The Yukon School Board, on Monday, voted to extend the contract of the district’s superintendent through 2022.
Dr. Jason Simeroth also received a 2 percent pay increase as part of the annual contract renewal process, as well as a longevity bonus.
The action came during the board’s monthly meeting.
Simeroth’s contract and annual performance evaluation were discussed in an executive session that was part of a special meeting held earlier in the day.
Board President Rex Van Meter said the board appreciated Simeroth’s leadership.
“We’re very pleased with the performance of not only Dr. Simeroth, but the team he has across the district. We feel like we’ve made really good improvements in key areas of educating our children here in the district. We are very pleased with his leadership,” Van Meter said.
The board not only voted to renew the superintendent’s contract, it extended it for an additional year to 2022.
Changes also were made to Simeroth’s vacation time, as well as his salary. He was given a 2 percent pay hike, which brings his salary to just over $172,000.
In addition, Simeroth was given a $5,000 longevity bonus. He is in his fifth year with the district, and Van Meter said the board wanted to show its gratitude to Simeroth.
“With the consistency that he has been able to provide, you get the results that we are starting to see year after year. We felt that was the important thing to help recognize that five years of leadership and the success we’ve had over the last five years,” he said.
Simeroth joined the school district in 2014 after having served in a similar capacity in Durant.
Over the past three years, the school district has routinely been named one of the top employers in the state, and for the past two years has had finalists for state teacher of the year. This year, the district’s teacher of the year, Becky Oglesby, also was named the state’s teacher of the year.
In addition, Van Meter pointed to Simeroth’s efforts during last year’s teacher walkout as well as his work maintaining the district’s budget.
“We’ve had a lot of good things happen in the district under his leadership,” Van Meter said.
Simeroth said he is happy to be in Yukon.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be here. There’s no place else I’d rather be,” Simeroth said after Monday’s meeting.
Simeroth said he is excited about what the future holds for the district.
“It’s every day, how we can do better for the kids. How we can serve them better not only academically, but emotionally,” he said.
That means over the next few years, the district is expecting to see more online courses available, as well as an increased focus on special education.
Science, technology, engineering and math programs are expected to be expanded at the elementary and intermediate level, and he said the district is eyeing more career education programs for those students who may not be college bound.
“There is a lot of growth potential,” he said.
In addition, Simeroth said the future includes getting the district’s newest building up and running.
Red Stone Elementary is planned for north Yukon.
Simeroth said construction on the school, which will house fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students, is expected to begin this spring.
It should be completed just before the start of the 2020-21 school year.
Yukon switches from Nike to Adidas
By Kyle Salomon
Changes are made every year in high school sports, but one change that Yukon sports fans will see in the 2019-2020 school year is the brand of gear the Millers wear.
The Yukon School Board approved the sports teams branding change from Nike to Adidas Monday night.
Yukon Public Schools Director of Athletics Mike Clark said it was time for a change.
“When I first was hired here, the school was under contract with Nike,” he said. “I sat back and observed and visited with my coaches on what they liked and didn’t like about the Nike gear we were getting. Most of my coaches were not in favor of Nike because they were not getting their gear on time.”
Clark attended his first home football game as the Millers athletic director and noticed that the football coaching staff was not in matching outfits because Nike was late getting gear to the team. It was at that time, he decided to make a switch.
“It had nothing to do with the quality of the product or the representative that Nike was using for us,” Clark said. “Most of my coaches really liked him, but we just weren’t getting the stuff in on time. I decided that I wanted the next potential company we signed a contract with to send representatives out to meet with my coaches. It’s important to me that my coaches are happy with what we are doing with gear.”
The Yukon coaches and Clark heard pitches and presentations from Adidas and Under Armor.
“The coaches had decided pretty early on that they wanted to go with Adidas,” Clark said. “The package that Adidas was offering us was just too good to turn down. After talking with my coaches, it was obvious that Adidas was willing to work with us and fulfill what we are looking for with our gear. We are excited about it.”
Yukon will deal directly with Midwest Sporting Goods out of Tulsa and Adidas for their sporting goods and gear.
The Miller athletics program will host a presentation by Adidas in February to show some of what the company will provide for Yukon. The date has not been set.
Yukon will finish their contract with Nike, which expires at the end of this school year and begin to order Adidas gear in the late spring and early summer for the fall sports.
Clark said the main objective is for Yukon sports teams to get serviced better than they did with Nike.
“It’s not about the quality of the product,” he said. “I think all of the coaches were happy with the level of product Nike was providing, but they didn’t feel like they were getting the service they wanted. We are hoping that changes with Adidas. What Adidas is offering gives us some financial flexibility as well and that is always a good thing. I wanted to make sure my coaches had an input in this decision and I believe they are happy with the decision we made.”
One of the options the new contract with Adidas will allow Yukon to do is to have an online store for Yukon sports fans to purchase Yukon sports gear. More information on the online store will come at a later date.