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Lay-offs affect Brandon School District administration staff

April 17, 2013 - Brandon Twp.- The lay-offs of two key administrative school district staff members were approved by the Board of Education during their April 15 meeting.

Superintendent Lorrie McMahon called the lay-offs of Carole Beverwyk, assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction, and accountability, and Arden Becker, executive director of operations, aquatic center and food services, "major."

"These are pretty difficult positions to reduce," McMahon said.

The board voted 5-2 in favor of approving the reduction of the assistant superintendent position. Treasurer Greg Allar and President Kevin McClellan voted no. The move will save the district about $150,000 per year.

As assistant superintendent, Beverwyk's responsibilities included overseeing curriculum, school improvements, test assessments, state and federal program grants, and personnel. Those responsibilities will now be carried primarily by McMahon and the various school principals.

"Carole's work will be almost impossible to absorb by the rest of us… but we have to have a balanced budget," said McMahon, who was curriculum director in the district prior to becoming superintendent.

The board also voted 5-2 to reduce Becker's position of executive director of operations, aquatic center and food services. Greg Allar and John Chartier voted no. This reduction will save the district $100,000 annually.

As executive director of operations, Becker was in charge of all the physical maintenance of the eight buildings in the school district, including heating systems, repairs, upkeep, all the athletic fields, indoor and outdoor conditions of the buildings, "keeping everything working," McMahon said.

"The business part (of his job) will have to be absorbed by the business office and the scheduling of work and oversight, we will have to figure out how to do that," she continued. "One of his other goals was to maintain efficiency of all systems and saving as much energy and energy costs as possible."

The lay-offs are part of a list of proposed budget reductions for fiscal year 2013-2014 which also include reductions of staff due to the planned restructuring of schools, elimination of some paraprofessionals, and following planned retirements, non-replacement of a speech pathologist and the transportation director. In total, all proposed budget reductions will save the district approximately $1.2 million, equal to the originally forecasted deficit.

McMahon anticipates the board will approve the 2013-2014 budget by the third week in June.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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