Both districts were straight to the point during their latest board of education meetings as Newbury and West Geauga local school districts approved a combined total of 19 layoffs in preparation for the territory transfer.

The territory transfer is to take place July 1 for the 2020-21 school year when Newbury Local Schools will no longer be a functioning district.

The Newbury Board of Education met April 15 for a 7-minute special meeting to take action on the layoffs involving four non-renewals of contracts and the reduction of five positions.

“These decisions were not made lightly,” Newbury Superintendent Jacqueline Hoynes said to the board while making her recommendations. She said the decisions were not based on poor performance. “Everyone listed on the agenda is a committed and dedicated employee.”

Dr. Hoynes said the district offered support to the employees “in the form of resume building classes and a class in sharpening interview skills” and added that the district will continue to support the staff members in their search for new jobs.

In three separate motions, the present board members unanimously approved the layoff of the nine teachers and staff members. Board member Kimya Matthews was not present, and thus did not vote.

“[These employees] are people who are valued in the district,” Board President Maggie Zock said before adjourning the meeting. “We appreciate the service that they have given to our district, and we wish them well.”

The West Geauga Local Board of Education met Monday and made no discussion or comment as they unanimously approved the reduction of 10 teaching staff members in one swift motion.

All staff reductions for the districts will be effective at the end of the 2019-20 school year.

Sam Cottrill started reporting for the Times in February 2019 and covers Auburn, Bainbridge, Bentleyville and Chagrin, Kenston, Solon and West Geauga schools. She graduated from Kent State University in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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