MT. VERNON — The District 80 Board of Education approved a number of staff changes Wednesday night, including the non-renewal of two teacher contracts and seven new hires.
The non-renewals were for fifth grade teacher Michael Allen at the J.L. Buford Intermediate Education Center and first grade teacher Abby Etnier at the Primary Center.
Superintendent Mike Green said the non-renewals were not related to “economics or budget concerns.”
Two of the new hires were for certified positions. Jodi Fatheree was hired as the new guidance counselor at Casey Middle School, and Susan Staples was hired as this year’s summer school director at Buford.
Fatheree replaces retiring Casey counselor Teresa Barnfield, who has been in the position for 14 years.
Barnfield said she has greatly enjoyed her time at Casey. She will retire at the end of this school year.
“I love working here. I love the students here,” Barnfield said. “It was just time for me to do the next thing in my life. … I have grandchildren, I’m very active in my church, I have good friends, so I have lots of things that I plan to do.”
District officials decide each year who will be the summer school director for that year’s session.
Staples, who is the district’s after-school director, also served as summer school director last year. She said she looks forward to this year’s session, which will run from June 16 to July 3.
“I’m excited for the students to be there this summer and (to) be able to help them with reading and math,” Staples said.
Kindergarten through seventh grade students can take summer school.
Staples said the program helps kids enhance their literacy skills and maintain their math skills, among other benefits.
“We reach out to all the students. It’s not limited to a specific need,” Staples said.