Athens teacher wishes to be compensated
By Casey Krautkramer
Athens School District music teacher Adam Triebold pleaded to the Athens Board of Education at Monday’s meeting to compensate him next school year for earning his advanced teaching degree this summer, even though there is a wage freeze for all school district employees because of budget constraints.
“The reason I am here is that over the summer I am going to graduate with my Master’s degree, and respectfully, I’d like the school board to please honor the increases to teacher salaries for advanced degrees as stipu- lated by our current Athens employee handbook,” Triebold said.
“Page 14 of the Athens employee handbook states that employees with advanced degrees will receive an increase of $4,000 to their base salary. I do understand and respect the difficult situation the school board is in this year. We have all had to make difficult decisions to save money in our school. At the same time, I must ask the board to please honor the terms of our handbook with regards to advanced degrees.”
“Earlier this evening, I gave a presentation on professional development and the importance of building a culture of professional learning. If we want to send the message that education is valuable then that starts with recognizing our teaching staff who achieve higher education.”
Adam Triebold and his wife, Emily Triebold, waited in the hallway outside the middle/high school library while the school board met in closed session. Upon reconvening into open session, the school board did not make a motion to approve or not approve Adam Triebold’s request to honor the employee handbook and give him an increase of $4,000 to his salary next school year after he earns his Master’s degree this summer.
The four school board members present including Tim Krueger, Jessica Frahm, Tom “Chummo” Ellenbecker and Angie Servi all voted in favor of approving the 2023-24 varsity coaching contracts and to amend the middle/ high school principal contract next school year as part of the budget reduction process. School board members Steve Janke, Shanon Peel and Tucker Diethelm did not attend Monday’s meeting.
After the meeting adjourned, The Record-Review asked Krueger and Andrea Sheridan, Athens schools superintendent, why the school board did not make a motion on whether or not to approve Adam Triebold’s request to receive an increase of $4,000 to his base salary next school year after he earns his Master’s degree this summer. Krueger and Sheridan both told the newspaper that the school board tabled making a decision on this matter. After the meeting, Sheridan asked Adam and Emily Triebold to meet with her in the office.
In other news: Beth Steinke, Athens School District business manager, said on May 2 the school district paid off the $1 million loan it took out in September of 2022 to pay for the $1 million loan it took out in November of 2021. She said the school district paid $600,000 off the $1 million loan in March and the remaining $400,000 on May 2.
Steinke said Athens School District, as of April 30, has spent $1.7 million from the $2 million loan it took out in October of 2022. This $2 million loan matures in October of 2023. She said current cash flow projections show the school district may need to request new borrowing in the future.
The school board on Monday approved the school district’s cash balance of $445,628.10 as of April 30. There is a variance of $721.79, which is the difference between the balances of the bank accounts and the cash balances in the financial software. Sheridan commended Steinke for her outstanding financial work in the less than one year she’s been in the job.
Robin Hanson, Maple Grove Charter School principal, said her school has an estimated enrollment of 99 children next school year, which is an increase from the 92 children the school has this year.
The school board approved the resignation of Alyssa Narloch as Maple Grove Charter School second grade teacher. Sheridan said Narloch is finishing her school psychology program and she was hired by Marathon County Special Education to work in another school district in the consortium.
School board members approved for Athens High School student Jennifer Espinoza, along with teacher Michelle Murkowski as a chaperone, to attend the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) national leadership conference on June 26-30 in Atlanta, Ga. Espinoza is an FBLA state vice president who will be organizing the FBLA state regional competition next year at Athens High School.
The school board amended the April 24 regular board meeting minutes to include names of the three teachers that resigned. The school board also amended the May 3 special board meeting minutes to include the name of the teacher who had her contract non-renewed for next school year.