Retirees honored at Board meeting

Ten Taft Union High School District teachers with a combined classroom experience of 161 years are retiring from the Taft Union High School District when the school year ends next month.

That's a lot of teaching.

"I don't remember when we've have this many employees retiring at one time," said Board President and former teacher John Kopp.

The TUHSD Board honored the retirees with plaques, a hand shake (or, in some cases a hug) and cake Monday evening.

Five of the retiring teachers were present.

The retirees include science teacher Harold Heiter with 38 years at TUHS, Debbie Cloud (23 years with both TUHS and West Side ROP); Gene Conners and Jim Carnal, both with 20 years; Karen Hillygus and David Skowron, both with 14 years; and Scott Bennett, Bennett Johnson, Lisa Polk and Julee Skowron, all with 13 years.

The District offered an early retirement incentive this year as it tries to cut its teaching staff as it faces declining revenues and increasing costs.

It's not just losing teachers through retirements.

An increasing number of teachers are leaving for a variety of reasons, including layoffs.

At Monday's meeting, the Board of Trustees accepted the resignations of teachers Tim Greer, Courtney Van Horn, Jessica Grizzle and Greg Goosen.