Marietta BoE members sworn in, eye raising teacher salaries
by Hannah Morgan
January 15, 2014 12:32 AM | 3639 views | 8 8 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Marietta school board member Jason Waters, right, gets a little help from his family when he is sworn to his newly elected office Tuesday night when daughter, Virginia, 4, also raises her right hand to take the oath of office administered by Georgia Supreme Court Justice Harris Hines. Also with Waters is his son, Jack, 2, and his wife, Katie.  <br>Staff/Jeff Stanton
Marietta school board member Jason Waters, right, gets a little help from his family when he is sworn to his newly elected office Tuesday night when daughter, Virginia, 4, also raises her right hand to take the oath of office administered by Georgia Supreme Court Justice Harris Hines. Also with Waters is his son, Jack, 2, and his wife, Katie.
Staff/Jeff Stanton
slideshow
Jeriene Grimes, left, received the oath of office for the Marietta Board of Education with daughter, Sydney, 13, by her side Tuesday night. Grimes and Waters won their seats on the board in the November elections (Staff/Jeff Stanton)
Jeriene Grimes, left, received the oath of office for the Marietta Board of Education with daughter, Sydney, 13, by her side Tuesday night. Grimes and Waters won their seats on the board in the November elections (Staff/Jeff Stanton)
slideshow
MARIETTA — The Marietta Board of Education discussed raising beginning teacher annual salaries by $2,000 Tuesday night.

Two newly elected board members, Jason Waters and Jeriene Grimes, along with the five incumbents, were sworn in to office by Georgia Supreme Court Justice Harris Hines.

The change would raise take-home pay for teachers with zero to three years of experience from $38,500 annually to $40,500. Superintendent Emily Lembeck said the increase would enable Marietta to better compete with surrounding districts and would allow the district to attract the best teaching staff possible.

“I fully support the competitive starting salary. We want to attract the best and the brightest and this is one way to do that,” Chairman Randy Weiner said.

The pay raise would cost the system approximately $50,800 and come out of the general fund, which was $81.8 million in the 2014 school year budget, said Thomas Algarin, spokesman for the district.

MCS employs 619 teachers, Algarin said. The pay change would only apply to the roughly 60 to 70 teachers considered “beginning teachers,” and would take place in the 2014-15 school year, Algarin said.

Cobb County beginning teachers make $38,957 and those in Cherokee County make $41,500, according to information provided by Marietta City Schools.

The board will vote on the proposal at a meeting next week.

Weiner re-elected, but Bittner objects

Weiner was elected to serve as the chairman for the board for a third term. Board member Irene Berens nominated Weiner, and the board voted 6-1, with Brett Bittner opposed.

Weiner has served on the board since 2005, and previously served as chairman in 2010 and in 2013. The chair serves a year-long term, and represents the board in contact with the media and outside community, according to board policy. The chair earns an extra $100 each month, Weiner said, in addition to the $575 all board members are paid.

“I enjoy doing it. I’m willing to put in the work needed to be chair,” he said.

Board member Jill Mutimer nominated Berens to serve as vice chair, and the board voted 6-1, with Bittner opposed.

Bittner said he had some “issues” with Weiner’s leadership, and had wanted to see some changes with the way board meetings were led. He viewed Berens as an extension of the chairman, which is why he voted against her serving as vice chair.

Berens replaces Tom Cheater, who stepped down from the position because of a new job that requires a lot of travel, he said.

Berens, a dance teacher at the Marietta-based Georgia Dance Conservatory has been on the board for 14 years, she said, and is excited to serve as vice-chair for the second time. Berens previously served as chairwoman and vice-chair.

According to board policy, the duties of the vice-chair include serving in the absence of the chair, running meetings and speaking with the press, when the chair is not available. The chair receives no extra money for serving, Weiner said.

Tuesday’s board meeting was the first for newly elected board members Jason Waters and Jeriene Grimes. They were sworn in at a ceremony before the meeting. Waters, who works for SunTrust in Atlanta, replaced Tony Fasola, who did not run for re-election. Grimes, who works in the hospitality business, replaced Stuart Fleming, who was elected to the Marietta City Council.

The board will next meet Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. at the district’s central office, 250 Howard St., Marietta.

By the numbers

Current salary for beginning teachers

* Marietta City Schools: $38,500

* Cobb County Schools: $38,957

* Cherokee County Schools: $41,500

Comments
(8)
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whiner
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January 16, 2014
Huh?? what about the other board members? aren't they important too?? Geeze
Cheryl Stephenson
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January 15, 2014
the web page should have another photo of the other incoming board member - it was two.
anonymous
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January 15, 2014
All the photos are posted just below the news articles- named PHOTOS of BOE Ceremony.

Andy43
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January 15, 2014
Cheryl, I see both of them on here. Scroll down for Ms. Grimes picture!
Ron Gould
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January 15, 2014
what a surprise, Bret Bitner voted against Mr. Weiner and Mrs. Berens. What's the point? The higher ups in the libertarian party must have given the orders, once again.
Class of 80
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January 15, 2014
Bittner has issues with Mr Weiner's leadership?? But can't even articulate what they are???

Bittner is an embarrassment to the BOE and the libertarian party. The 100 or so people who voted for him, in the un-involved Ward 1, just voted in a petty partisan hack.

I've known Mr Weiner most of his adult life and he's one of the best leaders in the city.
CCSD Resident
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January 15, 2014
So, Marietta is raising teacher salaries and Cobb is laying off teachers.... What is wrong here, CCSD BOE???? Hinojosa needs to go. He's driving this district into the ground.
CobbTeacher
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January 16, 2014
Amen Brutha (or Sistah!)
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