Names to be announced in two weeks

by: SUSAN MATHENY - Construction workers are making progress on the Warm Springs K-8 Academy, which will open its doors for the 2014-15 school year.The decision on which staff members will stay at Jefferson County Middle School and which ones will be transferred to the new Warm Springs K-8 Academy has been made.

At the Monday night meeting of the School District 509-J Board of Directors, Superintendent Rick Molitor said it had been a nervous week for many staff members wondering what their assignments would be.

“We will announce the Warm Springs K-8 Academy and JCMS staff for next year on Wednesday (March 12). Darryl (Smith) and I will talk to staff members and let them know where they will be next year. If they are being transferred involuntarily, they will have a chance to talk to Darryl and I about it,” Molitor said, adding the assignments would be made public the following Wednesday, on March 19.

In other personnel matters, the board approved a list to renew contracts for first-year probationary teachers (one-year contracts), second-year probationary teachers (one-year contracts), third-year probationary teachers (two-year contracts), regular contract teachers (two-year contracst).

Approval was also given for: first-year probationary administrators Deborah Hunt and Glenna DeSouza (one-year contracts); second-year probationary administrator Richard Tyler (one-year contract); and third-year probationary administrators Diane Dominiak, Trevor Flaherty, and Paul Navarra (three-year contracts).

One-year, temporary contract teachers were not renewed, but can apply annually for their positions. It was noted previous notifications of retirement had been given by Daniel Hiatt, Vicki Moore, and Dawn Smith.

This month, Charles Brown was hired as Madras High School’s new head softball coach, and sixth-grade teacher Margee O’Brien’s retirement request was approved.

Concerning proficiency learning, Molitor noted that board members and 20 teaching staff members attended the Northwest Proficiency/Competency Conference in Portland, recently.

MHS Principal Sarah Braman-Smith said the keynote speaker Bea McGarvey emphasized, “Proficiency is just a piece under the umbrella of personalized mastery.”

Molitor said 509-J already had the curriculum, assessment, grading and instruction pieces in place that were recommended, and the next step was to develop a vision, with staff, students and the community involved, “to create a vision for our entire district to take it to the next level,” he said.

Board chairman Lyle Rehwinkel commented on the conference, “I think we’re surprisingly ahead of other school districts. I heard them asking questions we asked two years ago.”

Board member Laurie Danzuka noted, “My take-away as a parent was that I do need to be more involved in my kids’ education ... It isn’t just the school’s responsibility, it’s the parent’s as well.”

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