LIGONIER — West Noble school board members gave a pat on the back to the senior members of the high school’s sectional-winning boys soccer team to kick off Monday’s meeting.

The senior athletes led the Pledge of Allegiance to start the meeting, then each spoke to the board about what the soccer program meant to them.

The board got down to business with conducting a required 2022 budget hearing. The estimated budget will total $26,538,114, but district treasurer Barbara Fought said the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance will make adjustments that will likely reduce that amount. She said the budget is based on 80% of the district’s assessed evaluation to create a cushion for those budget adjustments.

The district’s budget and bus replacement plan are posted on its website.

Superintendent Galen Mast said he is gathering information on using Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER III) to cover roof and HVAC system repairs. The board adjourned into executive session after the meeting to hear a proposal from a prospective company for those repairs.

The board stamped its approval on the two-year master contract for teachers, too. Mast said a work session Oct. 18 went well and both parties “like the language.” He reviewed the changes:

• The base salary level is raised to $40,000 as recommended by the Indiana legislature. Mast said the district had been about $2,500 below that in the last contract.

• The top salary is raised from $75,500 to $77,500.

• English Language teachers are needed in every building. West Noble has placed English and Second Language and English Language teachers in each building. Teachers who complete seven classes to obtain their EL licenses will increase their salaries up to two levels.

• Lack of the availability of substitutes, especially in middle school and high school. Teachers who give up a prep period to cover a class for another teacher will get credit for that.

Mast said West Noble’s enrollment increased slightly, from 2,191 in 2020 to 2,201 in 2021.

In other business, the board approved these personnel changes:

Resignation: Jessica Hicks, West Noble Primary instructional assistant, effective Oct. 7

Leave: Samantha Allen. West Noble Primary instructional assistant, Setp. 27 through Oct. 15.

Classified: Wanda Peffer, high school custodian, $13 per hour, four hours per day; Todd Smith, transportation scheduling, increase of $1 per hour.

Services Agreements: Deb Hagan, middle school curriculum writing, sixth grade social studies, five hours at $20 per hour; Michael Engler, Kelsey Grimm and Carole Matthews, high school tutoring at $35 per hour; and John Marano and Crystal Santoyo, high school tutoring at $32.50.

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