TCS makes new hires

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Troy City Schools hired 11 new teachers on Thursday and transferred two employees to new positions.

The hires, approved during a called meeting of the Troy City Schools Board of Education, fill the open positions in the pre-K through sixth-grade staff at Troy Elementary School and two teaching positions at Charles Henderson High School.

New hires include Courtney Smith, Heather Bunn, Suzanne Smyth, Melissa Moreman, Lauren Bolger, Andrea Poole, Brittany Blankenship, Katie Miller and MaShasta McCullough at Troy Elementary School.

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Chuck Dunn was hired as a PE teacher and football coach at CHHS, and his wife, Wini Dunn, was hired as a high school science teacher.

In transfers, Charles Henderson Middle School counselor Scherrie Banks was transferred from a 10-month position to a 12-month position and Lynn Melton was transferred from the secretary position to the bookkeeper position at CHHS. The district will not fill the high school secretary position.

“I’m excited about these hires,” Superintendent Lee Hicks said after the meeting. “They have the passion to teach.”

Many of the elementary school hires have worked with the system, either as interns or volunteers. And many are Troy University graduates. “These people have truly showed me that they want to be here,” Hicks said. “They truly love to teach and that will reflect on our students.”

Hicks said he and the elementary administrative staff will place the new hires in the positions best suited to their skills. Hires included two teachers for the new Pre-K program as well as teachers to replacing retiring or resigning teachers in other classrooms.

During the board meeting, President Judson Edwards asked Hicks about the efforts to reduce local unit funding of teaching positions, a goal set by Edwards and other board members to free cash flow in coming years for debt service payments related to new construction.

“It’s important as we make these hires to keep that in mind,” Edwards said.

Hicks said the district is working continuously to reduce local unit funding, which is the term used for funding that comes from local sources rather than from state or federal sources. “We’ve reduced administrative staff and, other than myself and Mr. Daughtery (financial officer), of our two directors one is paid by special education funds and the other’s salary is paid in part by federal programs. We’re paying only half of one of those directors’ salaries from local funds.”

Moreover, he said, gains in enrollment combined with the efforts to readjust staffing have allowed the district to fill positions while working to reduce local funding.

For example, in the new pre-kindergarten program one teaching unit and .6 of another are funded entirely by the tuition,” Hicks said.

Hicks said the district still has open positions to fill, including a high school history teacher and coach. The next board meeting is June 18.