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Libby Schools to fill up to 4 teaching vacancies

by Brad FuquaWestern News
| June 18, 2009 12:00 AM

With the Fourth of July around the corner and summer school on the horizon, the Libby School District knows time is running short to fill teacher vacancies.

School superintendent Kirby Maki told Libby School Board members on Tuesday night that the district may need to hire up to four elementary school teachers. Although Maki believes there is a good availability of teachers out there to fill those jobs, time is running short.

“This year is no different; it’s not out of the ordinary,” Maki said about needing up to four teachers. “The problem is this time of the year.”

Union contracts require the jobs to be advertised in-house only for 10 days. This week, the district began to advertise the jobs to the general public. Then comes the collection of resumes, calling applicants to make appointments, doing interviews while trying to get school officials together at the same time and completing screenings.

“The whole view is that it’s a good market for the school right now because schools have laid off some good people,” Maki said. “There are good teachers out there with better credentials than what we’ve seen in the past.”

The district is generalizing the openings as K-5 positions because of up-and-down movement that could occur among the current teaching staff.

The vacancies were created from teachers relocating while following spouses to new jobs elsewhere and through retirement. At the same meeting on Tuesday, the board approved the retirement of third-grade teacher Sandra Hauck and fifth-grade teacher Dann Rohrer.

Hauck worked for Libby Public Schools for 35 years as a teacher at various grade levels. Rohrer educated children in Libby for 31 years – 27 with the school district – and hopes to continue as head golf coach.

Among other news from Tuesday’s meeting:

• The board expressed the desire to move its regular monthly meetings to the third Monday each month. Board members indicated the move was related to a conflict with other school activities that often occur on Tuesdays. The move would require a policy change.

• Besides Hauck and Rohrer retirements, the board also approved the resignations of paraprofessional Donna Duthrie and food service employee Tyrena Sagen.

• The board approved several high school coaching contracts for the coming school year, including new assistants Bill Moe in wrestling and Nic Rewerts in boys basketball.

• The board approved the implementation of the Imagine IT program for fifth and sixth grades.

• The board approved state-mandated changes to district policies involving student record notification, family medical leave, elections, regular meetings, conflict of interest, enrollment and attendance records, and payment of wages upon termination.

• The school board approved 17 school bus routes. The Crystal Lake route is the longest at 161 miles. The board also approved an individual transportation contract.

• The school board approved continued membership in the Montana School Boards Association.

• Maki announced final enrollment figures for the district as 1,269 students, which included preschool. Broken down, the numbers include 467 in the high school, 426 in middle school (grades 4-8), 366 at Asa Wood (K-3) and 10 at Plummer (preschool). Figures show that classes begin to fall under 100 students with this past year’s eighth grade. The seventh grade had the smallest class at 71 students.