Members sworn in during school board meeting


One new member and two members who were recently re-elected were sworn in during Monday's meeting of the Wayne Community Schools' Board of Education.

Jeryl Nelson was elected to the board position during the November election. He has previously served on the board before going off the board for two years. During Monday's meeting he was elected to serve as board president for the coming year.

Also taking the oath of office were Jaime Manz and Lynn Junck. The two were re-elected to the board in November. Manz will serve as vice president of the board for the coming year.

The meeting also included the election of a recording secretary (Deb Daum) and appointing of a treasurer (Rochelle Nelson). Annual appointments included State Nebraska Bank and Trust as the Depository Institution; the Wayne Herald as Classified Recording Records and Eric Knutson as Legal Counsel.

In new business, the board approved the negotiated settlement with the Wayne Education Association (WEA) for the 2021-2022 school year. The agreed upon base salary will be $37,400, which is an increase of $375 from this year's base. With the insurance portion of the package, the total increase in compensation is 2.24 percent. The agreement was expected to be ratified by the WEA this week.

Information was presented to the board in regard to the district's health insurance.

A quote was accepted from Aetna Health Insurance for coverage during the time period from Sept. 1, 2021 to Aug. 31, 2022.

Superintendent Dr. Mark Lenihan told the board that there was an average increase of 10.14 percent in the cost of the coverage. He said health insurance coverage is a "substantial portion of the General Fund budget."

Steve Muir with the Elkhorn Valley Agency, explained to the board that his firm has worked with the district for approximately 35 years and "works hard to help and bring down the costs. This has been one of the toughest years we have had."

The board tabled taking any action on approval of the school calendar for the 2021-2022 school year. Several options were discussed in regard to the school year, including having 10 a.m. starts as have been scheduled in the past or having a 2 p.m. dismissal on Fridays, as is the case at the present time. The board will re-visit the topic at its February meeting.

Administrative reports included information on having a prom "as normal as possible this spring," Kindergarten Round-Up on at least two afternoons in early March and the creation of an E-Sports Club in conjunction with Wayne State College.

During committee reports, the facility committee reported that a pre-construction meeting was held Jan. 4 for work to be done on the high school restroom renovation project. Two contractors were present in-person at the meeting and several virtually. Preliminary bids are due by Jan. 20 and the board is expected to act on the recommendation of the facility committee at the February meeting. Plans call for having a special meeting of the board just after the regular February meeting to approve a contract for the project.

The Wayne Community Schools' Board of Education will next meet in regular session on Monday, Feb. 8 at 5 p.m. at the Junior-Senior High School.