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Willmar School Board starts layoff of 34 staff members

WILLMAR -- The Willmar School Board adopted two resolutions Monday that start the process of laying off 34 tenured and non-tenured staff members.

Seven are tenured staff members being laid off for financial reasons. They include a number of special education teachers.

The district's non-tenured staff members, 27 in all, will also be laid off for financial reasons. In some cases, the layoff is a reduction in hours for a full-time position or eliminates a part-time position.

In making its budget cuts, the School Board decided to go through the legal procedures required to lay off all the non-tenured teachers. Some of them may be hired back before the next school year, depending on funding and the needs of the district.

"This is certainly the list we will look at to fill our needs when we know what our needs are," said Bill Busta, director of human resources.

In some cases, the teachers' positions have been dependent on grant funding which is now uncertain. That's the case with the Mandarin Chinese program, which has been funded for several years by a federal grant which expires in September.

In other cases, vacancies from retirements could open the door for teachers to return to the district.

The board could lay off the non-tenured teachers with a single resolution on Monday. Busta said they would receive official letters today.

Laying off tenured teachers is a more lengthy process and will require another resolution from the board at a future meeting.

The teachers listed in the resolutions passed by the board Monday are listed below along with their subject areas. All are full time unless a shorter time period is listed.

Tenured teachers: Jodi Ballandby, EBD, SLD instructor; Andrea Fladeboe, EBD instructor; Cheryl Hanson, social worker, 10 Days; Hannah Hanson, DCD instructor; Sara Squibb, communications, 0.6; Megan Weibe, ELL instructor, .2; Dale Yoakum, EBD instructor.

Non-tenured teachers: Anna Bakker, communications; Tracey Borstad, early childhood, 0.14; Kristyn Clark, ELL; Crystal De Vore, social studies; Mike Dokkebakken, science; Kate Droske, French, 0.67;

Tyler Gehrking, social studies, 0.5; Bart Graves, guidance counselor, 0.17; Dona Haines, school nurse, 0.55; Denise Hedberg, ABE/family literacy; Andrew Hendrickson, ABE; Shayla Honken, parent educator, 0.18;

Casey Johnson, physical education; Malinda Klaassen, special education instructor; Jennifer Larson, ABE; Jennifer Laumeyer, early childhood instructor, 0.70; Todd Lynum, Mandarin Chinese; Travis Michelson, vocal music;

Ed Oehlers, physical education instructor, 0.80; Amanda Pehrson, elementary instructor; Lon Peterson, special education instructor; Gloria Skalbeck, business instructor, 0.5; Carter Stenberg, speech pathologist;

Sarah Swenson, early childhood instructor, 0.33; Scott K Thompson, math instructor; Kristen Valdez, FLES Spanish Instructor; Alyssa Urdahl, elementary instructor.