New three-year contracts locked in for teachers, admin at Sto-Rox
Sto-Rox teachers and administrators have reached agreements on three-year contracts which were passed by the school board.
The Sto-Rox school directors approved both agreements at a special legislative voting
meeting May 9.
“The agreement with SREA includes an average pay increase of 7% for teachers over the life of the contract, with pay increases each year across all experience levels,” according to Communications Director Dan Rinkus.
Rinkus added that teachers will also “receive enhancements to their life insurance and maternity leave policies.”
Superintendent Megan Van Fossan and School Board President Cameron Culliver agreed they hoped the pay increases would stop the hemorrhaging of talent from the district.
“I think it’s a huge weight off everyone’s shoulders,” Culliver said, adding that it shows “huge” progress is being made in the district.
Van Fossan said during the exit interviews with staff – since the start of the year, 16 teachers and three administrators have resigned while four teachers and one administrator have retired – compensation was a chronic issue, as well as stability.
With the contact in place, Van Fossan said it showed the district had “staying power.” The district is on a state-mandated recovery plan, and there were fears the standards imposed would not be met.
Sto-Rox Educator’s Association President Maria Kotek described the conclusion of negotiations as a “relief.”
“We feel like we’re appreciated, valued,” Kotek said.
SREA member Denise McMichael said she hoped the contract would help retain teachers in the district.
“It’s fair for where we’re at,” McMichael said.
Sto-Rox hires new assistant principal at the high school
At the May 9 special meeting where new contracts were adopted, Sto-Rox directors approved the hiring of Hope Schreiber-Wheeler as an assistant principal at the high school.
Schreiber-Wheeler has an undergraduate degree from La Roche in middle-level mathematics, then worked as a substitute at Sto-Rox. In South Carolina, she taught seventh-grade math while working with leadership there to improve math standards.
After returning to the Pittsburgh area, she worked at Pittsburgh City Schools and then was hired at Sto-Rox as the high school basketball coach. Simultaneously, she was earning a master's in school administration from Point Park University.