Just in the nick of time, the Luther School Board hired new teachers Monday to start the new school year that begins Thursday.
Teachers reported Monday for meetings, policy updates and motivation. Parents will meet teachers Tuesday evening. The 2017-2018 school year is here.
Hired Monday night are new certified personnel: Angela Bandy, fifth and sixth grade science teacher; Mara Anderson Terra-Nova, seventh and eighth grade science teacher; Mary Means, high school special education teacher and Diana Emmert, high school sciences and math teacher. Among the non-certified personnel were Haskell Browning, full-time substitute teacher and Jennifer Evans and Julie Lavoie, cafeteria.
Superintendent Barry Gunn said Browning, a Luther alumnus, has just completed college with a history degree, and will work on certification requirements. He will be the full-time baseball coach and part-time football coach.
Gunn said the overall goal for the district is to hire past students to help address the problem of a “revolving door” with faculty resigning and moving on to positions with other districts.
Related, Gunn also gave the board a report about retirement benefits for teachers. New teachers don’t have as much retirement paid by the district as teachers who’ve been with the district longer and have 100% of their retirement funded. He said frankly it isn’t fair since all teachers do the same amount of work for the same time at school.
Board President Steve Broudy said reinstating benefits would help make the district more attractive to teachers, and ultimately would make the district more attractive to families.
With the district on a more settled financial platform for the start of the year, Gunn said that sustaining savings, some of them drastic, for a while longer while state funding is in question will help. “We’re going to get there. We don’t just save to not spend money, we are saving to be able to spend later on our students.”
In other meeting action, financial consultant David Harp said he has heard from the State Auditor on the citizen-requested audit begun more than 18-months ago. Although there have been many delays, the audit is due out “soon.”