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Mitchell Board of Education paves way for Mitchell Tech building sale, approves admin pay raises

Surplused diesel tech building to be sold

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The Mitchell Board of Education held their most recent meeting Monday, April 11 at the Mitchell Career & Technical Education Academy.
Erik Kaufman / Mitchell Republic
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MITCHELL — The Mitchell Board of Education made a move Monday to pave the way for bringing Mitchell Technical College's full diesel training program to its main campus on the south side of Mitchell.

The board made the move, which was passed by unanimous vote, at its most recent meeting at the Mitchell Career & Technical Education Academy.

The board approved the suplusing of the Mitchell Technical College diesel training center, which is located at 115 W. Pepsi Street. The legal description of the property is Lot Two-A (2-A), a subdivision of Lot Two, Block B of Westview Addition to the City of Mitchell, Davison County, South Dakota, subject to all easements, reservations and restrictions of record.

The property, which was originally purchased by Mitchell Technical College in 2016 for $380,000, is intended to be sold as the school prepares for construction on a new facility to house the program at its main campus on the south side of Mitchell.

The technical college is planning for the construction of a facility to replace the surplused building, which would consolidate the program on its main campus on Spruce Street on the south side of Interstate 90. While final details of the project's cost and the timeline for construction are still being determined, it is expected to be a boon for the school, its students and the program in general.

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Kevin Kenkel, a member of the board, asked Jared Hofer, dean of financial services for Mitchell Technical College, if there were any concerns about the ability to find a buyer for the surplused building. Hofer said he did not anticipate any such problems, as some potential buyers have already shown interest.

The building will likely be sold by either public auction or sealed bid, Hofer said, on a timeline that is yet to be determined.

“It will be nice to have everything on one campus,” said Deb Olson, chair of the board of education.

“We agree whole-heartedly,” Hofer replied.

Administration compensation

The board also approved a 6% raise for administrators in the Mitchell School District.

Joe Graves, superintendent for the Mitchell School District, recommended approving the bump in salary.

“As compensation increases for certified and classified employees are now determined, the finance formula amount of 6% is known, and a health insurance increase of 2% announced, I am prepared to recommend administration compensation for the 2022-23 school year,” Graves said.

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The increases will be based on the administrators’ 2021-22 yearly salaries, which are listed below:

Salaries shown below are for the 2021-22 school year.

  • Cory Aadland, activities director, $87,711
  • Sherri Becker, curriculum director (0.7 FTE), $59,685
  • Leann Carmody, food services director, $69,407
  • Joe Childs, Mitchell High School principal, $106,962
  • Steve Culhane, business manager, $120,550
  • Chris Gubbrud, Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary principal, $74,766
  • Lisa Heckenlaible, Longfellow Elementary principal, $80,504
  • Levi Hohn, technology director, $59,871
  • Craig Mock, Mitchell High School assistant principal, $87,727
  • Bobby Reindl, Mitchell Middle School assistant principal, $64,770
  • Becky Roth, L.B. Williams Elementary principal, $86,315
  • John Sieverding, buildings and grounds director, $72,964
  • Shane Thill, Mitchell High School assistant principal/Second Chance director, $83,129
  • John Tyler, Mitchell Middle School principal, $81,600
  • Joe Graves, superintendent, $154,403.

The board approved the salary increase after an executive session lasting approximately 30 minutes.
Dwight Stadler, a district patron in attendance, told the board he thought many of the administrator salaries were too high based on his research of similar positions on the internet, including the website www.salary.com.

Olson said that the compensation was based on comparison with other similar district positions in fellow ESD schools in South Dakota.

Personnel

The board approved the following personnel moves at the meeting:

  • The new certified hires of Amanda Lynch, science teacher at Mitchell High School, $48,500; Anthony DeLaTorre, social studies at Second Chance High, $44,750; Mackenzie Larson, $48,628; Sydnee Foster, elementary teacher, $47,000; Heather Kayser, elementary teacher and middle school assistant track coach, $47,000, $1,319 for assistant track coach compensation; Jenna Miller, 7th grade math, 6th and 8th grade CTE teacher at Mitchell Middle School, $49,453; Ashley Brua, 1st and 2nd grade looping teacher, $50,250; Victory Erwin, 8th grade ELA teacher at Mitchell Middle School, $53,836; Charlotte Haag, special education at Longfellow Elementary, $47,000; Hannah Wehlander, music teacher at Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary and MS musical, $47,000, $1,479 for music compensation; Corey Flatten, 8th grade ELA at Mitchell Middle School and 9th grade football coach, $50,500, $3,281 for football coaching compensation; Jordan McKean, PH/W teacher at Mitchell Middle School, VS assistant track coach, 9th grade football assistant coach, $47,000, $2,637 VS. assistant track coach compensation and $2,370 for 9th grade assistant football coach compensation; Jacey Jira, 21st Century Grant co-director at Longfellow Elementary, $10,999; Jess Huber, 3rd grade teacher at L.B. Williams Elementary, $47,000 and Michaela Herman, mathematics teacher at Mitchell High School, $47,000. All moves are effective for the 2022-23 school year.
  • The new classified hire of Hannah Ziebarth, paradeducator at L.B. Williams Elementary, $14 per hour, 7 hours a day, effective 2022-23 school year.
  • The request to rescind leave of absence for Allison Pierson, ELA teacher at Mitchell Middle School, effective 2022-23 school year.
  • The transfers of Sara Steckel, CTE teacher at Mitchell Middle School to 7th grade math at Mitchell Middle School and Chad Lentsch, 8th grade earth science at Mitchell Middle School to 7th life science, both effective 2022-23 school year.
  • A leave of absence for Kelsey Berletic, 7th grade math teacher at Mitchell Middle School, effective end of 2021-22 school year.
  • The resignations of Kailyn Huska, speech and debate coach at Mitchell High School, effective end of 2021-22 school year pending suitable replacement; Walter Moody, elementary teacher currently on leave of absence; Kelli Mueller, science teacher at Mitchell Middle School, effective end of 2021-22 school year; Nicole Nelson, elementary teacher at Longfellow Elementary, effective end of 2021-22 school year; Catherine Woodmansey, music teacher at Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary, effective end of 2021-22 school year; Mika Faulhaber, elementary school teacher at Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary, effective end of 2021-22 school year; Cole Knippling, math teacher at Mitchell High School and head girls basketball coach, effective end of 2021-22 school year; Nikki Rodas, spanish teacher at Mitchell High School, effective end of 2021-22 school year; Monica Alm, 3rd grade teacher at L.B. Williams Elementary School, effective end of the 2021-22 school year; Natasha Stern, paradeducator at L.B. Williams Elementary, effective April 14, 2022; Alexandra Davis, ELA teacher at Mitchell High School, effective end of 2021-22 school year, Lynn Winnie, paradeducator at Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary, effective April 22, 2022, and Sterling Dockweiler, freshman football coach at Mitchell High School, effective end of 2021-22 school year pending suitable replacement.
  • The retirement of Marcy Jones, PH/W teacher at Mitchell Middle School, effective end of the 2021-22 school year.
  • The new Mitchell Technical College hires of Lisa Tischler, campus store assistant, $18 per hour, effective April 1, 2022; Heather Kulm admissions representative, $8,640 through June 30, effective April 25, 2022 and Donna Peterson, temporary summer custodian, $15 per hour, effective May 9, 2022.
  • The Mitchell Technical College resignations of Jamie McGowan, Jr., admissions representative, effective March 15, 2022 and Brian Roberts, wind turbine energy instructor, effective end of the 2021-22 school year.

Other business

Also Monday, the board:

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  • Approved a workers’ compensation settlement through the Associated School Boards of South Dakota Protective Trust.
  • Authorized membership in the South Dakota High School Activities Association.
  • Approved an adoption and renewal motion and participation agreement with the ASBSD for Protective Trust South Dakota School District Benefits Fund for the 2022-23 school year.
  • Resolved to approve ASBSD Protective Trust Powers Agreement and Bylaws for the 2022-23 school year.
  • Renewed a participation agreement with the ASBSD for Workmen’s Compensation Fund for the 2022-23 school year.
  • Heard board member reports.
  • Heard the superintendent’s report.
  • Heard public commentary.

The next meeting of the Mitchell Board of Education is scheduled for Monday, April 25 at the Mitchell Career & Technical Education Academy. The Mitchell Republic will livestream the meeting.

Erik Kaufman joined the Mitchell Republic in July of 2019 as an education and features reporter. He grew up in Freeman, S.D., graduating from Freeman High School. He graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1999 with a major in English and a minor in computer science. He can be reached at ekaufman@mitchellrepublic.com.
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