Duncan Public Schools aren’t looking to reduce their work force. Instead, the Duncan Board of Education added another step to save teachers’ jobs in case of tougher financial times.

During Tuesday’s regular meeting, the board discussed and approved a revised administration contract form that would allow the school board to institute furlough days if financial difficulties warranted them.

Superintendent Sherry Labyer said, “We’re entertaining a furlough if needed. This is before a reduction in force. It is a step, if we should need a safety net, because of finances.”

Labyer said there is no intention to institute furlough days at this time, but she said she feels more comfortable about teachers’ jobs with the revised contract.

“We’re making no recommendations unless we take further cuts, and we’re still in dire straights,” Labyer said.

She said the Duncan School District isn’t the only district that has revised it’s administrative contract in such a way. Labyer said having the potential for furlough days is becoming common place, especially with funding cuts.

“A lot of districts did it last year,” Labyer said. “Because we didn’t have it in a contract last year, we couldn’t do it.”

In other action:

n The board entered into a 50 minute executive session to discuss matters of employment. Following the executive session, the board accepted several resignations and approved hiring people for several staff and faculty positions.

The seven positions accepted for resignation included Tonya Morris, Duncan Middle School secondary clerk with 15 years of service; Sheryl Jones, DMS cafeteria truck driver with six years of service; Joy Franklin, Duncan High School special education teacher with four years of service; Monica Smith, Mark Twain/Woodrow Wilson teacher with six years of service; Carmen Garrett, Mark Twain library media assistant with two years of service; Penny Sutton, DHS vocal music teaching assistant with 10 years of service; and Andrea Nickell, Woodrow Wilson teacher with 11 years of service.

“I want to wish each of these people well,” Labyer said. “Some are getting other jobs, and some are getting to stay home.”

In addition to the resignations, several people were hired for open positions.

Those people included David Starnes as DHS teaching assistant, Jenny Ledford as physical therapy services through contract services, Carolin Turner on a Head Start contract for one hour compensation, Beverly Rackler on a Head Start contract for one hour compensation, Lara Morgan on a Head Start contract for one hour compensation, April McClung as junior varsity girl’s basketball coach, Brandon Graham as assistant ninth grade football and varsity boys soccer coach, Jacob Offolter as EDGE Academy PE teacher, Beth Curry as Emerson Title I teacher, Vanessa Keating as Mark Twain teacher, Jacy Dobbins as Woodrow Wilson teacher, Kate Holman as Woodrow Wilson teacher, Cynthia Altom as DMS cafeteria truck driver and helper, Bridgette Fetters as DMS secondary clerk, and Amy Clark as EDGE teacher.

n The board also approved 63 emergency transfers into the district and 27 transfers out of the district. Labyer said as school gets closer, more transfers will take place.

“It changes daily,” Labyer said. “I’ll have more for you to approve in September.”

— Derrick Miller is a reporter for The Duncan Banner. He can be reached at 580-255-5354, Ext. 160, or via e-mail at derrick.miller@duncanbanner.com.

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