Schools announce retirees
ARENAC COUNTY — As of June 17, the students of Arenac County have lost 11 teachers to retirement.
Arenac Eastern lost five teachers and one bus driver, while Standish-Sterling lost four teachers, three parapro staffers, and two bus drivers, while they also accepted three deffered retirements at the June 14, school board meeting.
AuGres-Sims lost two teachers, and one bus driver to retirement.
The new Michigan State Retirement Incentive may have factored into a lot of the retirements, however the state does not release that information to the schools.
AE Superintendent Bill Grusecki believes that all of his teachers who were eligible took the state incentive
He also said that all of the retirees will be missed.
“These people did an outstanding job while employed at Arenac Eastern,” said Grusecki. “Their total years of service equal 214, (with) primarily all of this being at Arenac Eastern.”
The incentive allows all school employees who retire before Aug. 31, and who meet the regular full retirement provisions, or whose years of service and age together equal 80, to retire with a 1.6 percent pension multiplier, instead of 1.5 percent.
Eligible employees who do not retire, will also have to contribute 3 percent of their pay to retiree health care plan.
While the incentive will have an effect, SSC Superintendent Michael Dodge said that there is a good and a bad side to the incentive for his school district.
“Yes and no,” he said. “Yes, in the sense that we are able to hire a new teacher at a lesser amount for a few years, but no in the sense that amount of experience you lose when a teacher retires is hard to replace.”
AGS Superintendent Anne Doriean said that her school will not only miss their retired teachers, but also Sharon Briggs, who was one of their bus drivers for more than 15 years.
“In addition to safely transporting our most precious cargo every day, Sharon was also the first person many of our students encountered in the morning, and she did this in a kind and caring way,” said Doriean. “As a result, she forged many lasting bonds with our students.”
AE will replace three out of the five full-time positions, while AGS is replacing all three retirees.
Dodge, is hoping to replace the retirees at SSC, but the school board has yet to decide.
List of School Retirees (Alphabetically by School with available information)
• Elizabeth Nester, 34 years, Special Education (AE)
• William Langstaff, 31 years, Physical Education (AE)
• Marcia LaFond, 34 years, Art and English (AE)
• Irene Reed, 28 years, High School Social Studies (AE)
• Martha Hollenbeck, 31 years, Second Grade (AE)
• Craig Hahn, 4 years (AE), 28 years total
• Carla Fritz, 21 years, Middle School Language Arts, (AGS)
• Gill Gould, elementary 21 years, Physical Education, (AGS)
• Judith Knochel, 17 years, High School (SSC)
• Richard Laur, 24 years, High School (SSC)
• Leslie Russell, 24 years, Elementary (SSC)
• AnMaree Williams, 32 years, High School (SSC)
• Carol Norton, 28 years, (AE)
• Sharon Briggs, 15 years (AGS)
• Louann Reno (SSC)
• Joyce Stokoszynski (SSC)
• Rose Hilliker (SSC)
• Robin Ryan (SSC)
• Laura Scheid (SSC)
• Carolyn Barnum (SSC)
• Tim Campau (SSC)
• Paul Walderzak (SSC)