Superintendent Shares Decision-Making Process for Winter Weather by sophomore Abby Gaudian The process behind the decision to delay, cancel, or release students early from school is never an easy one. When the administration makes such a decision due to inclement […]
by sophomore Abby Gaudian Yearbooks are great way to bring back memories, but only if you have one. Five of the 2016-2017 “Between the Lines” are available for purchase. This yearbook is ranked first in Class A yearbooks for the […]
by Caleb McCullough As the semester comes to a close and most people are preparing for break, high school choir teacher Casey Tecklenburg has his sights set on next semester. He will be directing a production of Footloose at Hudson […]
by sophomore Sophie Selenke Eleven students represented Hudson High School at the Ed Thomas Legacy Leadership Academy this fall. “It’s a great honor to be selected by teachers to help make Hudson better by being a leader,” said Sara Hansen, […]
by senior Caleb McCullough High school PE teacher Sean Leonard has started a “Pirate Walking Club” for staff. “Staying active during the winter can be difficult,” said Leonard. “It’s cold, our bodies feel sluggish, and it gets dark early.” Leonard […]
by senior Olivia Kolterman Twenty Hudson High School journalism students traveled to the national convention in Dallas November 15-19th. The conference, hosted by the National Scholastic Press Association and Journalism Education Association, is the largest conference for high school journalists. […]
Voss Blog Log
Education in Iowa Public Schools
Dr. Anthony D. Voss, Superintendent of Schools
To become a teacher in Iowa, an individual must earn a Bachelor's degree in education. To stand out in the field, most candidates for teaching positions will earn an extra endorsement in a specific content area to further specialize their skill set. In Hudson, a candidate for a lower elementary position without a Reading endorsement is unlikely to get a second look (at least today). Upon earning the BA in teaching, the candidate is required to pass what are known as the Praxis Exams. The number of exams a teaching candidate must sit for is dependent on the number of credentials they will ultimately have on their license. Not only are the tests stressful, but can cost candidates hundreds of dollars to take. If they pass these exams, they can apply for and receive a license to practice in Iowa, which as we have already discussed is a two year probationary license. After that two year period, if the principal verifies and signs off the teacher has met all the requirements outlined in the Iowa Teaching Standards, they can apply for and receive a standard license which is good for five years. In those intervening years, the teacher will need to take and accumulate continuing education credits in order to renew that license.
A brand new teacher will earn a salary of $37,491, have a decent health plan, and become enrolled in the IPERS pension system. Then each subsequent year, the teachers salary will increase based on the adopted salary schedule. If they decide to earn an advanced degree, that will further bolster their wages. In case you are wondering, the average teacher at Hudson earned a salary of $54,410 during the 2016-2017 school year. When considering this, understand that 24% of all faculty hold advanced degrees beyond BA, and 11% have earned education beyond a Master's Degree. Also worth mentioning, the average teacher at Hudson is 41 years old. With the level of education required for these jobs and the responsibility placed on teachers, are these reasonable wages for educators? Again, this very much depends on your perspective.
But let's weave the collective bargaining changes into the mix and couple that with the idea of a looming teacher shortage. Outside of setting the base wage, districts are free to compensate employees how they wish. As I mentioned above, we are currently looking for a special education teacher. So are a lot of other school districts. In fact in a school district not too far away from here, since the passage of the new collective bargaining law they have decided to pay a $6,000 premium for special education teachers. I can assure you of this, we don't have the ability or desire to get into a bidding war for teachers! I do also wonder if this will create a labor market of dis-proportionality within the ranks of teachers. Will high school teachers earn more than elementary teachers because of the complexity of the content they teach? Or will elementary teachers earn more because of the importance that has been placed on early reading literacy? Will this create a market where the teacher will go to the highest bidder, with smaller schools left on the outside looking in? I suppose time will tell.
|Graduating Class of 2017|
Over the summer we completed the largest renovation project in the school district in over a decade with the first phase of the elementary school. Perhaps the biggest priority for the school board with this project was the installation of the ADA accessible ramp on the South end of the entrance to the competition gym. This project set the stage for phase two of the project, which was approved by the school board during the December board meeting. This work is evidence of a school district that is thriving and poised for significant growth, which brings us to our next big news story of the year.
While the long term impact on Hudson schools remains to be seen, all can agree the recent interest in residential development in our community will have a positive impact on the school district. On December 21st, we had the ribbon cutting for the Meadowbrook Condominiums, a series of apartment complexes on Springfield Avenue that, when completed will have approximately 48 units. Ann and I live in the second addition of Upper Ridge Estates, which has 26 residential lots (of which about half are already built), and of course the city council recently approved the preliminary plat for the Twin Oaks development, which will include 73 single family residential lots!
|New Hudson Faculty-2017|
Finally, I think it is always newsworthy, noteworthy and significant when there is a change in leadership! This past September, long time board member Jerry Griffith retired after serving on the Hudson school board for 11 years. Jerry was the last serving board member still on the board from when I was appointed in May of 2010! Additionally, Director Liz Folladori decided not to run for a second term. That left us with two vacant seats on our five member board, with incumbent Traci Trunck running for (and winning) a second term. After the election, we seated newcomers Brenda Klenk and Matt Sallee.
Well, that is my snapshot of 2017. What do you think? Please let me know what I missed in the comments section below!