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A closer look at USD 489 Interim Superintendent’s Contract

The contract for new USD 489 Superintendent Dean Katt begins September 1, and runs for 13 months. He spent a portion of his youth in Ellis and is a graduate of Fort Hays State University. After teaching in Deerfield and serving as principal in Holccomb, has has worked as a superintendent in Scott City and Ottawa.

Interim Superintendent Dean Katt

Interim Superintendent Dean Katt

Superintendent Employee Agreement, page 1  Click here for a closer look

Superintendent Employee Agreement, page 1
Click here for a closer look

Superintendent Employee Agreement page 2 Click here for a closer look

Superintendent Employee Agreement page 2
Click here for a closer look

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  • bonzo

    Could Hays Post find out if this guy resigned/retired from Ottawa School Board or was he dismissed. Too many rumors going around this town about his dismissal at Ottawa. What are the facts?

  • wow

    More than $11,000 a month….wow I hope he is good!!

    • johnsonville

      not a bad pay to sit back and allow a school board (mostly one board member) to micro-manage you and your employees. i could be a “yes” man for $11,000 a month

  • Larry

    The people on here are amazing! You complain about everything and everybody! The comments about one board member running the show are ridiculous and are very tiring at this point. Please come up with some new material. What is the district supposed to pay an interim superintendent? Do you think Roth was overpaid, especially when you take into consideration that he was absent quite a bit, did not make many appearances and allowed our district to fall further into the abyss? The BOE did not have hundreds of candidates to pick from for the position of interim superintendent but I’m sure a few of you would still have nothing but negatives even if God was who they hired. Do all of you naysayers truly believe that nothing should change and that all is well and dandy in USD 489? What is so wrong with the board taking a hands on approach for a while? In their minds it appears as though leadership and financial responsibilities have faltered and they just want to get things back moving in the right direction…What is so bad about that? Do any of you have suggestions or ideas for improvement? All I ever read is sarcasm, negatives and insults…are you patrons of this district or just part of the problems?

    • johnson

      when you say , “what is so wrong with the board taking a hands on approach for awhile?” ok so why doesn’t the “entire” board take a hands on approach? why is it one guy runs the whole show. we elect 7 board members, don’t we? how come the other 6 just sit there and say yes to everything the board president says. i know where you’re coming from on your argument but come on. if you’re gonna have the board start calling the shots why not hear from “all” 7 board members–not just one!

      • Larry

        Do you watch or go to the board meetings or just read the minutes? I agree that Greg Schwartz is long winded but the other board members are in participation. At least twice now I have heard the same member disagree with him and kept his proposal from going through. Darren Schumacher needs to speak up, Marty Patterson is becoming much more vocal and speaks clearly to the point. James Leiker appears to be kind of shy but is chiming in more now than anytime in the past 2 years. Josh Waddell and Lance Bickle have spoken up at several of the past meetings, with Waddell being the one to give honesty and ask harder questions. I don’t believe one person is driving the board but maybe I can understand that perception based on total length of time speaking. For once, I do believe that many of the BOE members are on the same page and to me that is refreshing. Maybe they are gonna make some big mistakes but so far I agree with what they are doing. Just wish the public was informed more quickly and clearly.

        • johnson

          well lar. you said it. one board member needs to speak up more and another one is shy. and you are right. greg is long winded. maybe that’s the reason i believe he’s running the show. nobody else has an opportunity to speak

    • bucko

      take a look at the minutes. one board member does run the whole show Lar!

  • Catherine Heinz

    Retirement provides a person with plenty of time to reflect upon their life, decisions they made and how their opinions have changed over the years. I am very disappointed with what I read on this site and I think Hays Post should be ashamed of themselves. A community is supposed to work together and support one another until something occurs that changes that perspective. I taught middle school and high school for 40 years. I was subjected to numerous changes and while they are difficult initially, the times do get better. I listened to the teacher negotiations and I am appalled at how many people think that the teachers were getting a raw deal. To take all the money left over at the end of a school year and just give it away to teachers is a terrible mistake. Give them what you can while still making sure to reinvest into your district, and most importantly, your students. Hays gives equal raises to each teacher across the board. Are you serious? Do you really think all teachers are performing at the same rate? Evaluate the teachers, give the best raises to the best teachers, get the others to improve or get them removed. The views of the union have changed greatly and have migrated away from wanting what’s best for the district to just wanting what’s best for them.
    Now, everyone says we need a new super and we complain about that. What’s next??? Become a community, not a bunch of pot stirrers! How does this website truly benefit the community? Make people use their real names and we’ll see how many have the stomach to post such outlandish statements.

    • Parent

      Seriously? Maybe you should ask how the teachers felt about having their pay chart frozen for several years. Maybe you should also ask them how they feel about every little sports item being approved without a second thought. Maybe you should then ask how they feel about someone out of the blue being paid $60,000 just to offer his suggestions on how our schools should be ran? Lastly, ask the teachers to keep their meager salaries in check while we pay a new superintendent $11,000 plus extras each month. When a teacher graduates college with a 4 year degree (some with masters), you expect to be paid better than they currently are. That’s why people go to college, to earn professional salaries. It’s time to take care of the heart of our school system which is the TEACHERS.

      • Bring It

        You don’t sound like a “Parent” you sound like a disgruntled teacher! I’m sorry, but since when do teachers go into teaching to make the big bucks. They work 7-1/2 months of the year and have fantastic benefits plus a great working environment. All school districts freeze raises from time to time and that is just the nature of the animal. The sports items you refer to are insanely misguided. The school district here has some of the lowest, if not absolute lowest budgets in the state for 4A-6A. The baseball field got turf, whoo whoo, and FAST building was built at almost no cost to the district. IF you are so worried about teachers salaries then why don’t you go to the community and fundraise for them like all the sports programs do? Let me know how that works out for you. That consultant you are complaining about is there to help teachers by helping the district free up money so they can benefit from the savings. How much do you think a first year teacher should make? You are talking about tax dollars and not a business that can generate their own revenue. Should we milk the district dry just to pay teachers. The heart and soul of the school system is the students, not the teachers for without the children we would have nothing. Also, for the record, our district is one of the best paying districts in the state! There is a waiting list of people wanting a job here as a teacher, hmmm, if it is such bad pay I wonder why so many people are desperate to get a job for our district. Good try but I’m not falling for any of it. Lastly, all superintendents make a lot more than the average teacher so why are you surprised at the contract for the new interim super?
        P.S. – What advantage do the students get from a teacher who has a masters degree outside of their teaching field? All research states that there is no benefit in such a scenario so why should we pay any teacher more money for a masters degree outside of their teaching field? I know on-line courses are expensive but come on! Students First!!

        • jumpin jack

          the FAST program got built at almost no cost to the district?? really. that money belonged to the taxpayers no matter which account it came out of. the FAST promoters, in the beginning, promised the board no tax money would be needed. they lied. i think you hit your head a little too hard when you fell off that tea party wagon.

          • Bring It

            Do you think the FAST building at a 20K expense to the district was a bad investment by our school district? Do you think that receiving an asset of over 600K for 20K out of pocket is a bad move? OOOHHH, those lying FAST people, yeah they tried and came up a little short and asked the district for help and the district saw the good and overall benefit, so what’s the problem? I am a tax payer and I’m just fine with how it all worked out. Thank you to all who contributed on that project, it was awesome and I for one applaud the effort. What else you got for me jumpin jack?

          • jumpin jack

            maybe an extra helping of prozac?

          • Are you high?

            $20K? What have you been smoking? The board approved subsidizing $135,920 to finish the F.A.S.T. project. I will “bring it” when you woefully understate the amount the board gave the shaft to the taxpayers after promising no public funds would be used. Wake the F* up!

          • none to soon

            AMEN to that!

          • Bring It

            That’s where people like you are so uninformed and believe anything that falls from the sky. The state replenished all but 20K of that expense as part of a special funding program. So, if the state refunded our district 115K of the 135K, the difference is………..umm, oh yeah, 20K. So, you’re point now would be……
            It isn’t even worth arguing about because if after all this time you still don’t understand, well, it’s kinda pointless!

          • Urka durka

            Please enlighten the rest of us simpletons about the “special funding program” which only you seems to know about.

        • Parent

          First off, I’m really am a parent, not a teacher. I do have a degree, but it’s not in teaching. Second….I could care less if our sports budget is less or more than other districts or if this FAST deal was built with 80% donations. The fact is schools are there to TEACH our kids. It’s so frustrating to see our youth not know how to do anything but throw a football. They need a good education by educated teachers. And where do you come up with me saying teachers had a masters degree outside of their field? What I’m saying is it is required for teachers to take continuing education classes, pay for this with their OWN money, have to every so many years renew their license or lose their job, etc. And some take a lot of extra classes to eventually earn a masters degree….no easy task there. Why should they not earn more for that? You act like just because 489 is funded by ‘tax’ dollars, we shouldn’t pay teachers. Wow. How many people in the U.S. hold government jobs that are paid for by tax dollars…..a huge amount! If you want to trim the budget, you can start with congress ;) What I’m saying is we need to quit blowing wasted money on a luxury sports bus, new sod, high dollar weight room, etc. And although a superintendent deserves good pay, I think it’s crazy to just hire someone, as a temp, and start pay at $11,000 a month plus extra benefits. And on top of that, hire a ‘consultant’ for $60,000 that we didn’t have before. Students need a quality education and that starts with quality teachers that need to be paid for their work.

          • Bring It

            I’m sorry but contrary to your stance I feel the teachers are paid pretty well in our district. We rank around 16th out of all the districts in the state. That’s pretty good considering there’s almost 300 districts. So what’s the problem? I also feel that all extracurricular activities, including sports, are essential to the total package that comes with a public education. You say you don’t care about sports and their budgets yet you claim we overspend on them. Do you also think we overspend on art, music, debate, forensics, etc…because I think they are just as important as sports. Our district has student athletes who go to school, practice, have a job and still maintain good grade point averages. The lessons they learn from being part of a team and managing their time are crucial for the next level, college. I understand the need for good teachers, not just teachers but good teachers and I do not want to go backwards. However, we can not overspend on them and sacrifice opportunities for our students. Why can’t we work hard to have the best of both worlds?

          • Parent

            You said we rank 16th out of 300 districts on teachers pay. Ok…then post where that fact comes from. I’d like to read it for myself from a reliable source. You also said ‘why can’t we have the best of both worlds?’. Ummm…..that’s because a lot of the sports funding was approved long ago and at a great expense. Technically, the teachers pay contract STILL hasn’t been approved and school’s been in session for a week ;) To have the best of both world’s……..both sides need to play fair.

          • Bring It

            I was at the last teacher negotiations and the boe provided the same info I am speaking of. I was curious so I went to the KASB website and found all the stats myself. It is the truth, go look it up yourself or call the central office and ask, it is all public info. You are wrong about the sports stuff again, sports budgets were cut long ago and have never been increased, so they are not a drain on our district.
            Play fair you say, it is not my fault that the teacher’s feel they are entitled to every dollar left over even though you can only use specific money from specific funds for certain things. It can’t all just go to the teachers. By the way, since you want to play fair, while at the negotiations, Roth, Cain and Schwartz all stated the stats that over the last 10 years, we are in the top 6% of monies spent on teachers and the bottom 10% on students. Go to the KASB website and that info is available as well. So when it comes to playing fair, shouldn’t the students get their share or are the teachers the only people who count?

    • johnny rebel

      catherine, i love it when you put on your rose colored glasses and tell the rest of us to sit down and shut up and be a community. I myself love debate and controversy. i like stirring the pot.

  • GB1978

    Leave it to the Hays Post (aka TMZ) to report on something that I don’t really care about…and this is news? Question — do the other Eagle City Post sites report on things like this?

    • Pay Attention

      Seriously, have you not been following the recent problems this district has had regarding money and staff? Yes, this is worth knowing, just like the other posts about the school district you were so quick to dismiss as frivolous.

  • Uncle Thomas

    The salary is not excessive for running a school district the size of USD 489. Corporate salaries with equivalent responsibility are much greater. The question should be why did Mr. Katt resign v. retire…hmmm.
    The next question should be why are we continuing to pay a consultant if we have now hired a competent super? This consultant offers nothing more then the average Joe with advanced Google skills. I have not seen anything to date warranting more then $25/hour for his services.
    As for the former teachers comments…she is a retired teacher who has lived in a very sheltered world…teaching. The USD 489 teachers should be thankful they are employed as the majority provide C+ work.