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Board approves raises for North West Hendricks administrators, teachers

Posted: 4:49 PM, Nov 14, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-14 16:49:50-05
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HENDRICKS COUNTY — The North West Hendricks school board voted Tuesday to raise teacher salaries an average of 4.1%.

Teachers are expected to see an average annual increase of $2,000 per year, according to the newly reached contract.

“We know we have great teachers and we believe they should be compensated fairly,” said North West Hendricks School Corporation business manager David Hobaugh. “We are pleased that we can now offer them a salary just above the average for similar size school districts.”

The district’s interim superintendent Scott Syverson said negotiations with the teachers’ union were amicable.

“This district is fortunate to have such a strong and cooperative relationship with its teachers,” said Syverson. “We certainly respect and appreciate all their hard work and are fortunate we can provide a boost to their paycheck.”

Hobaugh noted that all district employees will see an increase in salary this year and that an additional $100,000 is being invested into extra-curricular salaries.

Hobaugh received a 36% raise from $87,068 to $118,000, according to a new contract approved by the board on November 12.

At Tuesday’s board meeting, the board of trustees voted to raise administrator salaries to the following:

High School Principal

$ 94,000

High School Asst. Principal

$ 81,000

High School Athletic Director

$ 80,000

High School Dean of Students

$ 70,000

Middle School Principal

$ 90,000

Middle School Asst. Principal

$ 80,500

Elementary Principal

$ 85,000

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Two of the administrators receiving raises are high school athletic director Nathan Begle and dean of students Stacey Begle, who were placed on administrative leave earlier this year.

In September, the board voted to allow the Begles to return to their positions.

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Stacey Begle’s’ salary increases 25% from $56,000 to $70,000, records show, and Nathan Begle’s salary increases from $74,000 to $80,000, an 8% raise.

The board went against the corporation administration’s recommendation to cancel the Begles’ teaching contracts.

The Begles were placed on administrative leave in July in connection with how they handled sexual misconduct allegations involving a teacher and a student.

Some have criticized school staff for failing to properly report the allegations.

RTV6 tried to contact the Begles for comment and we are still waiting to hear back.

At the time, board explained its decision to keep the Begles on staff in a statement to RTV6:

“The board members voted based on the preponderance of the evidence delivered at the employees’ requested conference with the school board, including administrators and representatives,” read the statement. “The board members recommended to our administration for the employees to be removed from paid administrative leave and return to their previous employment status. Based on communication form our school board attorney, our school board is NOT aware of any investigation by the Hendricks County Sheriff’s Department, or other state, county, and local agencies regarding these two employees.”

Board president Jim Diagostino has received criticism from the community for socializing with the Begles while they were on paid administrative leave.

Call 6 Investigates tried to speak with Diagostino at Tuesday’s board meeting, but he directed all questions to the district’s new paid communications consultant.

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“It should be noted that the Begle and Diagostino families have been friends for over ten years, so it is not at all unusual that they would continue that friendship and socialize in public,” read a statement posted on the district’s website. “There is no district policy that addresses this; however, Mr. Diagostino did reach out to legal counsel in this regard and was assured there was no legal issue. That said, in the court of public opinion, perception is reality which we acknowledge.”

Call 6 Investigates spoke with Stacy and Mark Lewis of North Salem after they filed a tort claim on August 6 against North West Hendricks schools on behalf of their daughter, who is now a senior at Tri-West High School.