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Process to Fill Holes Left by District's Resignations, Retirements Begins

The Greenfield School Board approved 14 new teacher contracts Monday for three teachers at the high school, two at Glenwood Elementary and nine at Maple Grove.

The Greenfield School District is working feverishly to fill in the many blanks created by .

And at Maple Grove Elementary, , the district is surrounding with her former colleagues.

The Greenfield School Board approved 14 new teacher contracts Monday for three teachers at the high school, two at Glenwood Elementary and nine at Maple Grove. The district also hired a new nurse.

Board member Cathy Walsh questioned the circumstances surrounding the Maple Grove hires. Three of the teachers formerly taught at Whittier Elementary School in Waukesha, the same school Yow was hired away from. A fourth Maple Grove hire came from another Waukesha school, according to Walsh.

“Isn’t that highly unusual that we’d bring in three teachers from her previous school out of all the candidates out there?” Walsh said.

Todd Bugnacki, the district’s director of educational services, said Yow’s previous relationships with the former Waukesha teachers and her recommendations of them factored into their hiring.

“These candidates are stellar candidates,” Bugnacki said.

“I’m sensitive to the situation and I was aware of how the hiring process was taking place and had a hand in it and oversaw it,” he added. “Some of these teachers are coming from other districts and we want to make sure they are received as part of a team. It’s an extensive process and I feel comfortable that we were very transparent with the process.”

Bugnacki said the district received around 1,000 applicants for its kindergarten and elementary school positions. He told the board the hiring process usually begins with the building principal, who sorts through all the applicants and pares it down to a final pool, from which some candidates are invited to interview.

The principal conducts the interviews, in most cases. Once a candidate is selected by the principal and the building level team, which usually includes other teachers, he or she goes over district expectations and signs his or her contract during a meeting with Bugnacki.

“By the time I get the candidate, it’s already been approved by the building level team,” Bugnacki said.

This summer, Glenwood principal Dan Carr and Yow were largely involved in the hiring of the elementary school teachers, Bugnacki said.

Board member Pam Sierzchulski said the circumstances are no different than in the private sector, when the head of a company leaves for another and asks some top employees to come along.

“It happens quite frequently,” Sierzchulski said.

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