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Vallecitos school board gives Wheeler 5% bonus

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Vallecitos School District business manager Cheri Wheeler was given a one-time bonus by the Vallecitos board.

The 5% bonus was approved on a 3-0 vote Oct. 10 with Terese Kristensen absent and one vacant seat. Wheeler’s annual salary is $79,418, and she will receive a $3,970.89 bonus.

“During the last school year, we gave 5% increases to the teachers and the classified non-management,” said Vallecitos School District Superintendent and Chief Business Officer Meliton Sanchez.

The three management positions – Wheeler, Sanchez, and Michelle Peace – were not given the 5% increases. Last year, Peace was the assistant principal while Sanchez was the nominal principal as well as the district’s superintendent and chief business officer, and the Aug. 1 Vallecitos School Board meeting changed Peace’s title to principal for 2023-24.

Maritza Koeppen was the Vallecitos School District superintendent and Vallecitos Elementary School principal from January 2018 until Aug. 5, 2022, the effective date of when she resigned her Vallecitos position to become the assistant superintendent of human resources for the National School District which educates elementary school students in National City and Lincoln Acres.

Linda Miller was the Vallecitos School District business manager before she retired on Aug. 31, 2022. Wheeler took some portions of Miller’s duties after Miller retired and was also given the business manager title while Sanchez took other aspects of the former business manager position.

Wheeler’s contract may be negotiated in the future, but the 5% bonus will not be part of her base salary. “It’s not ongoing,” Sanchez said.


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