Williston teachers announce departures (4/15/10)

April 15, 2010

By Greg Duggan

Observer staff

The Williston School District has at least eight openings to fill for the 2010-2011 school year.

At the School Board meeting on April 7, District Principal Walter Nardelli read a series of letters, each from an educator announcing his or her departure.

Enrichment teacher Richard Allen plans to retire after 42 years with the school district. First and second grade teacher Kathy Dodge of Calliope House also announced her retirement.

Susan Stewart, a third and fourth grade teacher, accepted a position as principal of Monkton Central School. She’ll be replaced by Becky Martell, a first and second grade teacher.

Part-time music teacher Andrea Haulenbeek and full-time special educator Louise Limoge indicated they would not return next school year.

Marcy Foster, a special educator, requested a leave of absence for personal reasons. Family and consumer science teacher Rachel McKnight will be on medical leave for the year, and Harbor House math and science teacher Dominique St. Arnaud requested a leave of absence to spend time with her growing family. She is due to give birth to a second child this summer.

The School Board approved and accepted all of the requests.

“That’s a lot,” School Board member Darlene Worth said, with several other comments in agreement.

Nardelli told the Observer the district typically loses five to eight members of the faculty each year. This year, he said the district is determining if it’s possible to cut back on hiring replacements for any of the full-time faculty while maintaining the existing quality of education.

The district has already advertised to fill Martell’s first and second grade teacher position. Nardelli said the school district received 265 applications for the opening. No one has been hired yet.

For the one-year leave of absences, Nardelli said the district hires replacements on a one-year basis.

“That person knows someone is going to come back and take that position,” Nardelli said.