By Janie Southard
Negative student population growth made an initial impact at Celina Middle School with the elimination of half an administrative position Monday.
Celina City Schools board of education members approved reducing the middle school assistant principal position to half time beginning next school year.
An enrollment forecast completed in late March by Education Services, Inc. of Birmingham, Mich. projects the local district will drop about 50 students next school year.
Currently state funding per student is $5,283 per student, and if the prediction holds, the Celina school district is in line to lose $264,150 in state funding next year.
"Because this is not a consistent downward trend, our building staffing is going to fluctuate accordingly. Our lower numbers are coming to the middle school now and in just a couple years will start impacting the high school," Superintendent Matt Miller said following Monday night's board meeting. Kindergarten classes have had populations under 200 for the past several years. Miller anticipates a maximum of 185 kindergartners to enroll for next year. The current senior class numbers 218 students.
The board also approved three-year administrative contracts for Scott Braun, assistant treasurer; Tim Buschur, Tri Star director; Ann Esselstein, middle school principal, Carol Shroyer, Head Start director; and Michelle Self, Head Start early childhood director.
Retirements throughout the district will boost budget reductions to more than cover the budget reduction target of $600,000 announced in January 2005.
The board approved the following resignations due to retirement:
Susan Bertke, high school English teacher, after 29 years of service; Karen S. Hays, high school math teacher after 35 years of service; Gary Hays, middle school intervention teacher, after 29 years; Janet Smith, resource/title teacher; Judy Menchhofer, sixth-grade teacher, after 30 years; Diana Bertke, business teacher, after 29 years; Dan Otten, dean of athletics, after 29 years; Elaine Harris, title teacher, after 27 years; and Mary Jane Stachler, third-grade teacher after 38 years of service;
Stachler, who also attended East Elementary School as a student, has actually spent 46 years in the East building.
Classified staff resignations due to retirement include: Kay Smith, high school secretary, after 30 years; Karen Piper, aide, after 24 years; Ginger Luth, cafeteria workers, after 14 years; Linda Bollenbacher, cafeteria workers, after eight years; and Thelma Fortkamp, bus driver, after six years.
Three teachers resigned from the district: Micah Fell, Jill Schumaker and Lindsay Simons.
One-year contracts were approved for: Tonya Carey, Hallie Craven, Erika Draiss, Renee Heinrichs, Kathy Higgins, Hal Hoover, Michelle Houts, Terry Humphrey, Jason Luebke, John Roth, Julia Shaffer, Lisa Sheppard, Lisa Stahl, Tonya Temple and Manda Vehorn.
The board approved 91 supplemental contracts for coaches and advisers.
Business Manager Mike McKirnan announced tickets at $6 each are still available for the Gene Green Vocational Scholarship Fund scheduled for Friday 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Dinners will be distributed from the front drive of the high school.
Miller announced a public information meeting at the new tennis courts Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. Voters can ask questions about the 12.3 mill, five-year property tax levy on the ballot next Tuesday.