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Trustees Hear Request From Karge At Meeting

Wolf Point’s superintendent of schools Eileen Karge’s request for additional pay wasn’t greeted warmly by school board trustees during a meeting last week.

Karge, who came out of retirement to provide experience in the position for the school year, requested for the trustees to agree to a contract addendum.

Her contract reads that she would receive $31,682 to be paid in six equal monthly amounts from January through June.

The proposed language change calls for the board to agree to pay her a total gross sum of $40,000 in July.

Karge explained to trustees that the amount requested wasn’t for work to be done in July, but for compensation during her time as Wolf Point’s superintendent. She noted that when she took on the position, the plan was for her to work two days a week and about seven to eight hours each of those days. Instead, she has often worked four days a week and, at times, more than 40 hours a week.

Trustee Michael Turcotte pointed out that Karge agreed to the original contract.

Karge commented the school district has since approved paying its next superintendent $130,000 a year.

Board chair Bif Loucks noted that many school employees work extra hours and mentioned teachers grading papers late at night.

Karge said that loyalty to the district should mean something.

“If you don’t see the value, that’s fine,” she said.

She asked that her request be withdrawn and then walked out of the meeting.

Earlier in the meeting on June 12, trustees tabled a decision whether to pay principals a stipend of $5,000 for testing.

Trustee Roxanne Gourneau wondered how the amount was determined and if the school district pays for the principals’ training.

“Every time, we’re bleeding money,” she said.

Karge explained that the funds have paid principals as an additional duty for the past about four years. Principals perform three benchmark trainings a year.

A motion passed 3-2 to table the matter in order to receive input from the new superintendent.

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