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Schools hire new teachers, staff

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After a slate of retirements that took place this past year, the Yellow Springs schools began the rebuilding process this month by hiring six new teachers and staff. School board members approved the new employees at the board meeting on Thursday, June 9, acknowledging that three more positions still need to be filled before the end of the summer.

Several new teachers and administrators were hired to serve all three schools within the district. In administrative roles, Barb Greiwe will serve as the new special education supervisor, a half-time position compensated at $39,000. Greiwe lives in the Cincinnati area and has over 20 years experience as a special education teacher as well as a supervisor and building principal, Mills Lawn Principal Matt Housh said this week. Most recently, Greiwe taught for Lockland City Schools at Arlington Heights Academy. According to Lockland board minutes, in March Greiwe’s contract was nonrenewed, and in April, three months before her contract expired, she was placed on administrative leave. According to Housh, the team of local administrators who hired Greiwe were comfortable with her past experience and concluded that her split from Lockland was mutual. Greiwe replaces current special education supervisor Terry Graves-Streiter, who served in a seven-tenths position in the district for six years.

Also serving the entire district is Dan West, the new physical education teacher, who will spend most of the day at Mills Lawn and then travel to the high school for one period each day. West, who lives in Centerville, has taught P.E. for about five years, most recently in Huber Heights schools at Valley Forge Elementary, where Housh served as principal before coming to Mills Lawn. West replaces two full-time P.E. teachers, Kevin O’Brien and Jutta Galbraith, who retired this year from the high school and Mills Lawn.

Current McKinney School math teacher Jack Hatert has been hired as the new part-time assistant principal for YSHS and McKinney. He resigned half of his teaching position to take on the half-time administrative position and will be compensated at a higher rate of $55,000, according to the board agenda. He replaces Julie Speelman, who served as the school’s assistant principal and athletic director.

Also at McKinney/YSHS is head secretary Julie Lorenzo, who came from Xenia High School with many years of experience and strong recommendations, Yellow Springs Superintendent Mario Basora said during the board meeting. Lorenzo replaces Linda Clevenger, who retired this year after six years with the district.

Carol Culbertson accepted a half-time gifted teacher position at Mills Lawn, a post which was reduced from a full-time position last year. Culbertson retired in 2010 as the gifted teacher at Valley Forge and has 30 years of both special education and gifted teaching experience at the elementary level. She replaces Wendy Shelton, who was a full-time gifted teacher last year, and will now teach a multi-age classroom of fourth and fifth grade students.

Local resident Paul Comstock accepted the position of McKinney/YSHS study hall/behavior intervention aide at two-thirds time. Comstock has many years teaching experience and has coached youth sports at McKinney and in the local community for over 10 years.

The district continues to interview candidates for the remaining three half-time positions to teach high school physics, middle school math and serve as the high school and middle school athletic director. Even after all of the vacant positions are filled, the district will still spend $430,000 less next school year than the current year, largely due to reductions in personnel and contracted service costs, Basora said during the meeting.

In other school board business:

• The board approved a bid of $70,000 from Maplenet Wireless to upgrade the district’s computer network to allow public wireless Internet access for all classrooms and facilities in the district. The district’s technical advisor from Miami Valley Education Services Center reviewed and recommended Maplenet’s bid and estimated that the new system should last another seven to 10 years.

• The board renewed for one year an ongoing contract for food service provider SODEXO for the next school year. The district plans to meet with SODEXO to discuss how to decrease lunchroom costs, which are currently the second highest in Greene County, according to Treasurer Dawn Weller.

• In another move to reduce costs, the board agreed to reduce the contract with Greene County Educational Services Center to $220,000, and contract with Invo Healthcare on an hourly basis for speech, physical and occupational therapies at $55 per hour, and school psychological services at $60 per hour. The exact savings from the change is not yet clear.

• The board and current and former principals Housh, Krier and John Gudgel honored and presented plaques of appreciation to the six teachers who are retiring this year after many decades of service to the district. YSHS history, government and English teacher Joyce McCurdy spoke at length about her 44 years of service and advised administrators to listen to the staff and avoid micromanagement, also stating that she felt she was treated unfairly.

The board also honored physics teacher Phil Lemkau, high school secretary Linda Clevenger, Mills Lawn kindergarten teacher Becky Brunsman, P.E. teacher Jutta Galbraith and Title I coordinator Shanna Winks.

• The board adopted a revised YSHS student handbook, including changes to the code of conduct, which were established by a staff team based on discussions on school climate, student behavior and classroom expectations, according to Krier.

• Board member Benji Maruyama will take a leave of absence from the board for several months due to plans to travel abroad for work.

• The board agreed to cancel the second June meeting.


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