Shenandoah School Administration Building

Shenandoah School Administration Building

(Shenandoah) -- Despite concerns expressed by one Shenandoah School Board member, a key district position has been filled.

At its regular meeting late Monday afternoon, the Shenandoah School Board approved the consent agenda by a 4-to-0 vote. Included in the consent agenda was the contract of Robert Addy as director of maintenance and operations. Board member Adam Van Der Vliet abstained, expressing what he called "sticker shock" over Addy's salary of $83,000. Noting that the money is more than what some of the district's administrators make, Van Der Vliet questioned whether Addy's salary was too high. He added that his hiring comes before upcoming teacher contract negotiations.

"For me, working in small local government," said Van Der Vlet, "I have an idea of what maintenance and supervisors make. That's a very healthy wage for a supervisor to make. Like I said, nothing against Addy and his qualifications. He has a great resume. It's just me with the sticker shock over that salary."

Shenandoah School Superintendent Dr. Kerri Nelson says Addy's hiring was justified, given his experience.

"He's from the local area," said Nelson. "He's also been a director of maintenance and operation from the Nebraska School for the Visually Impaired--so he has school experience. In our interview and in our discussion, he talked about leading a renovation project there of about $6.5 million. So, he has good construction experience."

Nelson adds Addy has certification in diesel truck maintenance from Southwestern Community College. Addy's salary is $9,000 more than his predecessor, Steve Hielen, who resigned in December. She also acknowledged that Dennis Rogers, who retired from the position last year, was underpaid in comparison. However, the superintendent says the increased salary was necessary.

"The justification is really what the market is demanding for skilled labor right now," she said. "This is really not much of an increase from his previous wage where he's working. People with this level of skill, and this experience level, that's what it takes to employ them."

In other business, the board approved the contracts of Gaylen Terry as part time custodian, Molly Roberts as middle school track coach, and Trent Blackman as van driver. Also approved were the afterschool camp instructor contracts of Jennifer Chapa, Madison Beeck, Tahrae Bonnes and Tiffany Stanton, and officer assistants Shari Pittman and Tamara Lauman. The board also approved the resignations of Holly Olson as high school associate and half-time 9th grade sponsor, and Ryan Ruzek as 9th grade baseball coach. Board members also set a public hearing for February 10th at 5 p.m. for Shenandoah High School's renovation project, appointed Jean Fichter to the Page County Conference Board, and a Write 2 Learn participant agreement. And, the board approved a resolution regarding school classification equity. We'll have more on that development in a future news story.