School board approves teacher salary, recognizes teachers

By: Lauren Weber, The Placer Herald
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After a lengthy dispute over teacher salaries, the Rocklin Unified School District board of trustees unanimously approved the three-year contract with the Rocklin Professional Teachers Association at last week’s school board meeting. The approved agreement includes a 4 percent salary increase effective April 1, a .68 percent salary increase effective Jan. 1, 2009 and a $25 increase to the health benefits cap effective Oct. 31. Also approved was a local plan for Career Technical Education – implementing courses in industry sectors including communication, construction technology and culinary at the high school level. The program recently also adopted courses in art, media and entertainment including choreography and set design, engineering and design, both architectural and structural, finance and business, hospitality and tourism, transportation and more. “There are opportunities for any interest,” said Sherry Mauser, Whitney High School assistant principal. Mauser added that the CTE program will assist students with finding internships and entering the ROTC programs. Additionally, three Rocklin teachers were recognized for recent awards received. Husband and wife Sarah and Casey Nichols were each recognized for their journalism contributions to both Rocklin high schools. Sarah was a recipient of National Scholastic Press Association’s Pioneer Award for 2008 – one of only seven in the nation selected for 2008. Sarah teaches communication studies courses at Whitney High School. “She does a ton,” said Debra Hawkins, Whitney High School principal. Sarah heads up the yearbook and newspaper at Whitney and was recognized for things done beyond the classroom. “It’s really nice to be recognized in school and outside of school,” Sarah said. Casey, a photojournalism, yearbook and newspaper teacher at Rocklin High School, received the Journalism Education Association Medal of Merit award, which is a national award for significant contributions far beyond the classroom, said Michael Garrison, Rocklin High School principal. Garrison described Casey as “well respected in the world of journalism” and “big in the world of yearbook.” On the middle school level, Spring View Middle School music teacher Tom Douglass was named an outstanding music educator by Heritage Festivals, a partnership with music educators throughout the nation. “It is an honor, I feel, to work in a district that supports music as you do,” Douglass said. “It’s a fun job. Getting to experience music with the student is what it’s all about.”