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Elementary principal Ruch, 8 others to retire

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fv ruch access1 12-12-19

Sue Ruch, principal for Fairview and Adams elementary schools, stands with students outside Fairview Elementary. Ruch will retire at the end of this year after 42 years with the Carroll Community School District.

The Carroll Community School District Monday night approved nine voluntary retirement applications from district employees.

The longest-serving employee retiring is Sue Ruch, principal of Fairview Elementary School and Adams Elemetary School. Ruch has been with the district for 42 years, starting as a second-grade teacher in 1978. She has worked as the elementary principal since 1997.

As part of the retirement agreement, the employees received retirement benefits of half their current salary, up to $20,000.

With salaries ranging from $15,741.75 to $112,660 and totaling $551,306.75, the school’s total payout in benefits totals $167,870.88 for the nine employees.

That money will come out of the school’s management fund at the beginning of the next fiscal year in July; at the end of this fiscal year, that account will contain almost $1.2 million, more than funding the retirement benefits — even after bumping up the number of approved retirements from the originally-planned six to nine, said Gary Bengtson, the district’s director of business affairs.

The school’s original plan was to approve six voluntary retirements this year and six next year, and this change won’t reduce the number of retirements reduced next year, school leaders said.

“It’s always hard to lose excellent people, but one thing I noticed is we have a really good mixture — they’re not all coming out of the classroom,” School Board member Jen Munson said. “It’s probably the best mixture I’ve ever seen with early retirement.”

School leaders soon will post job postings for the open positions.

The other retiring staff members are as follows:

— Tim Hughes, a Carroll High School biology teacher who has worked with the district for 38 years.

— Mike McCaffrey, Carroll High School head custodian and grounds supervisor, who has worked with the district for 36 years.

— Keith Petersen, an elementary physical education teacher and eighth-grade girls basketball coach who has worked with the district for 36 years.

— Kim Shields, an instructional coach who has worked with the district for 34 years.

— Ron Vonnahme, Adams Elementary School head custodian, who has worked with the district for 31 years.

— Pam Hutchinson, a Carroll Middle School special education teacher who has worked with the district for 22 years.

— Kathy Cordes, Carroll High School guidance counselor and biology teacher, who has worked with the district for 16 years.

Sharon Hoffman, a media center teacher associate who has worked with the district for 15 years.

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