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School board looks at changes in superintendent's perks

Sun Advocate reporter

When the new superintendent replaces outgoing school boss Patsy Bueno, there will be some differences in what the district gives as benefits, particularly when it comes to using a district vehicle for personal use.

Currently the superintendent job description stipulates a vehicle to use for personal and business use, but that will change.

"Insurance does not cover personal use of company vehicles; the employee will need to purchase additional insurance coverage," Carbon School District Business Administrator Darin Lancaster said.

There was a common consensus amongst the board to update the policy and contract to not allow personal use. Future negotiations were recommended to be changed, to either restrict use or stop it.

Only two districts in the state have personal use in the superintendents contracts according to Lancaster. Other districts offer stipends to their superintendents.

It was noted however by several members of the board that out of convenience and sometimes necessity personal use will required.

There was also discussion about turnover rates nationally for superintendents and about the transition that will take place when the new person comes on board.

The national turnover rate for superintendents is 17 percent. With that rate in five years 80 percent in those positions now will no longer be in their jobs, according to Bueno.

"New superintendents learn their role through observation, not through university courses; it's actually on the job training" she said. "It's critical to have a transition plan in place where an outgoing superintendent works with the incoming person so that there is a sense of smooth transition, no stops and starts."

The types of transitional activities include; discussions and plans reading notes and documents.

"I want to put everything in a box and tie a ribbon on it so I can hand it over, that should be a part of the formal process so the transition can take place," Bueno said.

During board reports Ruby Cordova said she was able to attend the Wellington and Bruin Point kindergarten round-up. Both schools anticipate there will be a fair number of students attending and registering for the coming year.

Superintendent Patsy Bueno remarked that there are good numbers with kindergartens across the district.

It was also noted that a plan has been developing regarding how to use the Castle Valley Center therapy room, making it functional facility. A $200,000 grant has been approved and work is moving forward.

Deon Kone reported that the Carbon High parking lot is in need of replacement. Bid requests were sent out with five contractors bidding on the project. Nielson Construction came in with low bid $705,000. Nelco Contractors came in second. The recommendation was given that the project should go to Nielson. The high bid was $1,065,000.

The board also heard from Sun Advocate publisher Richard Shaw, who gave a presentation to the board concerning the paper's project to leave "No Grave Unadorned" this year at Memorial Day. The project has been on his mind for some years as he visits cemeteries to take photos of graves on Memorial Day.

"After doing research, no county, no city in this country decorates every grave in the county," Shaw said.

Thinking about the logistics needed to accomplish this task, it was decided to fabricate flowers rather than purchase cut flowers. With the amount of time needed to adorn each grave, paper flowers would be impractical as any weather would ruin them. The best option would entail making them from anything plastic like table clothes or bags. Shaw thanked the schools for their support in helping to make the flowers.

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