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Curriculum director to hear EACS teacher appeals

NEW HAVEN – The East Allen County Schools board has designated a central office director to hear teacher appeals in lieu of a superintendent.

East Allen is in the process of hiring a replacement for former Superintendent Karyle Green who left the district in March. No interim was appointed in her place.

Some teachers who received reduction in force, or RIF, notices have requested to appeal the decision to the superintendent. Teachers receive the notices if the district believes it will have to cut positions or won't have enough positions available next year for the number of teachers currently employed. Many were Title I positions because the district will likely reduce the number of schools designated to receive Title I dollars, federal grant money for schools with high populations of low-income students.

After some deliberation, Marilyn Hissong, director of curriculum in EACS, was designated by the board Tuesday to hear the appeals.

The board couldn't designate one of its own members because teachers could appeal to the board, board President Neil Reynolds said. EACS Executive Director of School Management Chris Hissong, who isn't related to Marilyn Hissong, would have been the most likely candidate, but he will leave the district July 1 to take a job in Fort Wayne Community Schools.

Reynolds said Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Michael Shaffer also wasn't an option because his office distributed the notices.

"My feeling is that since it was Mike Shaffer who initiated the RIF notices, it would be awkward for him to hear the appeals," Reynolds said.

Kirby Stahly, assistant superintendent of administrative services and business management, said there are established policies and procedures outlining the process. The district's director of human resources will also be present for the appeals.

"I don't look at it as being a big task," Stahly said.