Teacher contract approved

Williamsport Area School Board unanimously approved an agreement between the district and the Williamsport Education Association reflecting salary increases for teachers during its meeting on Tuesday.

The previous contract expired on June 30, 2017. The new contract is effective from July 1, 2017 until June 30, 2021.

The agreement covers approximately 400 professional staff. The contract, negotiated all school year, will mean an average annual increase of 2.6 percent each year of the agreement.

“I would like to thank both parties, both the teacher group that helped negotiate that contract and the board members who were on the negotiation committee,” said Dr. Timothy Bowers, superintendent. “It is a fair and equitable contract. It was discussed and vetted in detail. I want to thank both sides for getting that done.”

In other business, the board also unanimously approved an agreement with MojoActive Inc., of Watsontown, for the design and development of a new district website at $69,000.

The recurring annual subscription costs will be $1,000 per year. The purchase is funded by the technology department budget.

Dr. Susan Bigger, assistant superintendent, said they used a public survey with several hundred responses regarding feedback on the website before using the data to find someone to help re-do the website.

“I would like to add that MojoActive is also a local company … Any time you can partner with folks nearby, that’s a good partnership,” Bowers said.

“There’s actually several Williamsport grads that would be working on this project,” said Jeremy Loveland, technology director.

In other business, the school board congratulated two of its Odyssey of the Mind teams for qualifying to compete in the 2018 Odyssey of the Mind World Finals after competing at the state competition on April 7.

Curtin Intermediate School ranked first in “A Stellar Hangout Division II.”

Williamsport Area Middle School ranked first in the “Classics… Mockumentary! Seriously? Division II.”

In another unanimous vote, the board approved the cost of competing at the world competition, held at Iowa State University on May 22 to May 28, at a cost of $12,495 through district funds.

“If you are unfamiliar with world finals, they get the opportunity to compete against roughly 40 states and as many as 20 other countries … Not just compete against them, but interact with them throughout their stay at the university,” said Spring Moore, the Odyssey of the Mind coach.

She said that the competition is fun, educational and life-changing.

“It’s a really special experience … Any team member that’s been lucky enough to experience such a thing, I can tell you that it is a memory that will last a lifetime,” she said.

Voting yes were members Patrick Dixon, Lori Baer, Jennifer Lake, Dr. Jane Penman, Adam Welteroth, Dr. Nancy Story Somers, Spencer Sweeting and Marc Schefsky.

The next meeting will be held at 6 p.m. April 17 at the District Service Center.