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Parker’s resignation accepted by Verndale board

Speech-Language Pathologist Matt Parker’s letter of resignation was accepted Monday night at the April meeting of the Verndale School board.

Parker will fulfill his current contract with District 818 which will run out June 30. He will then begin working for the Freshwater Education District.

Verndale Superintendent Paul Brownlow told the board the school will contract for Parker’s services.

Parker has been a member of the Verndale faculty for nine years. In addition to his speech language pathology duties, Parker has shared leadership of an Applied Economics class with Samantha Schmitz. Students in the class have manufactured and marketed fish head ornaments and magnets and are currently manufacturing other types of tackle. Parker hopes to maintain a working relationship with the class after he goes to work for Freshwater.

The board approved a revised budget for the Fiscal Year 2014. The general fund budget of $5,031,889 does not include increases in wages and benefits because the board has not yet settled a contracts with faculty and support staff for the current school year or for Fiscal Year 2015. The board has not been able to settle the contracts because of complexities of the Affordable Care Act, which includes a federal mandate that employees offer health care plans for their employees.

The district has been providing tax-free dollars to certified teachers to pay for their health care premiums but the ACA mandate will force a change in this policy. A health care plan for support staff will also have to be determined for negotiations to go forward.

Brownlow said the board is waiting to hear back from their benefits attorney.

“He will give us the process of how to proceed,” Brownlow said.

The board also gave the green light to the senior class for a trip to the Twin Cities April 25-27, hired a summer program staff, accepted the resignation of Elyssa Kern as food service student worker and hired approved the hiring of Keila Schmitz to fill the job.