Paul Ranstead Hired As Principal Of MacArthur High School
On Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Decatur Public Schools Board of Education Paul Ranstead was hired as the Principal of MacArthur High School starting September 29, 2014.
Ranstead holds a Master of Science in Educational Administration from the University of Illinois and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Illinois State University. He is currently working as the Associate Principal at Edison Middle School in Champaign, Illinois. From 1996 through 2006, Mr. Ranstead was a teacher at St. Joseph Middle School in St. Joseph, Illinois as well as Jefferson Middle School in Champaign, Illinois. He became an administrator in 2007.
“Mr. Ranstead is going to make a great addition to Decatur Public Schools. His prior work history and experience will position him for success at MacArthur High School and we are excited for him to get started,” said Dr. Tim Murrell, Assistant Superintendent.
Decatur Public Schools started searching for a new principal at MacArthur High School when Dr. Rhonda Key announced her resignation.
Decatur School Board Approves New Contract With DEA
On Tuesday, September 9 at a regularly scheduled meeting the Decatur Public Schools Board of Education voted to approve the 2014-2018 contract with the Decatur Education Association (DEA). The DEA ratified the new contract on Thursday, September 4, 2014.
DEA Bargaining Chair, Susie Niesman and District 61 Bargaining Chair, Superintendent Lisa Taylor released the following joint statement upon reaching the tentative four year agreement: “We are proud to have reached a successor agreement and look forward to continuing to foster a climate of trust and collaboration.” Superintendent Taylor went on to say, “Administration recognizes the importance of meaningful collaboration in order to improve the district. It is our collective responsibility to model effective leadership practices as we move forward.”
Highlights from the new contract include:
An average of 2.47% annual salary increase over the four year contract. For the past three years there has been no new money added to the teacher salary schedule. It was important to both sides that we show a commitment to increasing the salary of teachers with the intention of attracting new employees and remaining competitive with surrounding districts.
High school athletic director positions being phased into administrative positions.
Tuition reimbursement of $25,000 available annually in a pool to be disbursed in
increments of $1,000 for each employee seeking a first Master’s degree.
Retirement incentive and early retirement language outlined in the agreement.
“We are proud of our Interest Based Bargaining (IBB) team for their hard work and dedication to the process. This is another great example of the collaboration and teamwork that is happening across the district,” said Board of Education vice-president, Sherri Perkins who is also a member of the IBB team.
City Council Approves Sewer Work
The Decatur City Council on Monday approved a critical sewer improvement project that will repair 5,233 feet of city sanitary sewer extending from Cerro Gordo Street to Coates Park.
Council members voted 6-0 in favor of a resolution of intent to award a contract to Insituform Technologies as the lowest responsible project bidder for an amount up to $2,133,811.09. The project will use cured-in-place pipe lining which Insituform has utilized on several sewer-lining projects for the City of Decatur, including repairs made recently to portions of the massive sewer along Lake Shore Drive.
The contract is contingent on approval by the Illinois Environmental Protection agency with plans being to fund the work with a low-interest IEPA loan. A notice to proceed with work could be issued as early as October 2014 with the project completed in the spring of 2015.
In other business, several residents spoke to request amendments to the City’s noise ordinance during the appearance of citizens’ section of the meeting. As part of the ordinance, no driver of any motor vehicle within the City shall operate or permit operation of any sound amplification system which can be heard outside the vehicle from 75 or more feet when the vehicle is being operated upon a street, highway or roadway unless such system is being operated to request assistance or warn of a hazardous situation.
Separate petitions were presented, one requesting an amendment defining times when the ordinance would not apply and a second requesting an amendment that would remove the allowance for towing vehicles found to be in violation of the ordinance.