TEMPERANCE — The Bedford Public Schools Board of Education last week recalled nine laid-off teachers and hired a consultant to assess the condition of the district’s buildings.
The recalled educators are Michele Alvarez, a first-grade teacher at Jackman Road Elementary; Kathleen Calloway, a special-education teacher who divides her time between Douglas Road and Jackman Road elementaries; Karen Dierks, a second-grade teacher at Jackman Road; Paula Hartwig, a special-education teacher at the junior high; Bobbie McMullen, a first-grade teacher at Douglas Road; Jennifer Montz, an exploratory teacher at Monroe Road Elementary; Jessica Neboyskey, a first-grade teacher at Jackman Road; Mary Jane Pridgeon, a computer instructor at the junior high, and Kathleen Shaw, an exploratory teacher at Jackman Road.
Four teachers remain on layoff. The board also approved a new hire, Stephanie Ziegler, as a speech pathologist at Douglas Road and was informed of the retirement of Thea Kirkwood, Monroe Road’s principal, effective Jan. 1. Ms. Kirkwood is a 20-year veteran of the Bedford district and became principal in 2008. With unused vacation time, her last day at work will be Nov. 22.
The board approved paying Plante Moran Cresa LLC $15,000 to evaluate district schools and administration and transportation buildings.
Paul Theriault, a vice president of the firm, said the work would involve inspecting the buildings and issuing a report to the board, detailing the facilities’ expected needs during the next 10 years.
Mr. Theriault said the work should begin this week and take about a month. Board member Ron Koch told him the fee was “extremely reasonable.”
Member Tim Brakel agreed, saying the building audits would provide useful data for the board to act on.
The expense will be paid from the district’s sinking fund for permanent improvements.
In other business, Edward Manuszak, the district’s assistant superintendent for instruction and student services, reported that Michigan’s Oct. 2 count day put the Bedford schools at a total enrollment of 4,627 for the 2013-14 year.
This included five home-schooled students and 72 attending the Monroe County Intermediate School District.
He cautioned that this was an unofficial figure, and he said he expected the number to drop a little by the time the certified enrollment came out in mid-November.
The unofficial enrollment was somewhat higher than the district’s forecast.
Enrollment was 4,706 last year, and a loss of 100 students had been projected.
The student body is expected to continue to shrink in coming years.
The board also recognized Cheryl Lykowski, a second-grade teacher at Monroe Road, for writing a successful grant application for $1,302, money to be used to buy three iPads for her students.