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Several school Corp. employees taking retirement

By Marissa E. Lane, Staff Writer

With this year's group of retirees, the Union County College Corner Joint School District will say farewell to more than 100 years of experience.

At the school board meeting on Monday night, each member of the retiring staff received a clock with a personalized engraving to commemorate their time with the district. The meeting took a recess from official business and enjoyed cake and punch in the staff's honor.

School board president Mike Murray shook each retiree's hand and said a small piece about their career with the district.

“I'm sure this will age me, but I'm pretty sure your first year of teaching was my senior year of high school,” Murray said while congratulating math teacher and academic team coach Theresa Back, who has been with the district for 39 years.

Other retirees honored were Union County High School Assistant Principal Rich Padgett, who has been with the district for 12 years; Denise Bolser, UCHS business teacher, 26 years; Melanie McDaniel, UCHS business and health teacher, 17 years; Harry McDaniel, UCHS technology education, six years; Vicky Logue, Liberty Elementary School secretary, 22 years; Bonnie Plemons, Union County Middle School secretary, and Diane Freeman, UCMS custodian.

With the district's falling enrollment, instead of having to layoff teachers by using the Reduction in Force (RIF) procedures, the school board and administration offered a retirement package to employees who fit the criteria.

At their last meeting of the 2017-2018 school year, the board also:

heard end-of-year updates from each school, including recaps of College Corner Union School's carnival, Chicago trip and upcoming talent show; Liberty Elementary School's fifth grade camping trip and spelling bee; Union County Middle School's latest Honors Society inductees and Union County High School's water bottle filling station grant that they received thanks to senior Luke Haas.

accepted a bid for property and casualty insurance from RMD-Patti and Liberty Mutual, totaling $112,116. The district's deciding factor to remain with RMD-Patti is the $5 million umbrella coverage if the district goes over their workman's compensation coverage.

• approved 2018-2019 school year textbook rental and technology fees and the adoption of new science textbooks. The new science textbooks were needed last year, but the budget was tight. This year, the district can more comfortably afford the update.

• continued to pursue their goal of providing more available guidance for the elementary schools and high school. As the current assistant principal at UCMS will be moving to fill Rich Padgett's place at the high school in the fall, the board shifted the job title and description of the assistant principal at the middle school. The job will now be the Dean of Student Needs, and the board hopes to find someone who will best provide support to middle school students in the fall.