Board members discussed the salary plan in depth at a work session prior to their regular meeting.
"Initially, the state did not want to approve the plan we submitted because it rewarded teachers with advanced degrees," said Personnel Director Yolanda Williams. "All districts use a similar model to reward educators, as long as they are not ineffective."
The teachers' compensation plan is a step-building pay scale which allows for additional stipends to be paid to educators with advanced degrees but who also show exemplary teaching methods inside the classroom.
"Masters and PhDs do not always equate to classroom effectiveness," said Board Member Hubie Owen.
Williams also said the board is considering stipends for teachers who double as club sponsors or moderators. "These teachers spend many hours outside the classroom with students traveling to conventions, competitions or tournaments," Williams explained. "Any time spent with students over and above their regular day is being considered for additional pay."
In other school board news:
The Zachary High School Boys and Girls Soccer teams were recognized for each winning the district championship.
Each player, as well as their coaches, received certificates of honor from the board.
In addition, five seniors who have earned National Merit status were also honored.
These students earned high marks on their SAT tests and were finalists in various divisions of the national scholarship program. Honored were: Allison Burton, Brandon Deshotels, Myleka Jefferson, Destiny Johnson and Ikenna Nzewi.
The board and attendees of the meeting were also treated to a live poetry performance from Alexis Granville, a ZHS student who recently won the 2013 Louisiana State Poetry Out Loud Competition held for grades K thru 12.
Poetry Out Loud seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by building on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement and the popularity of rap music among youth.
Granville will have an opportunity to earn a scholarship award when she represents Louisiana and Zachary High in the Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington, DC, April 28-30.