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As Interim Superintendent Chuck Winkler introduced a presentation to the Fluvanna School Board on Friday (Jan. 20), he revealed he would like for his new position to become permanent.

“If I’m lucky enough to remove the interim before my name, I wouldn’t change a thing with that,” Winkler said, referring to the motto “Dare to imagine…engaged, inspired learning every day!”

Board Chair Carol Carr (Rivanna) said the Board began the process of finding the next superintendent by asking the public to fill out a survey. The first public hearing on the matter is scheduled for Feb. 1 at 7 p.m.

“Our deadline for choosing a superintendent is July 1,” Carr said.

The Board was gathered for its annual seminar that takes place at the beginning of the year. Carr said the seminar’s main purpose is for the Board to get its first good look at the budget before making needed decisions.

Winkler shared the impact of different budget scenarios with the Board.

If health insurance increases 7 to 10 percent, the Board would need to pay $430,000 to cover the cost if it wishes to continue its policy of “holding staff harmless,” which means not passing along the added costs to staff.

A 1.3 percent step raise would cost $509,556; a 1.5 percent bonus for all employees would cost $161,913.

Winkler suggested adding $50,000 to the budget to give coaches a slightly higher stipend. He also suggested adding one new exploratory position at the middle school at a cost of $62,300.

The total cost amounted to $1.23 million, but subtracting $423,710 of available help from the state means an increase of $806,290.

That’s the amount Winkler suggested the Board request from the Board of Supervisors during spring budget negotiations.

Many teachers dislike the two salary scales instituted by the Board to save money. There are 106 staff members on scale B, which holds down their lifetime earnings.
Winkler said to move those 106 to scale A would cost the school system $11.6 million over 20 years.

“And that’s without inflation and not giving a raise to anyone on scale A,” Winkler said. “I don’t know what to do. It’s not about being fair, it’s a question of show me how to do it and I’ll do it. I’m not afraid to go out and share this with all of the staff. I think the answer is there, I just don’t know what it is.”

The Board discussed what to do with the self-evaluation they recently filled out. Most felt it was a good start.

Vice Chair Camilla Washington (Columbia) said the discussion of specifics in the self-evaluation should be done in closed session.

Perrie Johnson (Fork Union) said she didn’t understand what about the evaluation necessitated it being discussed in closed session. “The purpose of this is to critique ourselves,” Johnson said.

Washington said if the discussion included specific staff, it must be done in closed session.

Carr agreed to look at all the evaluations and pick out the most important topics for the Board to discuss. Once Carr completes that, it will be put on the next meeting agenda.