Batch of new teachers hired for next school year

Burlington Area School District Superintendent Peter Smet called it simply, “hiring season.”

And with that the School Board on May 8 approved a flurry of resignations, retirements and appointments. Most of the departures won’t take place until after the 2017-18 school year. The new hires, however, will join the district’s staff in August.

Most notable among the pending retirements are those of longtime teachers Ed Loeffler, a Burlington High School French instructor, and Jean Price, who teaches first grade at Lyons Center School. They will both step away after next school year.

The board also unanimously accepted the resignations of three other teachers at the end of next school year – Steffanie Nagan, a science teacher at BHS; Michelle Knoczak, a special education teacher at Cooper Elementary School; and Carolyn Steinberg, a math teacher at BHS.

Steinberg will hold a temporary position next year filling in for Andrew Sireno, who will be fulfilling a military commitment. He is slated to return for the 2018-19 school year, according to Smet.

Two current teachers will have their positions changed for next school year. Jayme Pruszka, a business education teacher, will transfer from Karcher Middle School to BHS. Teri Leach, a teacher at Cooper Elementary, will have her contract increased from 50 percent to 100 percent.

Among the new teacher hires approved by the board for next school year are:

  • Elizabeth Cerpich, Spanish, BHS;
  • Jordin Miller, special education, BHS;
  • Daniel Marzahl, math, BHS;
  • Jon Nelson, physical education/health, Karcher Middle School;
  • Matthew Wolff, special education, Cooper Elementary; and
  • Kyle Kramer, social studies, BHS.

Last month the School Board approved a reduction of the equivalent of a 1.5 staff members, with 1.0 of that being the position held by Steinberg this school year.

Smet said the vast majority of changes will be accomplished by attrition, with retiring teachers offsetting the new hires. The goal, he said, is to deal with fluctuating enrollment and maintain the current teacher-pupil ratio.