New, returning Catlin board members take seats

New, returning Catlin board members take seats

CATLIN — Two newcomers and two incumbents were seated on the Catlin school board Thursday, following last month's election.

James Chandler, a member since 2010, and Tricia Keith, a member since 2008, were re-elected to their seats on the board. Perry Dable and Shane Meade did not run for re-election, so newcomers Dave Dutton and Travis Pearman were elected to serve four-year terms on the board.

Dutton, a mathematics teacher at Urbana High School, was appointed to serve on the board's policy and finance committees. He said he has some experience in those areas, and plans to spend some time learning about and assessing the district.

Pearman, owner of Travis Pearman Plumbing, was appointed to the board's building and transportation committee, the parent/teacher advisory committee and the behavioral intervention committee. He said he wants to help where he can, and to encourage more community involvement in the district.

Jeff Fauver was elected as board president, Keith was elected as board vice president, and Chandler was elected board secretary.

Superintendent Greg Lewis said that the new board seemed fine to him, and was made up of good people.

Lewis said that the board would face some financial challenges with the district, and would soon begin negotiations on a new employee contract.

School officials approved a one-year deal with the 44 members of the Catlin Faculty Organization in December, which will expire on June 30. The agreement ended a prolonged and sometimes tense negotiation that involved multiple meetings, the involvement of a federal mediator and the filing of an intent-to-strike vote by the union members.

The $4.5 million 2012-13 budget, which was adopted by the board in September, includes a $570,000 deficit in the education fund alone, which would reduce the reserves in that fund to under $400,000.

The board will hold its next regular meeting at 7 p.m. May 9.

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