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Ronan-Pablo School Board approves five-year teachers’ contract

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RONAN — In a Ronan-Pablo School Board Meeting on Monday, the board approved the MTEC (Master Teacher Employment Contract) for the next five years. The contract states that the Ronan-Pablo School District must give a 15 percent raise to the Ronan and Pablo teaching staff spread across the next five years. The teaching staff will receive a two percent raise in the first year, three percent in the second, third and fourth years, and a four percent raise in the fifth year. 

The school board won’t have to renegotiate salaries with the teachers' union until 2015. 

In other news, Jim Gillhouse notified the school board of his intent to retire at the end of the 2010-2011 school year. Gillhouse is the principal of Ronan Middle School and has been in education at Ronan Elementary and Middle Schools since 1974. Gillhouse taught fourth and fifth grade at the elementary school in Ronan for 12 years before becoming principal at the middle school for 10 years. He then became principal of K. William Harvey for 11 years and for the last three years, he was the principal at the middle school again. After spending 36 years in education in the Ronan-Pablo School District, Gillhouse will retire this May. He intends to spend more time with his family and visit with his grandchildren in Missoula.

In the superintendent report, Superintendent Andy Holmlund announced that the back of house at the Ronan Performing Arts Center will be ready by the end of February, and at that time the school administration will ask for a full occupancy permit from the city. 

He also reported that enrollment is still positive but warned that at semester time, the school staff may see a migration of students looking for opportunities beyond the classroom doors. 

Holmlund commented on the district being $102,000 over budget due to the complications with tax revenue and the Jore Company.

“The state was wrong,” Holmlund said. “The state is still wrong, and we took it on the chin.”

The board then discussed issues that will be presented at the MHSA (Montana High School Association) meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 19 in Helena. 

The school board approved an overnight field trip to Bozeman for the Ronan Middle and High School robotics teams.They approved two other out of state field trips for the high school. 

The board also approved the substitute teachers list, Camille Delaurenti as the middle school attendance clerk and Jason Ries as a substitute bus driver. 

The school board then went into executive session for the annual evaluation of Superintendent Andy Holmlund. The school board formally submitted an evaluation of the superintendent.

The next school board meeting  will be held on Feb. 8.

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