Yukon teachers are in line to have the highest starting salaries in Canadian County.
The Yukon School Board voted Monday to increase the starting pay for Yukon teachers by $2,000 per year.
That would bring the salary for a first-year teacher at Yukon with no experience to just over $40,500 per year. They currently make $38,500 per year.
Each step, said Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth, will be increased by $2,000.
Simeroth said the increase will put Yukon’s salary above the regional average. The raises will be in addition to any salary increase that the state Legislature approves as part of the budgeting process.
Simeroth said it has been his goal over the past five years to continually increase Yukon’s salary schedule so that the district can continue to draw the best teachers available.
Yukon’s salary increase comes about a month after rival Mustang increased its salary schedule.
Mustang increased its beginning salary from $37,512 to $40,000 during its April school board meeting.
Gov. Kevin Stitt has proposed a $1,200 pay increase for teachers as part of the state’s budget. The House has followed suit by approving the measure unanimously.
It is pending in the state Senate.
That raise would follow a $6,200 average pay increase that was signed into law last year by then-Gov. Mary Fallin.
“This is a well-deserved salary increase,” Simeroth said. “Our teachers and staff work diligently to ensure our students’ success and we want to take this opportunity to reward them for their hard work and commitment to our district.”
The raises will go into effect with their first checks of the new school year.
Yukon Public Schools has also added more than 20 new certified positions to better support teachers with classroom size, counseling, speech language, core and elective classes, Simeroth said.
Also during Monday’s meeting, Simeroth introduced the new Yukon Middle School principal.
Kenny Ward, who had served in the administration at Bridge Creek Schools, has been selected to fill the vacancy created when Diana Lebseck announced that she had accepted a position with the Mustang School District last month.
Ward previously served as a principal at Bridge Creek Middle School, and also served as the human resources director for the Bridge Creek district.
The school board also voted to accept the superintendent’s recommendation of certified staff to be rehired for the 2019-20 school year.