The Atlantic School Board Monday night, accepted Early Retirement incentive requests from a dozen instructors and/or staff members. Superintendent Mike Amstein announced the names. They include: Joanne DeArment, Reading Support at Washington Elementary; 2nd grade teachers Sue Riggs and Sharon Ambrose; Kindergarten/1st grade teacher Laurie Fell; 1st grade teacher Deb Murphy; 3rd grade teacher Nancy White; 4th & 5th grade teacher Bruce Hansen; Bev Schelling, Level 2 & 3; High School Math teacher Kathy Bradfield; 3rd grade teacher Nancy Christensen; Jayne Tyler, 2nd/3rd grade Math support; and, Denise Sasse, 2nd/3rd grade Reading Support.
Amstein said as he looked at the names, he realized there was “A lot of experience going out of the District,” especially with most of the resignations coming from the Washington Elementary School. He said it will be difficult to replace them, but it’s a process the district has gone through before. Amstein said at one time they were beginning teachers, too. He congratulated the retiring teachers on “A job well done, and a nice career.” He said they have served their time and done a good job serving the district.
In other business, the Atlantic School Board approved the appointment of Olivia Newburg, Secretary to the Superintendent, as Board Treasurer. They also approved, by a vote of 3-to 2, a recommendation by High School Administrators, the reducing of graduation credits from 52 to 48, beginning with the current Junior class.
Board members Dennis Davis and Phil Hascall voted against the motion. Both said they were concerned with the “rigor” of the courses being offered, and the possibility the District was “Dumbing things down,” or “lowering the bar,” for future graduating classes. Board President Kristy Pellet said she felt the same way at first, but became convinced it would help level the field a little more for kids who are struggling but making an honest effort.
Amstein said the rigor of the classes are not impacted, because they still have to meet the requirements of the Iowa Core Curriculum.