Belpre board extends Dunn’s contract

BELPRE – Belpre City Schools District Board of Education members unanimously approved to renew Superintendent Tony Dunn’s contract during the regular meeting on Monday.

“This was decided following a discussion of the board,” said longtime board member Rod Hineman. “It was found he was doing a great job, so we decided to do the early renewal.”

The new contract is for five years, which is two years longer than the original contract.

Dunn’s original three-year contract was scheduled to end July 31, 2014. He was hired in March 2011 and officially began May 1 of that year with an annual salary of $95,000.

Dunn was hired following a nearly five-month search by the district.

“Three years ago, we thought we made the right decision and, hindsight being 20/20, I am glad to say we did make the right decision and am so glad he said yes to five more years,” said board president Leonard Wiggins. “It’s nice to know we have some stability.”

In other business

  • The board discussed the new school year, which began for teachers a week ago and has students come back today.

“It’s an exciting night in Belpre,” said Dunn. “There won’t be a lot of sleep that happens.”

Teachers, administrators and other staff have done professional development sessions for the past week as they prepared for the new school year. Last week included different sessions of professional development with Monday as a teacher work day in final preparations for students.

“There have been some huge changes this year and, I am glad to say, we are fully staffed and ready for the kids,” Dunn said.

While first through 12th grades will have all students in classrooms today, kindergarten students will be phased into Belpre Elementary School today, Wednesday and Thursday.

Dunn said the maintenance and custodial staff has worked hard to get the district’s facilities ready for the students, teachers and staff.

“And, finally, the humidity is back so we can get school started. It just wouldn’t be the beginning of the school year without us sweating,” he added with a laugh.

  • Wendy Bailey, president of the Parent Teacher Organization, spoke at the meeting about the group and what it does and has done for Belpre Elementary School.

“The PTO has very active officers and parent volunteers,” she said. “In the past four years, through various fundraisers, we have raised more than $40,000.”

The money raised by the PTO goes to improvements to the elementary school’s facilities and furniture as well as to ensure the students and school are part of the community.

“The PTO not only raises money but also sponsors events for children and their families,” Bailey said.