Superintendent Rich McFarland has contract extended through 2021-22…
The Chewelah School Board approved an extension of Chewelah Superintendent Rich McFarland through the 2021-22 school year, while also approving the recently agreed upon 2018-19 classified staff agreement.
The agreement which was agreed upon last week, includes a .5 percent raise across the board and received unanimous approval by the school board.
January’s Chewelah School Board meeting took place Jan. 16 in the Gess Elementary library.
The meeting began with the standard flag salute and approvals of the agenda and previous month’s minutes before getting to public comments.
There was a singular person requesting to make comments at the meeting, speaking to their reservation about Superintendent Rich McFarland, on the agenda for later in the meeting, after just a short time on the job. The commentor stated he had no issues nor saw any fault in how McFarland had operated to date, but simply did not feel there was a large enough sample size of
McFarland’s body of work to warrant an extension already.
School Board members addressed the speaker’s comments, noting that it was a standard model to start with a three-year contract and extend it each year pending evaluations. Vice-Chair Deanna Norvell added that the extension is also a way to show a commitment to the person in the position after they have shown a commitment to the school district by agreeing to take the job and move, often with family, to a new area.
Norvell also addressed another comment made by the speaker that mentioned the school district at times have continued to pay former employees even after those employees were no longer working in the district, saying it was simply “not true.”
McFarland then spoke following the public comments to note that the governor had made January, 2019 School Board appreciation month. Board members were given water bottles and thank you notes from administrative staff in the district, and McFarland read a proclamation signed by Gov. Jay Inslee.
The meeting then broke for a few minutes to enjoy a number of desserts provided by the meeting hosts at Gess Elementary.
The consent agenda was up next on the agenda, and before proceeding, members of the board expresses appreciation to Business Manager Michele Wright, who’s resignation was placed on the consent agenda. Wright had served in the role since 1993, and served a number of superintendents in that time. She made note that she had a lot of traveling coming up now that she was retiring from the role.
Also on the consent agenda was approval to higher Wright’s succesor, which would be Mara Schneider moving over from the payroll position.
Reports were given next. Chair Loretta Burkey and Deanna Norvell had nothing to report.
Director Ashley Grubb asked to have a meeting scheduled to discuss and evaluate the maintenance needs in the district. This is based on the fact that the district did not receive one of the grants they applied for to begin addressing some of these needs. A meeting was set for January 30 at 6:30 p.m. in the district office.
Director Judy Bean echoed that meetings for longe-range facility planning were needed, and she also stated that she’d like to set a time to review the school board’s standards.
Director Lori Larsen noted her agreement about reviewing the roles and duties of the school board. Larsen also mentioned she had sent off an email to leadership and administrators regarding her concern for one of the curriculum programs being used.
The ASB representative made note of a number of items. Of note were the cancelation of the winter dance, and the potential of a valentine’s day dance. Prom would be April 27. A video was being planned to show in all classrooms for Martin Luther King, Jr. day, they had just concluded a blood drive that day, and the leadership class is now planning to hand out voter registration cards to all students celebrating their 18th birthday.
McFarland reported on a few items. This included the CPEA agreement reached with the classified union, noting “it was tense at times, but folks were cordial with each other.” McFarland also noted amongst 2019 legislative priorities would be trying to get special education fully funded. Other items of note was a planning meeting for the next schoolyear’s calendar was scheduled and the surplus property discussed in previous school board meetings was was in the process of being wrapped up and sold for the appraised value.
A presentation from Gess Elementary then followed McFarland’s report. The presentation focused on goals, studies, and priorities in place at the school.
After the reports, the board shifted to various policy readings and other items in need of approval.
On the approval agenda included the 2018-19 classified salary schedule recently agreed on, and the 2019-20 classified salary schedule that included a .5% raise across the board. Both received unanimous approval by the schoold board.
Also approved by the board was the extension of McFarland’s contract through the 2021-22 school year.
The board finished by approving three overnight trip proposals for FFA and band trips before asjourning into an Executive Session to conduct the superintendent evaluation.