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School officials watch fuel, utility costs closely

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Casey picked to succeed Fesser as OAVC director

By Dave Bell

Though the Vandalia Community School District’s fund balances remain strong, district officials are paying close attention to fuel and utility expenses as the price of oil skyrockets.
“We’re keeping an eye on fuel prices because they are high-dollar items and because they are so volatile,” Superintendent Rich Well said after Tuesday night’s monthly school board meeting.
“Compared to our budgeted amounts, we’ll still come in under budget. But trying to project our actual expenses is like trying to hit a moving target.”
During the meeting, Well told the school board that “We’re in solid shape; we’re where we need to be. At this point we’re past the high-use months.”
He cited three expense lines, in particular:
• Gas for heating – Out of a $100,000 budget, $39,000 is left (39 percent).
• Electrical – Out of a $230,000 budget, $92,000 is left (40 percent).
• Automobile and bus fuel – Out of a $128,000 budget, $68,000 is left (53 percent).
The February figures are eight months (67 percent) into the fiscal year, which began on July 1. That means that 33 percent of the fiscal year remains.
The district’s overall numbers also look good, Well said.
Through February, the district has a total balance of $6,060,3320 (or $5,117,567 in the four operating accounts, over which the district has control).
At this point, 88 percent of the district’s budgeted total revenues have been received and 73 percent of the total expenditures have been made. • Approved resignations of Brianne Henry (OKAW and VCHS) and James Moore (VCHS).
• Approved the planned retirements of Russ Smock (Sept. 30, 2014), Mike Hicks (June 30, 2014), Kevin Schroeder (June 2015), Kim Schroeder (June 2016), Connie Lamb (June 2014), John Tedrick (June 2016) and Emma Sue Rabe (June 2015).
• Approved the following fourth-year teachers to be on a tenure status beginning in the 2011-12 school year: Kathleen Grandt, Shelly Forys, Lori Johnson, Renee Whightsil, Lee Hicks, Jaclyn Daniels, Jessica Eckard, Tammy Hall, Tony Hicks and Beth O’Brien-Schmidt.
• Approved the following first-, second- and third-year teachers for rehire in the 2011-12 school year: Kathleen Doll, Mary Flack, Susan Strange, Ruth Chesney, Alissa Segrest, Maggie Abendroth, Amber Connor, Kelly Hardiek, Ashlee Gibbs, Walt Kinney, Danielle Matlock, Michelle McNary, Anne Winchester, Julie Lay, Greta Krueger and Eric Sinclair.
• Approved the employment of Annette McClintock for sixth-grade social studies.
• Approved a joint agreement with the alternative education programs of the Regional Office of Education.
• Approved the Illinois State Board of Education school calendar for 2010-11 (as amended, with snow days).
• Approved the first reading of the board of education policy updates.
• Approved Ryan Thiele as a volunteer baseball coach at VCHS.
• Approved a maternity leave request from Ashlee Gibbs (VCHS math teacher), beginning May 12 and