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West Branch school board OKs personnel moves

August 31, 2012
By KEVIN HOWELL , Salem News

BELOIT- The West Branch Local school board Thursday night made several personnel moves in preparation for the upcoming school year.

The board hired for the 2012-2013 school year teachers Merrellyn Banks as intervention specialist, Andrea Soltis as middle school language arts, Brooke Lacey as elementary art, Beth Cooley as high school math, Melissa Brand as elementary music, MacKenzie Thomas as Title I tutor and Vanessa Emmons as Title I tutor.

The board also hired Robert Allen as a casual employee in the technology department, Melissa Brown as a half-hour breakfast cashier at Knox Elementary, Kay Hettler for gifted testing on an as needed basis, Terena Umberger as a nurse's aide, Elizabeth Hall as a nurse, Patty Laut as a three-hour playground aide at Damascus Elementary and Frank Edie for technology installation.

The board also approved the rehire for the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 school years per negotiated agreement of retirees Judy French, sixth-grade teacher; Marilyn Parker, Title teacher; Robert Altenhof, guidance counselor; Elaine Bonar, intervention specialist; Lou Ann Geiger, elementary teacher; Jennifer Woods, physical education teacher; Robert Barnett, instrumental music teacher; and Bonita Rice, cashier.

Additionally the board accepted the retirements art teacher JoEllen Hallos, with the district for 10 years, effective immediately; and cook Krista Dowd, with the district for 23 years, effective Oct. 31; and reduced in force effective Aug. 30 bus drivers Debbie Birkhimer, Mary Ann Emplit and Cherie Syppko due to changing needs in student population and eliminated the .5-hour secretary position at the middle school.

In other business the board contracted with the Village of Beloit to provide ambulance for the 2012-2013 fall athletic season at $75 per game and with Dr. Dwaine Everett of Everett Healthcare Center Inc. for athletic safety coverage for the 2012-2013 school year. The board also awarded the dairy bid to Deans Dairy for the 2012-2013 school year and accepted $1,050 in donations to the middle school cheerleaders from James and Shannon Cameron, Ronald and Marie Matz and Beth Vlaiku.

The next regular board meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27 in the high school Media Center.

Kevin Howell can be reached at



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