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April 20, 2014

Retirements, attrition to save district money

NEW CASTLE — A slew of retirements in the New Castle School District may result in savings in the 2014-15  budget.

The school district plans to introduce its spending plan next month. Various factors in the plan should help keep the district’s budget in good shape, according to superintendent John J. Sarandrea.

“I think 2014-15 will be a surplus year for the district,”  district business manager Joseph Ambrosini said at a public finance committee meeting of the school board on Monday.

He and Sarandrea anticipate restructuring and staffing considerations, the result of closing three elementary schools.

They also anticipate selling the buildings, rearranging staff and eliminating positions.

Attrition and filling positions with existing staff also will be a factor with teachers and other employees retiring from the district this year.

Sarandrea said the district is likely to be “checkerboarding” to prevent it from having to hire new employees to fill some of the  jobs.

For example, a science teacher has an art certification, and art teacher Claude Marrangoni is retiring, he said. If the science teacher moves into the art position, it’s conceivable a guidance counselor who has science certification can move into the biology position, he said.

“As of today, we are looking at six furloughs,” he said. “There will be 10 total fewer professional staffers for the teaching ranks at the end of the day.”

Sarandrea estimates saving $1 million, not including furloughs.

He noted two social studies teachers and two physical education teachers are retiring, but only one will be replaced in each subject.

Two secretaries and five custodians — all of whom are retiring —will not be replaced. Sarandrea said. That is expected to save $395,000.

Three administrative staff positions are expected to leave the district. Those posts will be filled by individuals drawing lower salaries than  the current n longtime employees. That is expected to save $47,510, Sarandrea said.

They are: Terry Meehan, assistant to the superintendent; Beth Barber, retiring as information technology director; and Robert Razzano, who resigned last week as junior high school principal.

No information was offered publicly as to why Meehan’s name is on that list. However, speculation is that he may accept a position in another district. He had not resigned from the New Castle district as of last week.

The district projects 20 fewer employees for the 2014-15 school year, he said.

At its regular meeting Monday, the school board approved the retirements of the following employees, effective June 5:

•Marrangoni, art teacher.

•Andrew Esposito, high school social studies teacher.

•Frank Makarevich, high school physical education instructor.

•Anthony Morgan, high school social studies teacher and dean of students.

•Gloria Stumpf, high school French instructor.

Other retirements approved by the board are:

•David Bara, maintenance.

•Alex Rapko, custodian, Harry W. Lockley Kindergarten Center.

•Phillip Richards, custodian, high school.

•Camille Buchowski, business office secretary.

•Nancy Champ, secretary at Harry W. Lockley Kindergarten Center.

•Joanne Beshero, one-on-one aide at Thaddeus Stevens Primary Center.

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)

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