Abilene schools

Chris Cooper, assistant superintendent for Abilene Public Schools, thanked the Board of Education during its regular meeting Monday night for allowing administrators “flexibility in hiring practices.”

“When we called and said we needed a meeting at 7 a.m. (on Monday, Aug. 5) to hire some people, you guys showed up,” Cooper told the board, explaining he appreciated the flexibility and willingness to “move quickly to get the right people in the buildings.”

“We got a great crew and a lot of that was due to the principals’ diligence and really getting good candidates and making things happen,” he added. “I’m excited about the new staff.”

Superintendent Greg Brown said getting to know the new teachers during inservice training last week was a “real joy.” He commended Cooper and Abilene High School Principal Ben Smith for their work conducting the training.

“They do an outstanding job establishing expectations for what it means to be a teacher in USD 435,” Brown said.

Several personnel were hired during the Aug. 5 meeting.

Two teachers will share the Abilene High School agricultural teacher position during the fall semester. Jack Burwell will serve AHS as ag welding teacher (a two-thirds position) and Mike Whitehair will teach AHS animal science (a one-third position).

Also hired were Alora Ritter, Dwight D. Eisenhower Elementary title aide/art; Richard Bliss, transfer from substitute to full time bus driver; Cindy McDowell, full time substitute bus driver; and Stephen Klotzbach, para substitute.

Personnel changes approved during the Aug. 12 meeting were:

Nicole Reiff, transfer from After School Program substitute to Kennedy After School Program aide; Marrisa Johnson Steerman, Parents as Teachers educator; Jaden Walters, McKinley Elementary math aide; Jendaya Leder, Eisenhower ABC staff member; and Joyce Steffen, substitute teacher.

Several other positions still remain open, including AHS boys assistant tennis coach, AHS assistant wrestling coach; McKinley Elementary lunch supervisor; van driver, ABC after school program teacher; Kennedy reading aide, AHS assistant track coach, bus driver and substitutes for bus drivers, food service, custodians and teachers. Information can be found on the district’s website at www.abileneschools.org.

Contact Kathy Hageman at reporter@abilene-rc.com.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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