District 1 Goal to Retain Current Teaching Staff

Pete Kilbride, who's superintendent of Sheridan County School District 1, said one of his goals for this year is that every teacher who starts the year with the district is still with the district next year.

Kilbride said he shared that goal in a meeting with staff at the beginning of the school year. He said if the district has teachers who are good but not great, the job of the district's principals is to make them great.

Likewise, he said, it's his job as district superintendent to make good principals great. He said that's his challenge to the staff this year.

It's been reported that around 30 teachers have left the district over the last five years. Kilbride said he believes that number is fairly accurate, and there have been a variety of reasons for that.

About 30 percent of that number are people who have retired, he said. He said over the last four years, the district has lost about 13 percent of its people to Sheridan County School District 2.

Kilbride said District 1 wants to make its base salary a little more competitive and, in fact, did raise the base salary $900 for this current year.

He said the next step for the district will be to put a committee together and look at next year's base salary. He said the committee will also look at whether the district can offer a step increase, which is something that hasn't happened in five years.

Step increases are based on a teacher's tenure, and Kilbride said the district currently has people with as much as 20 years teaching experience who are being paid the same as if they had 15 years.