Archive for Thursday, May 24, 2001

Kobza unveils vision

District buys Winans’ contract for more than $68,000

May 24, 2001

Matt Daigh said morale of the Eudora school district's transportation department is getting better now that workers aren't worrying about their jobs.

Daigh, the transportation and grounds department director, said the remainder of his crew received work agreements on Friday for the 2001-2002 school year. Some workers of the department didn't receive work agreements three weeks ago after a district-wide budgetary review by Dave Winans, who resigned as superintendent last week.

With Kobza at the helm, Daigh said, the ship is running smoother and his employees are feeling more confident about their job security.

"It's improved considerably in the last couple of weeks," Daigh said. "One of the first things Marty said was he didn't see the need for any mass layoffs, which is welcome news to my staff. For the most part it'll pretty much be business as usual."

The improvement came with a price to the district. After Winans submitted his resignation, effective June 1, the board hammered out a financial agreement for the rest of Winans' contract, which was due to expire in 2002. In the agreement, the district will pay $52,000 salary, $7,500 for vacation time and $9,375 for sick leave. The $68,875 total will be paid June 1. The district will also pay $100 monthly toward health insurance for Winans through Dec. 31, 2001.

Winans annual salary for the district was $88,000.

With the financial details out of the way, the board and Kobza can concentrate on matters at hand.

As an interim superintendent, Kobza has sought to keep the district running smoothly, with EHS social studies teacher Don Grosdidier watching over the high school.

However, his work may evolve into a full-time position next month. On June 7, the Eudora Board of Education will interview Kobza before its monthly meeting.

Kobza is currently taking classes at Kansas State University, which will allow him to earn his state superintendent certification in August. Kobza is on track to finish his doctorate from KSU in November 2002.

Board vice president Mark Chrislip said Kobza will be treated like any other candidate for the position during the interview.

"We're going to interview him very similar to how we interviewed for the last superintendent," Chrislip said. "We just want to put him through that process so we can have a better understanding of him, his qualifications and his standards."

As acting superintendent, Kobza said the budget is his top priority. He plans to have a preliminary budget for the board at its June 7 meeting.

Currently, Kobza is working on "creating a budget that won't have to cut back on programs but enhancing what we already have," he said.

Additionally, Kobza will continue work on a possible bond issue for a $16 million, 500-student high school. If the board votes to move forward with the proposal, it will go before the voters in November.

As part of that process, Kobza said he wants to bring representatives from The Research Center, Wichita, to interpret the survey results to the board. The center conducted a phone survey of community support and sent the results to the board. Kobza said he wants clarification of the results for himself and the board.

"I know with some of the information that came out recently, it was confusing," Kobza said.

Kobza said he hopes the board accepts him as the new superintendent. He believes he can take his experience at the high school and use it for a greater good at the district level.

"I love that job; I do," said Kobza on being principal. "Everyday presents a new challenge. There are always teachable moments as they present themselves."

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