Wednesday, March 21 , 2018, 2:37 am | Overcast 57º


57 School Employees to Retire Early Under Santa Barbara District’s Incentive Program

Longtime teachers, staff among those leaving in June; Noozhawk has the full list

Fifty-seven teachers, counselors, administrators and other school staff will retire early under the Santa Barbara Unified School District’s incentive program, which is expected to save the district $600,000 over the next five years.

At least 15 of those positions will stay vacant, and the savings include the incentive retirement benefit payments to employees — equivalent to 75 percent of final base pay.

Despite the savings, Superintendent Dave Cash and school board members on Tuesday night mourned the loss of so much knowledge and experience from the district.

“I see some of the greatest educators this community has ever seen,” Cash said.

The retirements will help the district with its $6 million budget deficit for next year. Administrators have already handed out 124 layoff and reduction-in-force notices to full-time and temporary employees, and Cash said he expected most of those notices to become permanent in February.

The board approved the full list of retirees Tuesday and extended the deadline to April 27 for interested employees.

There’s no denying that the retirements, while a financial boon, bring “a level of sadness,” board member Annette Cordero said. “Some of them, I don’t think the district exists without them.”

Upon seeing the name of longtime Santa Barbara High School counseling secretary and school historian Sharon Henning, who has worked for the district for more than 30 years, Cordero said: “I didn’t think she’d leave Santa Barbara High School until they wheeled her out.”

Also included on the list is Jim Ranta, water polo coach and math teacher at Dos Pueblos High School who has been with the district for 40 years and has long been an integral part of the local athletics scene.

In the district office, retirees include Robin Sawaske, the associate superintendent of education who stayed on for an extra year to help Cash transition into his job, and Davis Hayden, director of research, evaluation and technology. They both joined the district in 2005. Elaine Alvarado, the human resources department’s coordinator of classified employees, is also retiring in June.

The employees participating in the Supplementary Retirement Plan program so far are, by last name first:

Alvarado, Elaine
Abney, Kathleen
Amsden, Madaline
Antognini, Jean
Avedikian, Naomi
Ayer, Susan
Bazeghi, Barbara
Berlin, Henrika (Riki)
Bierer, Norah
Bluitt, Deidre
Burggraf Anne
Calhoun, Kathleen
Cordeiro, Katherine
Crisenberry, Sandy
De Heeckeren D’Anthes, Claire
Diaz, Francisco
Diaz, Steven
Dugan, Ellen
Duncan-Allan, Catherine
Escobar, Kathy
Estrada, Magdalena
Fischer, E. Ann
Goldsmith, Annemari
Gonzalez, Arnoldo
Guerrero, Deborah
Hall, Sadie
Harris, Donna
Harris, Jeanne
Hayden, Davis
Hehnke, Beverly
Hemmer, Diane
Henning, Sharon
Hodges, David
Holguin, Esther
Holman, Martha
Ibach, Michael
Keleman, Eve
Kentro, Susan
Lofthus, Bruce
Lorelli, Vicky
MacArthur, Michelle
McGee, Rob
Merrill, Lindsay
Meyer, Charles
Morales-Duprey, Mercedes
Paszke, Sharon
Ranta, James
Russell, Colleen
Sawaske, Robin
Stathopoulos, Carol
Steinmetz, Ann
Stewart, Frank
Sweeney, Richard
Toohey-Green, Cynthia
Trujillo, Ramon
Vail, Michael
Wood, Joan

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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