April 27, 1996 in Washington Voices

Wv Board Oks Downsizing As Funding Loss Forces Change

Marny Lombard Staff Writer

The West Valley School Board this week approved three resignations, two retirements and the decision not to rehire several teachers who were on one-year contracts.

The move accomplishes the downsizing that Superintendent Dave Smith announced a month ago.

Smith was clearly relieved that attrition took care of so much of the belt-tightening.

“It looks formidable as a list. But all these moves would have been announced normally over the next few months,” he said.

A loss of $600,000 in state funds and further budget cuts in the next few years made the downsizing necessary, Smith said.

At the board meeting, West Valley Education Association President Trey Yale praised the way Smith handled the changes.

“It’s obviously a difficult position for Dave and Doug (Matson, West Valley business manager) to be in. I appreciate the fact that they came around to all the schools and gave concise information to all the teachers,” Yale said.

Several of the positions would have been lost even without the budget cuts, because some class sizes at Centennial Middle School, particularly in the sixth grade, have been small.

Some programs, such as the SWAT intervention and tutoring program at Centennial, will be picked up by other teachers. At least one part-time employee will lose some hours but gain others.

One full-time teacher who won’t be rehired, Elizabeth Rose, was a one-year replacement at West Valley High School for a teacher on a one-year leave.

One teacher who is resigning, Steve McCarron, had injured himself and been on leave. He has decided to go back to school, Smith said.

High school counselor Helen Liberg will retire after 33 years. Activities coordinator Cathy Wolfrum will retire as well, after 30 years at the school.

In the past month, Smith spoke to parent-teacher groups at each school.

“The issue I’m getting hit with more than anything else is people thinking 12 teachers are gone, so why do I need 12 more classrooms,” Smith said. “But that list has hardly any classroom teachers on it.”

, DataTimes

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