School board acts to beat two deadlines

The Vandalia Board of Education met in special session briefly last Wednesday in order to meet a couple of state deadlines.
Superintendent Jennifer Garrison explained that as part of the new state budget signed in June, the retirement cap for teachers, administrators and support staff was dropping from 6 percent to 3 percent.
Submitting retirement letters to beat the deadline were four teachers and one support staff employee.
Retirements as of June 20, 2024, were submitted by Todd Nickels, Okaw Area Vocational Center auto mechanics teacher; Joni Warren, second grade teacher; Laurna Knebel, fourth grade teacher; and Scott Wright, OAVC building trades instructor.
A letter was also submitted by Donna Wright, a bus driver and cook, for retirement at the end of the 2021-22 school year.
In other personnel action, the board approved the transfers of Darrin “Smokey” Newsom from high school custodian to maintenance assistant and Kevin Critcheloe from junior high custodian to high school custodian.
The board also approved a memorandum of understanding with the Vandalia Unit Teachers Association that changes the language in the VUTA contract for sick days and sick leave.
Those changes, which took two months to complete, were required after an audit of the Teachers Retirement System, Garrison said.
It’s a “win-win” for the district, Garrison said, explaining that the action prevents fines for not making the necessary changes while also preserving the rights of district teachers under the union contract.


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