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Lawson awarded multiyear contract

Superintendent completes first year on the job

Eric Lawson
Bureau Valley superintendent
Eric Lawson Bureau Valley superintendent

MANLIUS — Six days before Christmas, the Bureau Valley school board voted 7-0 Tuesday night to give its first-year superintendent a nice “present” in the form of a multiyear contract that extends until June 30, 2020.

Superintendent Eric Lawson, who has served in that capacity for the past year, said he will earn an annual salary of $125,000 through the end of this fiscal year, $130,000 a year for the second year, and $135,000 a year in the third year.

Lawson said he was “very excited about continuing my opportunity here at Bureau Valley.”

An 11-year employee of the district, Lawson previously was interim superintendent, and prior to that was high school principal and assistant superintendent.

He started his Bureau Valley career as assistant principal and athletic director.

A graduate of Sherrard High School, Lawson earned his bachelor’s degree at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, his administrative degree from Aurora University, and his superintendent endorsement from the University of Cincinnati.

Lawson’s contract was approved after the board met in a 21-minute executive session.

The board accepted the resignations of Dale Donner as Bureau Valley High School cross country coach, Tiffany Bolin as a high school paraprofessional, and Lanita Brown as a junior high paraprofessional at Bureau Valley South.

The board voted to hire Daniel Sinclair as high school cross country coach and Molly Gloria as a high school paraprofessional. Krisi Johnson was approved as a volunteer high school cheerleading coach.

The board’s consent agenda, approved unanimously, included approval of regular meeting minutes of Nov. 21 and Building Planning Committee meeting minutes of Dec. 13, along with activity account reports, monthly financial and treasurer’s reports, and the addition of an activity account at Bureau Valley South Junior High.

Payment of total bills of $279,832.82 and total payroll of $696,309.11 was approved.

The board renewed a lease with the Bureau Valley Ag Boosters for 14.1 tillable acres on the east side of the high school. The lease is renewed every December.

Another consent agenda item was approving the letting of transportation fuel bids. Ag View FS has the current contract. Bid information will now be publicized.

Under action items, the board approved the 2017 tax levy that is the same as the tentative levy approved in November.

The new levy of $6,758,300 is 4.96 percent higher than last year’s levy of $6,439,000. That’s an increase of $319,300.

The board approved a local option sales tax agreement with Lee, Ogle and Whiteside counties, and also gave the 2018-19 high school curriculum guide its blessing.

During building reports, Kristy Cady, Bureau Valley North administrator, thanked Mary Blackert and community members for organizing a welcome home event for Caleb Clausen, a student who was injured in September.

Julie Decker-Platz, dean of students for Bureau Valley South junior high, spoke about a trip with the Interact Club to the Walnut Manor nursing home. The students sang Christmas carols and made gifts for the residents.

Doyle Johnston, high school maintenance, reported on a natural gas leak at the Wyanet Elementary School on Dec. 15. A Wyanet Police Department officer discovered the gas smell while doing a building check. Ameren had recently installed a new meter. Ameren personnel arrived quickly and replaced the meter.

Johnston thanked the Wyanet Police for their help and said he was impressed with Ameren’s quick response. Kristal LeRette, BV Wyanet principal, thanked Johnston for taking care of the problem.

Vicki Litherland reported on the success of high school basketball teams. The girls won the Princeton tournament, and the boys won the Colmone Classic in Spring Valley.

At the end of the meeting, board President Don King said he wanted to “wish everybody here a merry Christmas and a happy new year and thanks for all your help for 2017 for Bureau Valley.”

The board’s next meeting will be at 7 p.m. Jan. 23.

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