. Harvey and the others knew of the financial problems and now is conveniently blaming the former treas. and supt. for everything. When the heat is on, she gets her husband or some other some other "puppet" to make up stories with no truth and sling mud to divert attention away from her incompetencies. Now she wants to drag a private citizen into a mess she helped create because people are outraged, challenging poor decions and finally speaking up! How very sad. I agree with fredsithjr. She needs to go. Than1963 might want to check with legal counsel on slander (I wouldn't reccomend Harvey!). Maybe she well be "cleansed" when the real truth comes out in the wash and she seeks forgiveness for her bad management and lies.

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8fran(14 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

I can't understand what "than1963" comment has to do with the article that was written. What makes him think that the people at the board meeting are "puppets" of anyone? The people that were there are concerned tax payers who are sick and tired of what these board members are and have done. Did "than1963" ever think that your Treasure & Superintendent answer to the Board members, & their hands are tied with doing anything till these people okay it. So I think people need to look at the whole story & take the blinders off.

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9kman(1 comment)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

How did "then 1963" find out that Tom R. put the $450,000 for the new schools into the general fund and used it to pay other things? I thought that we did not know the answer to that yet....well if he did that, then I guess we have to pay that back to the state in addition to other monies....also, I agree with all the $ going out for coaches, that needs to be addressed before asking the taxpayers to pass this levy. Education comes before sports.....

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10than1963(11 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

I do not know the exact amount of money he did not give back but if Tom R did not hide money behind excel programs the Board of Education or the Supt. could have avoided this whole mess. Blame Tom R and the Board of Education that hired him.

So are you saying to sports or just paying the coaches? McDonald has a great tradition in all or most sports and I feel athletics can be a big part of bringing the town back together.

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11mcdres2(30 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

If he did somethng illegal then he should be punished. Why blame the board that hired him? He evidently was doing the job properly for quite a while or we would have been in trouble before now. The same auditor hasn't been here for the last 20 years. If this board felt that he was incompetent, why did they renew his contract? We are never stuck with either a treasurer or a superintendent. The board can always nonrenew their contracts and hire new ones. They don't have to wait for someone to resign.
As far as the coaches go, there has been a lot of cuts made in positions. The projected savings is somewhere around $44,000.

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12than1963(11 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

I agree with the comments above that he should be punished and he possibly will get his day when it all comes out. He hid information from all involved. Why would he just skip town if he did nothing wrong? I have been at meetings and do not see any of the Board members skipping town or running away from the problem. They are looking for solutions, and I just hope the state will allow some of their ideas to go through.

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13fran(14 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

I don't think that anything was hidden, I feel that the Board should have done their homework & questioned the loans, instead of just rubber stamping them. We have lost so much and unfortunately our children are paying for it. They've lost alot & will probably lose more. I feel we need to start all over again, & I think Like it's been said at meetings & in comments, that everyone of the Board except Mr. Dugan, who was just voted in< need to leave so then we can get ourselves out of this mess. Why can;t they see what the have done & still are doing to the district? Everyone else sees this, but they don't. I agree that they should all go, just like Mr. Wasser & Mr Radabaugh did, and then maybe we can get back to where we need to be. Isn't there suppose to be another "Special Meeting" coming up. or are they going to keep that a secret like the've done with everything else. GET A NEW BOARD & we will go far!!!!!!!!!!!!

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14fran(14 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

facts101--I don't think I missed anything, & as for mcdres2 I have no idea if this person has or has not been to meeting. It was after the fact that Mrs. Harvey said "she was the person who called the auditors when the checks were bouncing", which as an attorney, I think she would have done it sooner than later. I still feel that as it has been stated here & on the Trib, we need a fresh start, & it needs to start with the Board. This is my opinion, but I may get attacked for that just like the person who at the last board meeting was told by Mr. Hughes that we are not to attack Board Members. Sad that people can't voice their opinions without being accused of wrong doing, but yet it's okay for the Board to make attacks!

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15mcdres2(30 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

Facts101, I wasn't at the Meet the Candidate night so I don't know what was said and what wasn't said. There were only 3 choices for 2 seats for the last election so somebody had to have the most votes. Have I missed a meeting or two? Yes I have, especially since there were meetings that weren't posted and I don't always look at the little sidebar articles in the paper to find out when there are meetings, I was always under the impression that any meeting would be posted on the board in front of the school. An apology is nice, but I want the board members to admit to making some mistakes and accepting responsibility for it. I think that there are a lot of other people who feel the same way. Who can't forgive someone that admits to a mistake?
In my opinion, this mess was created by 9 individuals, the 5 board members, the treasurer, the superintendent, and both principals.

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16mcdres2(30 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

I forgot to include that I also feel that the state auditors need to have a share in the blame also. Somebody couldn't have been doing their job. I don't know how you can "hide" all that money, especially since school districts are required to file GAAP reports every year to the state.

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17fran(14 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

You know this has nothing to do with the fact that we are in big debt, the present & past board members all put us here, and now our children are losing everything. Have any of you noticed how many of our seasoned teachers have resigned/quit because of all of this? So at this point of the game, we are going to have a hard time rebuilding what we have lost. So I still think we need to start with all fresh faces & ideas & help our children!

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18than1963(11 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

Fran, our school district had seasoned teacher who were ready to retire but not because of all of this. Some of them were ready for a new life after teaching, some knew there would be no raises in the near future, and possibly some benefited from it financially. You or I do not know and may never know but to blame this on all involved is crazy.
To bring in a completely NEW board with NO experience is also crazy. The Board and State need to work together to decide what is going to be best for the entire community. We should try "RESPECT" (Reaching Every Student Parent Educator Community (Leaders) Together. We need to Unite together the way McDonald knows how to in Education and Athletics but now as a COMMUNITY.

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19fran(14 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

than1963-you must not be following what I am saying. We have lost alot of "seasoned" teachers-not meaning age, meaning knowledge & years here. Just we lost another one, and school starts in 11 days, & do they have all of these vacancies filled? I don't think so. As to having the board replaced, they knew nothing when they came in & they still don't know anything, so bringing in new people is the best thing for our village. Are our children going to be able to graduate from here? They may not have enough teachers in place to start the year. I pray to God that they will

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20than1963(11 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

Fran-You must not know that these types of things happen in all school districts. Teachers are replaced for many different reasons from now, in December or next June. This is nothing new to the district. We just replaced a Principal when she left or should I say she was more of a veteran teacher but she was replaced. This may hurt or help. We will have enough to start the year and if we need to wait 1 extra month to get a more qualified teacher then that is best. We have substitute teacher all the time for many different reasons I but do feel that is not best. Our district will have enouth teachers to start so your Prayers will be answered.

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21mcdres2(30 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

facts101, you are right about the software. All schools in Trumbull County were on that software and they all had to make the switch to State software. I haven't been able to confirm it yet, but I've been told that the former treasurer knew that he was having difficulty with the new system and reconciling the books, asked the board for additional help, and was turned down. Also, I heard from several teachers that it was a board member that told Mrs. Kowach that she would have to go back to the classroom, prompting her resignation.
Again, in the last election, there really wasn't much to choose from. There were 3 people running for 2 seats and 2 out of the 3 running were incumbents. One of the 2 had to come back. As far as the speech, words spoken to get elected are often nothing but empty promises. Actions speak louder than words. It's great that somebody would want to learn from their mistakes, I'm all for it, but not at the taxpayer's expense. We really need a new board, now more than ever.

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22than1963(11 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

I disagree with you facts 101, I have talked to Mrs. Kowach personally and no one told her she was going back into the classroom. She will receive a pay raise of close to 20,000 in the next two years to go to Struthers and that is why she left. This was a family decision for Mrs. Kowach.

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23mcdres2(30 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

I was at the board meeting and the only thing that you got right about this is that it was a family decision. The rest you are completely wrong about. There was a gentleman in the audience that asked the board if it was true that Mrs. Kowach was told that she might have to go back to the classroom and the new Super and boe members denied it. Mrs. Kowach was at the meeting, stood up and said that she was told that there was a possibility that she would have to go back to the classroom, that she was upset about it, a friend called Struthers on her behalf, they contacted her, and she couldn't pass up the opportunity that Struthers offered her.

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24than1963(11 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

Completely wrong is correct for your comment Fact101. You say there was a possibility she would go into the classroom. There is a possiblity they could eventually merge with Girard or Mineral Ridge Schools but that does not mean they will. Mrs. Kowach was never told she WOULD go back into the classroom. Fact.

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25mcdres2(30 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

Does it really matter if it's could or would? That's just semantics. The fact is she was told that there was a possibilty that she could go back to the classroom, something that she didn't want to do, so she left.

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26than1963(11 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

I agree again and feel we lost a great teacher for McDonald. Mrs. Kowach was about children and Struthers made a great choice. I do feel it would have been difficult for her to be the boss after teaching with many of the staff members. But also feel she had the personality to be a great leader and draw the line with her teacher friends.

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27than1963(11 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

Wow...special board meeting and not one comment about it. The Board of Education must have done a good job at this one since there was finally no negative comments about them. Good job Mr. Morrison, Treas. and Board. We may finally be on our way to a solution in the next few months. Have a great start next week.

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28Roland_Martin(24 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

No negative comments? Thats because there is nothing more to say about those fools. They killed our school district, they claim they have apologized, and they continue to make frivolous decisions. Seven people singe handedly killed the McDonald School District, as you will see when this levy fails and we consolidate. Actually, consolidation isn't such a bad idea. The kids at the highschool get nothing more. They even cut most of their electives. I was at the board meeting when a young man voiced his concern that they cut spanish 4. You know what they told the kid? He was yelled at by the principal, and the board just looked at him and thanked him for sharing his opinion. Kind of sad to see these people in charge of the kids. Its okay, elections are coming!

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29Roland_Martin(24 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

The kids at the highschool get nothing anymore****

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30than1963(11 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

Considation is not the best for the district but may be the best for academics. Joining a bigger district would allow more the spanish 4 students and other upper level subjects to have more students in the class. Then it would be justified to have it staffed.
There are seven that have run the district and town in the past 40 years. I can give the names if you want and know I will start with Billy R, Tom H, Bob M. Do not think for a moment they are not to blame in some of this mess.

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31than1963(11 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

Very sorry ment consolidation is not best.

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