Archived Story

Brandywine calls back 8 teachers

Published 11:17pm Monday, May 24, 2010

By JESSICA SIEFF
Niles Daily Star

Brandywine Community Schools Superintendent John Jarpe informed the district’s Board of Education Monday night just which teachers would be returning to work next year after a recall of more than half a dozen was made official.

“At this point eight teachers have gotten recall letters from me,” Jarpe said Monday prior to the meeting.

Another handful of teachers could also see a return to the classroom next year as Jarpe said he is anticipating up to four or five more educators recalled possibly as soon as the end of the week.

Those already recalled to work include Katie Winkler, Heather Knapp, Mary Anne Alstott and Linda Timm – all elementary school teachers – and Amanda Hudak, Justin Rose, John Schulte and Sarah Bopp – all secondary school teachers.

“Some of these people were originally laid off or pink-slipped because their hours were reduced to part-time,” Jarpe said. At the time of the layoffs, those teachers were told they’d either be back with reduced hours or not back at all.

“Now we are assuring them that to the best of our knowledge right now that they are back on a full-time basis,” Jarpe said.

Letters of resignation are coming in, he added, with five letters having been turned in over the last week.

Some factors that could be playing a part in seeing more teachers back behind their desks include incentives negotiated at both district and state levels.

“It’s a combination of the incentive that we negotiated and a lot of it has to do with the legislation passed by the state of Michigan,” Jarpe said. “(It’s) kind of a combination of those two factors.”

Whereas layoffs must be approved by board members, the announcement of those coming back is purely informational. Jarpe said he is able to bring teachers back without board approval.

Even amidst recalls, however, Jarpe said the district is being reserved.

“Well, we’re still being very careful and very cautious in terms of our budgeting,” he said. Even with resignations, he said those positions are not being filled through a hiring process, rather with educators who had been laid off.

Looking to the future, Jarpe said he believes the situation may look “somewhat better I think, but it’s a wait and see approach. We’re still having to cut money.

“We’re being very careful about how we budget and what we do,” Jarpe said.

The future awaits for Brandywine High School seniors who are anxiously looking forward to the end of the year.

And one might say that as promise also awaits those students, promise could await the district as well.

“I’m optimistic for the students,” Jarpe said. “They’re graduating in a really tough economy, but this is America. You’ve got to be optimistic – you can’t hang your head.
“We’ve done a good job getting them ready,” he added. “And we can always do better.”

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