Retirement cuts cut cuts to Brewer school department

BREWER, Maine – Six teachers decided to retire last month, which will save the jobs of other teachers, Superintendent Cheri Towle said at Monday’s school board meeting.

The Brewer School Service announced at the April school board meeting that it plans to lay off 13 staff due to a significant loss of earnings next year, but it has adjusted the numbers as people have decided to retire or go to other jobs.

Those who have decided to retire, according to Towle, are Dorothy Whalen, who was hired 44 years ago as a physical education teacher at Brewer High School; Debra Footman, second-year teacher for 41 years; Susan Dumont, humanities teacher for 33 years; Diane Corey, specialist educator for 20 years; Deborah Gunn, a special education teacher for 26 years; and Brewer High English teacher Clayton Blood, who also coached the college boys’ basketball for 15 years. Two others leave after working at Brewer for two years.

“I just want to add my thanks to the teachers who are retiring to save the jobs of other teachers,” said school board president Mark Farley. “It must have been a difficult decision for all, but we appreciate their dedication and their number of years [of service]. We will be a better school because of it.

Two employees were told during the meeting that they would not be rehired – seventh-year science teacher Nicholas Walters and part-time visual arts teacher Sara McDougall were not given contracts, said Towle.

The school service also let Brewer Community School principal Bill Leithiser retire and hire him at a reduced cost, moved the occupational therapist from one category to another, and added 2.5 positions. in high school based on the student body, which has grown from 919 students ten years ago to just 647 this year, including a part-time English, world languages ​​and math teacher, the superintendent said.

The proposed budget of $ 20.8 million for the next fiscal year is expected to exceed projected revenues by $ 313,000, it was announced last month, but that amount has declined significantly, Towle said.

A savings of $ 79,000 was also realized by hiring Maine Real Estate Management as the custodian of the Brewer Community School.

The school department decided to use $ 1.17 million of carry-over funds to help balance the budget, a slight decrease from last year when $ 1.3 million of the fund balance was used. .

“That left us with a variance of about $ 33,000,” said the superintendent.

The budget decreases by 0.8 percent, according to proposed budget documents made available at the meeting.


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