New Castle News

May 7, 2014

New Castle teacher bidding to start

Debbie Wachter
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — All elementary teachers in the New Castle district will have to bid on their jobs for next school year.

Superintendent John J. Sarandrea told the board at its work session Monday that the jobs will be posted and bidding will take place at 4 p.m. Friday in the cafeteria of the Harry W. Lockley Early Learning Center.

“Then we will know who will be where,” he said.

The bidding is going on because some teaching positions are being eliminated by the closing of three elementary schools at the end of this year.

Students and teachers in grades one and two are moving into the newly renovated Lockley building and those in third grade will go to the George Washington Intermediate Elementary School.

The schools to be closed are West Side, Thaddeus Stevens and John F. Kennedy primary centers.

Sarandrea said Tuesday that 121 professional positions will be posted for bidding: kindergarten through sixth grade teachers, special education staff, nurses and literacy coaches.

All the positions and bidders are in the New Castle Federation of Teachers bargaining unit.

Districtwide, 24 positions will be eliminated, Sarandrea said. They are eight elementary teacher jobs, four high school teaching posts eliminated because of retirements, a buildings and grounds administrator position vacated with the retirement of Paul Fulena, seven custodial slots and four secretary jobs.

Sarandrea said that once the elementary bidding process is done, a session will be set up for bidding for certain positions available in the junior/senior high school, because of retirements.

At the end of May after the bidding, the district will discuss “checkerboarding.” That involves moving around as many professionals with more than one certification into positions as possible, in order to reduce the number of lay-offs to as few as possible, Sarandrea explained.

Some elementary teachers with multiple certifications could move into high school positions, he noted.

The district recently approved retirements of 11 people in teaching positions.

Sarandrea said the potential position of assistant superintendent has been posted for eligible employees. The position opening up will be that of Terence P. Meehan, who has accepted a superintendent’s job in the Neshannock school district.

However, Meehan has not yet resigned from his post at New Castle, where he is in charge of curriculum.

Sarandrea said the district intends to hire someone to replace Meehan, as well as a person who will fill the needs of a second assistant to the superintendent and information technology director.

The second assistant to the superintendent position has been vacant since Stanley Magusiak was promoted from it to acting superintendent last year, then retired.

The district recently accepted the retirement of Beth Barber, its information technology director. Sarandrea indicated the two positions would be combined.

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)