Central Montcalm lays off principal and two teachers

By Lori Hansen • Last Updated 12:41 pm on Tuesday, May 22, 2012

In other matters …

The school board also:
• Approved the expulsion of a Central Montcalm student from the Montcalm Area Intermediate School District’s Emotionally Impaired program. The student was involved with criminal activities.
• After going into executive session and meeting with the minor’s parents, a second student was expelled for the remainder of the school year. The board stipulated the student must come before the board to ask for readmission in the fall.

STANTON — Following a cut of $1.5 million from its budget last month, which included losing five teaching positions, the Central Montcalm Public School Board of Education voted Monday to cut one administrator and two more teachers for an additional $238,000 in savings.

The board approved layoffs for Central Montcalm Upper Elementary second grade teacher Robin Garlock and Title I teacher Kristen Kohn.

“Looking at our projected kindergarten enrollment for next year, we will not need to have seven sections of kindergarten,” Superintendent Jake Helms said. “It is a very hard decision, but looking at those projections, we need to cut back to four.”

Staff who were lowest in seniority “took the bullet” while other teachers will be shifted around to fill the gaps, he said.

“The motion is carried, as much as it hurts,” board President Doug Bowen said.

The board also approved laying off Central Montcalm Elementary Principal Dave McLoughlin.

The administrative cut came from a shift at the top. Helms, who  is retiring at the end of June, also served as athletic director, a position previously held by McLoughlin. McLoughlin served as athletic director and assistant high school principal until that position was eliminated. Following a retirement, McLoughlin was named the elementary principal.

Kristi Teall, who will replace Helms, will retain her dual role as curriculum director and state and federal program director.

John Kearney, who is currently the community education director for adult education and alternative education, will continue in that role though the program itself will see changes through a proposed “school within a school” concept for the alternative education students. Kearney will assume the role of elementary principal and events coordinator, a newer role which takes on some of the athletic director responsibilities.

Tom Torok will retain his spot as middle school principal while he picks up the other half of the athletic director tasks.

“Basically, the AD does the scheduling with the other league schools for the games,” Helsm said. “The events coordinator makes sure there are referees, game workers, score keepers, whatever is needed.”

Amy Meinhardt, whose current role is curriculum coordinator, will become the special education director and tech and curriculum coordinator. High School Principal Tony Petersen will coordinate the alternative education program.

Correspondent Lori Hansen is a Greenville-area resident.

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