Opp to lose 4 to 5 teachers next year

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Opp City Schools will reduce its teaching force by four or five teachers for the upcoming school year.
At Tuesday’s board meeting, the board approved non-renewals of four teachers and a cafeteria clerk, and accepted two resignations and one retirement.
“We will rehire a couple of positions, specifically on the secondary level,” superintendent Michael Smithart said. “We will most likely have a total reduction of four or five teaching positions.”
Smithart said the positions being cut are those the system has previously paid with in federal funds.
“By not replacing these units, we can carry forward any unused federal funds for use in 2012 when the stimulus funds are gone,” he said. “This is a part of a comprehensive plan that will allow us to maintain our solid financial footing while still providing all our students need and some of the extras that are essential for a well-rounded education.”
The outcome is better than the estimated nine teachers Smithart first said the system would likely cut, but the state legislature voted to fund all state teaching units in next year’s budget.
Resignations came from Astrid Evers, science teacher at Opp Middle School, and Traci Harrison, part-time aid at Opp Elementary School.
After 39 years of teaching, Mary Norris, a fourth grade teacher at OES, is retiring.
Non-renewals were for Danielle Mitchell, first grade teacher at OES; Cindy Jackson, fourth grade teacher at OES; Sarah Richards, science teacher at OMS; Brandy Moseley, science teacher at Opp High School; and Dianna Hartley, a part-time cafeteria worker at OHS.
The board approved contract renewals for 10 teachers, including four at OES, five at OMS and one at OHS.
Four teachers earned tenured status, including Ronda Martin, OHS English teacher; Juan Johnson, OHS history teacher; Ronnie Samson, OHS history teacher; and Jennifer Jackson, OES teacher.
The board also hired Clayton Norris at OHS’s new principal.
In other business, the board:
• approved meeting times for the 2010-2011 school year.
• approved an agreement with McKee and Associates to perform architectural services for renovations at Channel-Lee Stadium.
• heard from OHS Peer Helpers about their organization.