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Mt. Ephraim School Board Has Yet to Approve Superintendent’s New Contract

The contract for Mt. Ephraim School Superintendent, Leslie Koller, expires on June 30 and the Board of Education (BOE) has yet to approve her new contract.

At the June 6 Committee of the Whole Board meeting, Ms. Koller’s contract was voted on and it did not carry.

Yes votes came from: Joan Greenwood, Lewis Greenwood, Sr., Rocco Vespe, and Carl Ingram. Diane Vilardo voted no. Patricia Blaylock and Mario Alibrando recused themselves. Robbin Malinowski and Nicholas Salamone were absent.

Five votes are needed to either accept or reject the contract.

Committee of the Whole Public Agenda 6/6/15

At Monday’s meeting when the contract was again brought to a vote, it did not pass.

Prior to board voting, Mr. Ingram stated that they were being given another opportunity to vote on the four year package with the terms being: 0% for the first year, 1.5% for the second year, 1.75% for the third year, and 2% for the fourth year. “If it is not approved, she [the superintendent] will automatically go back to her old contract,” Ingram said.

Voting yes were: Mario Alibrando, Joan Greenwood, Carl Ingram, and Rocco Vespe. Voting no were: Robbin Malinowski, Nicholas Salamone, and Diane Villardo. Lewis Greenwood, Sr. was absent and Pat Blaylock recused herself from the vote.

Mario Alibrando no longer needs to recuse himself from the vote since his wife recently resigned from her position as the superintendent’s secretary.

SJO will provide updates on Ms. Koller’s contract and if the BOE schedules a special meeting to re-vote.

The BOE also discussed the contract for finance manager/board secretary, William Gerson.

At its April meeting, the BOE approved the interlocal services agreement with Educational Information Resource Center (EIRC) in the amount of $104,496.

Through that arrangement, EIRC was acting as B.A. (Business Administrator) of record and Mr. Gerson was to handle the district’s financials.

Because of stipulations regarding his pension, if Mr. Gerson were to use his B.A. certificate in Mt. Ephraim, his time in the district would be limited to two years.

The individual from EIRC who had been providing B.A. services recently retired.

Mr. Gerson said: “My intent is to be here for the long term.” He added that since he came on board in Mt. Ephraim, he has been working long hours to get the business office back on track.

Gerson said he reached out to the Newfield BOE because they provide business services. “There would be no drop in services and the contract is essentially the same [as EIRC’s],” Gerson explained.

The BOE voted to rescind the contract with EIRC and approved a shared services agreement with the Newfield BOE for the period of July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017 for business services in the total amount of $104,496. The motion carried pending attorney review.

The BOE also had a discussion concerning the proposed $30,000 salary for the candidate for the position of secretary to the superintendent.

On the agenda, the salary amount to be approved was listed as $30,000 and members of the BOE expressed concerns about “being fair” and “for hiring off of the salary guide.”

The BOE voted to approve the candidate for hire if she accepts the salary of $28,000.

Ms. Koller indicated in her report that she received approximately 30 applications for the position of Administrative Assistant and that she interviewed 11 candidates.

In other matters, Mr. Ingram stated that negotiations are ongoing for the teachers’ contract. He said: “Hopefully, that will be wrapped up shortly.”

On the BOE’s agenda, among the items that were approved were:

BOE Regular Mtg 6/20/16 Public Agenda

The bill list in the amount of $560,834.60.

The creation of new position part-time District Band/Choral Director/General Music Teacher and approving Alison Ridle in this position for the period of September 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 as BA Step 1: 0.5 salary of $25,733.

The creation of a new position “0.5 World Language Teacher as it conforms to salary guide.”

In other matters, retired teachers Laurie McCloskey (32 years), Colleen Waters (28 years), Sharon Eichman (31 years), and Mary Manion (22 years) were recognized for their many years of service to the district. The teachers received a standing ovation.

School superintendent, Leslie Koller, second from left acknowledges teachers: Laurie McCloskey, Colleen Waters, Sharon Eichman, and Mary Manion for their many years of service to the Mt. Ephraim School District.