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District 202 Board Votes to Rehire 7 Deans

However, the board also voted Monday not to fill the 23 vacancies created by teachers who are retiring or resigning at the end of the school year.

Seven deans whose positions were eliminated under the budget deficit reduction plan will be recalled, but teachers who retire or resign may not be replaced, the school board decided Monday.

In February, the board voted to to erase a projected $3.2 million deficit in the 2012-13 budget. The layoffs included seven deans (one at each high school and one at , and Aux Sable middle schools), which would have saved about $452,800, district officials said.

On Monday, the board voted 5-2 to bring back the deans. Board member Michael Kelly and board Secretary Eric Gallt voted against the motion.

Supt. John Harper also advised the board that the deans positions should remain eliminated as part of the deficit reduction plan.

Board members in support of restoring the jobs said the deans serve as mentors and coaches for students, and sometimes they're a student’s last opportunity to get on the right track before they graduate.

Board President Roger Bonuchi said he also wanted to ensure the district had minority deans to help represent the district’s diverse student population.

Gallt said if the positions remained cut, the district would still remain comparable to other districts with similar dean-to-student ratios. By bringing back the seven positions, he said, the district would be digging itself into a deeper financial hole next year.

The district will realize some savings by not replacing 23 teachers who are retiring or resigning.

The board voted to eliminate the 23 jobs through attrition. Most are teachers in the middle and high schools and the special education and English language learners programs. The positions will be added to the 17 elementary school jobs that were cut last month due to declining enrollment.

The district will include the positions in the budget as placeholders should actual student enrollment require that some of those teachers be rehired in the fall, said Darlene von Behren, assistant superintendent for administration and personnel.

However, the district will try hard not to replace those positions, which has the potential to save about $2.6 million.

In other staffing news, three elementary administrators will be changing positions for the upcoming school  year.

Current Principal Curtis Hudson will replace Charles Reed Elementary Principal Beth Wackerlin, who is resigning at the end of this school year.

Current Lincoln Elementary Principal Kelley Gallt will take Hudson’s place at Freedom, and Elementary Assistant Principal Casey Hartman will become principal at Lincoln.

Gallt helped open Lincoln as a teacher, while Hudson opened Freedom Elementary as its first principal.

Lisa S. April 25, 2012 at 03:01 PM
If we had more teachers and less administrators, perhaps the test scores would do just that, and we could save a few dollars in the process. I have great respect for the teachers. However, there are few working people in this country right now that are not doing more and getting paid less. It's the current reality. And for every teacher that works hard, does their job, and truly cares you can bet there are some only care about the paycheck. I have experienced it personally. Until more parents in this district get involved in the schools their kids attend and start getting involved in the politics it won;t change.
Ed P. April 25, 2012 at 03:49 PM
It is very simple everyone. REMEMBER who the 3 board members are that voted to do this and the 2 that voted against. Come election time, DO NOT vote for the 3. That is EXACTLY what I am doing and I know of at least 50 others (and I am sure the number will grow) that will be doing the same thing.
Betsey April 25, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Very simple the last time I looked we have seven board members, not five according to your statement above. I believe one of your two who has been on the board a number of years, has also been there for pay raises of administrators on top. So you evidently agree with that position, the majority of the community I believe to think we are indeed top heavy on the admin. level. You honestly feel that our middle schools DO NOT NEED ANY DEANS. I for one disagree from having a child attend middle school and now in high school. There is alot more issues in middle schools now then there used to be. All I hear from fellow parents of high school students is how we very rarely have problems on the high school level. MInd you, I used to be a parent that questioned the amount of deans we had on the high school level. But now I wonder (after talking to a fellow parent)if maybe we have enough, and that's why it is under control. Also, remember the Deans are considered a teacher. They are a member of the teachers union. So if you cut them, again we are loosing teachers. Also please read the first paragraph of this article.If the verbage is correct and I quote "teachers who retire or resign may not be replaced, the school board decided Monday." So if this is a correct statement they have either resigned or are retiring. So in essence their job was not cut, it just is not being filled. If this is true,there is a savings there. Unless someone was forced into retirement, or resigning.
Sheila Raddatz April 25, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Betsey, I agree with the middle school deans. I have had interaction in the middle school environment in our district. I would be hard pressed to find such dedicated people in any corporate environment that we have at our middle school level. The staff that I encountered is over worked and I fear that they will get burnt out if they don't receive the support that they need.
Heather Drake April 25, 2012 at 06:18 PM
I am sorry, but I have to disagree. I currently have a 7th grader at HGMS & we do not have a dean at our school & yet seem to run just fine. In fact, of the seven middle schools, four are currently running without deans. If you look at the high schools, two have four deans while the other two have five, why the inconsistency? In my opinion, if the BOE was going to reinstate 7 positions in this district they would have been better served reinstating the 7 instructional tech teachers at the middle school level than the 7 deans. Our students are at such a detriment when it comes to technology & losing teachers/instruction in the middle school only puts us further behind. According to our district salaries listed on the Family Taxpayers Foundation Website, it appears our district would have saved approximately $30,000 by reinstating the IT teachers rather than the Deans. I could be wrong, but spending less money and directly benefitting student learning - seems as though that would have been a smarter move!

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