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School staff to coordinate math, literacy

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Stimulus money funds several 2-year positions

By Kevin Koelling, Managing Editor

TELL CITY - Chris Hollinden and Kim Strobel have been designated math and literacy coordinators, respectively, to help kindergarten through ninth-grade students in the Tell City-Troy Township School Corp.

William Tell Elementary School Assistant Principal Kim Waninger explained the pair will coordinate curricula between grade levels to ensure teachers use the same terminology and various concepts a student needs to know don't have to be retaught.

"We're using stimulus Title 1 money," she explained July 28 at a special meeting of the school board, whose principal purpose was actions the board took toward conducting a referendum on high-school renovations. The News reported those discussions July 30. Waninger added that including ninth grade would help ensure instructional consistency into the high-school level.

Schools Superintendent Ron Etienne recommended Hollinden and Strobel each be paid their regular teacher's salary plus an additional 10 days' pay.

Teachers would have to be hired to replace them, and because the coordinator positions are funded by stimulus money that will be available only two years, their jobs could be in danger when it runs out. That led board member Tom Holm to vote against both positions.

Board member Dr. Gene Ress voted for them, but said the employment of coordinators in the two subject areas "smacks of ISTEP," suggesting teachers are having to focus too heavily on ensuring pupils can pass Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress exams.    

The board approved the employment of Danielle Navaiaux as a preschool teacher. It was necessary, Etienne said, because "the kindergarten class, thank goodness, is growing," and adding a sixth teacher at that level would keep the student-teacher ratio low. Michelle Miller will move from preschool to kindergarten, with Navaiaux filling the position she'll leave.

The board also approved the hiring of Anna Littlefield as a high-school study-skills coordinator, Rebecca Shinault as a teaching assistant and Laura McClintic as junior varsity-freshman volleyball coach. High-school Principal Dale Stewart explained Littlefield will monitor study halls, teach study skills and help with credit-recovery and math-remediation efforts. Hers will be a full-time noncertified position also funded for two years with stimulus money.

Shinault's position will support special-needs students for the same time period, and is also stimulus-funded.

The board also learned of the resignation of high-school cook Donna Kessler and approved the employment of Jason Wilkerson as a boys seventh-grade basketball coach and Josh Casebolt as head junior-high wrestling coach.