School chief Bratten to step down

City schools Superintendent Tom Bratten will step down at the end of his current contract.

The school board Tuesday night accepted his resignation effective July 31. He has been the superintendent the past five years and will be wrapping up his second contract with the district.

Bratten said he felt the time was right to leave and he plans to pursue other opportunities that he did not elaborate on.

“I think things are in a situation where I can do that,” he said, noting that test scores have improved and there has not been any drama during his tenure.

“[My time here] has been very positive,” he said.

Bratten said he discussed the issue with board president Steve Bailey and vice president Howard Rohleder and determined that announcing his decision now gives the board an opportunity to start its search for a new superintendent.

“[The early announcement] gives the board an opportunity to not be looking for a candidate at a late date,” he said.

In other business the board approved the 2014-2015 calendar with first day for students Aug. 21, last day May 28 and graduation May 24.

The board also approved athletic supplemental contracts for spring 2014 for Bonnie Wilkinson, assistant varsity softball; Carlee Hart, assistant varsity softball; Samantha Frye, junior varsity softball; Gina Mancini, junior varsity softball; Mike DeBarr, junior varsity baseball; Steve Miller, junior varsity baseball; Mike Craven, assistant varsity baseball; Brandon Carver, assistant varsity baseball; Dan Kibler, boys tennis; Russ Hoppel, junior high girls track; Jarrod Neiderhiser, junior high boys track; Ted Yuhaniak, junior high boys track assistant; Athena Spinell, junior high boys track assistant; Kera LeMasters, junior high girls track assistant; and Zack Penick, junior high girls track assistant.

Additionally the board hired Linda Jordan and Jacob Thompson as certified substitutes and Amy Malysa and Bernadette Mellinger as classified substitutes; accepted a donation of parts from Mike Pinciaro and M&M Appliances to fix school washers; and accepted the resignation of Dennis Neiderhiser as assistant varsity baseball coach for 2014.

The board also approved open enrollment for the 2014-2015 school year in areas where enrollment permits. Applications must be returned to the superintendent’s office no later than May 1.

Also at the meeting Bailey reported that the district is beginning its long-term project of remodeling the classrooms in the district’s buildings, starting with one classroom at Buckeye and Reilly elementary schools to determine the cost per classroom. The project, indicated as a need by parents through a prior survey, will be funded through permanent improvement money that has been set aside and will not be at any increase to taxpayers.

Bratten also addressed calamity days, noting that the district has missed 10 days so far. He said legislation could add four days onto the five-day limit with three blizzard bag days, meaning the district can miss two more days if the legislation passes before it has to make up days. Board member Brad Myers noted that the board can still require the days to be made up regardless of any legislation to add days.