SYRACUSE — Wawasee Community School Corporation school board met briefly Tuesday, Aug. 20, to receive public input on the 2019-2020 proposed budget and tend to a handful of personnel matters. This year’s budget includes a 3.5% increase over last year’s.
No members of the public attended to weigh in on the budget, which will be formally adopted at the board’s next meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, at the high school.
The personnel agenda included the following actions, all of which were unanimously approved:
• High School Principal Geoff Walmer recommended the hiring of Julie Baird as the high school’s receptionist, effective Aug. 23.
• Assistant Principal Steve Perek recommended the hiring of Jody Francis as a cafeteria worker three hours each school day, effective Aug. 20.
• Walmer recommended the hiring of Brady Nyland as a high school physical education paraprofessional, effective Aug. 26.
• Perek recommended increasing Bianca Carty’s cafeteria worker’s position from three hours to 4.5 hours, and Jennifer Umanzor’s position from 4.5 hours to five hours, both effective Aug. 20.
• Michael Eshbach, Jaime Norris and Ami Steg resigned from their respective positions of high school physical education and health teacher, high school special education teacher and high school three-hour cafeteria worker.
The budget is the first formulated under the state’s new regulations. “Last year the state changed the budgeting from several different silos of money to two funds, education and operations,” said Dr. Thomas Edington, the school corporation’s superintendent. “The state provides the bulk of the funds for education.”
“The two funds are used for the operation of the schools,” said Jim Evans, director of finance. He noted the two omnibus funds include others. “The debt service fund is to make payments on bond issues, and the rainy day fund is appropriated during the budget process.”
Edington explained the rationale for the 2019-20 budget figures. “The balance we work is to maintain one of the lower school tax rates in the state and still provide quality education our community expects. We will continue to work to do that.”
Edington noted an addition to this year’s curriculum.
“We have an electrical course, ‘Power Up,’ starting up this year. Ultimately we prepare students to become electricians plus they learn how to operate drones and other electrically powered devices. That will lead to the ripple effect of employment in the manufacturing area and other areas in the electrical industry.
“Students can transition into the workforce from high school, knowing they will receive continual training in the future. Some will graduate and have further training in cooperation with and paid for by their employers,” he said.
“We always look to see if there is a program that will have a certain enrollment, if we have enough students to maintain that class in the future.”
Budget figures may be found at www.wawasee.k12.in.us.