Wamego Teacher Recognized

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Wamego’s USD 320 Board of Education honored a teacher at Monday’s meeting. The Board recognized Cathy Wilbur, the 2012 Elementary Winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. Wilbur is a Math and Science teacher at West Elementary, and is celebrating her 14th year at West.

According to West Elementary Principal Amy Flinn, Wilbur is a tremendous teacher and an asset to both the school and the community. She said this award is the highest honor a teacher can receive, and noted the past four winners have come from West Elementary.

Flinn said the award is given every other year, and the teacher has to be nominated. Wilbur will receive 10-thousand dollars, and will be going to Washington, DC, along with the other 1-hundred and 2 winners from across the nation for the presentation by the President. The date of that trip has not been announced yet.

Wamego’s USD 320 Board reviewed the impact of Affordable Health Care. At Monday’s meeting, Human Resources Director for the District, Katie Wolfgang said the rules of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are different for school districts, and went over the definitions. She said coverage must be offered to all Full Time Employee’s or FTE’s working an average of 30 hours per week. This brought up the question of coaches, bus drivers and substitute teachers.

Wolfgang went over the penalties for failure to offer coverage to FTE’s. The Sledgehammer Penalty is triggered if at least one FTE applies and receives subsidized coverage in the marketplace. The penalty is assessed on the entire group and could be as much as 6-hundred 40-thousand dollars ($640,000) for one year. The Tack Hammer Penalty applies to only those FTE’s who actually apply and receive a subsidy because USD 320’s coverage is either unaffordable or doesn t meet minimum value. The penalty is based on each employee and NOT the group, but could still cost about 3-thousand (3,000) a year.

Wolfgang said the bottom line is if USD 320 would decide to offer coverage for all employees working an average of 30 hours or more a week, and continue paying a full single premium for all employees, it would not trigger the Sledgehammer or Tack Hammer Penalties. She said the Board will have to make a decision of how to handle those employees that do not meet the 30 hour per week average and the seasonal employees.