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Letcher teachers, workers get raise

Superintendent says one-percent hike is all that’s available

Certified and classifi ed employees of Letcher County School System will receive a one-percent pay increase.

“It’s not going to be a lot, but it’s something to let our employees know this board cares about them,” said Supt. Anna Craft. “And the results of our tax collection should cover that for this coming year. It’s not nearly enough. They are worth far more than that. That is all we could afford.”

Monday night, the Letcher County Board of Education approved the one-percent increase in the base salary schedule for full-time employees who were hired before July 1.

“My recommendation is that we go retroactive back to July 1 and that we have one check that will catch them up and then it will be every payday beginning in January,” Craft told the board. Craft asked that employees receive their checks before Christmas.

The one-percent wage hike is estimated to cost the district $180,000. It will be the first raise Letcher County school employees have received in five years.

“This is something certainly this board has always wanted to do for our employees,” said Board Chairman Will Smith. “The state has failed to provide any funds at all for the past five years. And it is just not right for employees to go without a raise. One percent is not enough, but that is about all we could raise it.”

In other business, Chris Russell, project manager of the softball field, golf put- ting green and two tennis courts, said the softball field should be completed by Feb. 15.

“It’s really neat to see the project moving,” said Board Member Sam Quillen Jr.

In other business, Craft urged private property owners who allow the district’s school buses to turn in their yards to contact Terry Sturgill, district director of special projects, at 633-2468 if they have any concerns.

“We appreciate all of the property owners who let us turn on their properties,” said Craft. “They do it for the good of kids.”

The board also:

• named Kathleen Waddles, a science teacher at Cowan Elementary School, as employee of the month.

• learned of the certified retirement of Carrie Banks, a teacher at Letcher County Central High School.

• learned of the classifi ed resignations of Jessica Adams, an instructional assistant II at Letcher Elementary School; Sandra King, a cook/baker at Martha Jane Potter Elementary School; and Brenda Mullins, a substitute cook/ baker districtwide.

• learned of the hiring of Jennifer Adams as a 21st Century site coordinator at MJP and Zohira Hutton as a program assistant II at Fleming-Neon Middle School.

• approved contractual agreements with Hazard and Jenkins independent schools for provision of physical therapy services.

• approved a change order for the construction of the LCCHS sports fields. Seeding will be omitted and replaced with sod. Cost of the change order is $12,885.

• approved the following payments of claims for services rendered for the construction of the LCCHS sports fields: Tree Top Landscaping, Inc., DBA Sportsfields, $18,809.39; NET Connection, LLC, $18,314,00; Don Amburgey’s Plumbing, $14,400; Plumbers Supply, $2,370.71; Cumberland Cape Electric Supply, $5,848.66; Rising Sun Developing, Inc., $99,154.80; The Wells Group, $3,760; MMI of Kentucky, $134.41; FERRO Products Corp, $1,000; Pine Mountain Stone, Inc., $15,721.09; Codell Construction Company, $5,464; and CSI Kentucky,


• approved the monthly financial report as well as payment of bills and transfers and payment of September salaries. Gary Caldwell, district finance officer, said the actual bank balance is $6,938,573.10.

• accepted an offer of assistance totaling $31,782 from Kentucky Educational Technology System (KETS) and School Facilities Construction Commission (SFCC). The school district must match the funds to be eligible for the offer of assistance.

The school board’s next meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 26 in the Lendell Smith Memorial Conference Room of the Letcher County School Bus Garage.

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