ALBION — With the start of the school year brings a heightened focus on the futures of Central Noble Community Schools graduates — and an emphasis on quality educators for them, each day.

At the Central Noble board meeting Tuesday, the board approved a pay raise for substitute teachers, mostly to ensure subs don’t leave the district for other nearby schools that pay better.

“We’ve been looking at our rates compared to other districts, and our rates are pretty comparable,” Superintendent Troy Gaff told the board. “The other area districts increased theirs this year, so our number of applicants for subs was down.”

That’s true, since West Noble’s board approved raising pay for licensed teachers from $80 to $100 per day this summer.

To remain competitive, Central Noble is raising standard rates from $75 per day to $80 and rates for licensed, retired teachers from $80 to $90 per day.

The board also made progress in refocusing on what kinds of students they want to carry a Central Noble diploma with them after they leave Albion.

It’s part of developing what Central Noble is calling “Portrait of a Graduate,” highlighting five main qualities the school wants its students to develop and take with them into their future careers.

Gaff said these qualities formed after discussion with community leaders and school faculty. The talks boiled down to five main characteristics: effective communicators, critical thinkers, engaged citizens, meaningful collaborators and resilient learners.

“If we can graduate seniors that have those five traits, they’re going to be off to a great start,” Gaff said.

At the meeting, the board looked at a prototype of a website outlining the process and how the qualities are going to get kids started on the right foot after they walk out of the high school for the last time.

The board has not yet approved the characteristics or the “Portrait of a Graduate” project, but it will be brought up to a vote at a later meeting.

“If you look at those five characteristics and you think of any employee who has ever worked for you or with you, if they have those five skills, they’re successful,” Gaff said.

In other business, the board also highlighted a public hearing that will take place Sept. 3 at 5 p.m. in Central Noble administration offices. There, they will discuss the bus replacement plan and capital projects funding.

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