WHSD losing 200 years of teaching experience

The White Hall School Board unanimously approved six faculty retirement requests Tuesday night and will be losing more than 200 years of combined classroom teaching experience at the end of the 2013-14 academic year, including nearly 180 years on a single campus.

Stepping down are Wanda Akines, Marsha Bell, Sandra Dumas, Gail Massey, Carolyn Monk and Stephanie VanVeckhoven. The retirements will be effective June 30.

Five of the teachers work at Moody Elementary School, where Bell teaches reading and is capping a 42.5-year education career. Akines, a kindergarten teacher, has 37 years of classroom experience. Massey and Monk — who teach kindergarten and third grade, respectfully — each have 34 years of experience. Dumas, a music teacher who works at Gandy Elementary School as well, counts 32 years.

The quintet’s total experience is 179.5 years.

VanVeckhoven is a fourth-grade teacher at Taylor Elementary School and is completing a 27.5-year career.

The retiring instructors have been employed in the White Hall School District a combined 152.5 years.

The board’s approval of the retirements was followed by its unanimous endorsement of the hiring of six new teachers for the 2014-15 school year — Peggy Alexander, Sally Howard, Hayley Langston and Shauna Schod at Moody, Sharyla Thompson at Hardin Elementary School and Daryl Spencer at White Hall High School.

In other business, the board approved the purchase of a kitchen steamer/kettle from Krebs Brothers Restaurant Supply Company of North Little at a bid amount of $43,372.33. The device will be placed in the Hardin Elementary School kitchen.

Superintendent Larry Smith said steamers and kettles in the high school kitchen had to be replaced earlier this year and that steamers and kettles in the district’s other campus kitchens are becoming “impossible to repair.”

“We had hoped to be able to wait until the summer for the purchase of the next steamer and kettle, but unfortunately the system at Hardin Elementary has failed and cannot be repaired,” Smith said.

Payment for the new unit will be made with proceeds from the district’s sale of the former Redfield Middle School building earlier this year.

Smith reported to directors that the Cenergistic agency that oversees a district energy preservation plan informed him that the effort has saved the district $367,423 over the past decade.